Almost Human: The Story of Julius, the Chimpanzee Caught between Two Worlds

Almost Human: The Story of Julius, the Chimpanzee Caught between Two Worlds

by Alfred Fidjestøl


View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Wednesday, April 14


“Alternately joyous and heartbreaking...” —Jane Goodall

A moving and revealing biography of Norway’s most famous chimpanzee.

Julius is a national celebrity, the inspiration behind pop hits and bestselling books.

He’s also a chimpanzee, born in captivity, but raised in a zookeeper’s home after his own mother rejects him. Julius’s new parents change his diapers and comfort him when he has nightmares, and their daughters play with him. But soon they must reintroduce Julius to the zoo, a challenging task that brings new learnings on primate behavior and the dangers of animal celebrity.

Alternately humorous and heartbreaking, Almost Human shows that primates are more like us than we once thought possible. It also charts the transformation of one zoo over time: from a small operation of animals behind bars to a fast-growing attraction coming to terms with twenty-first-century views on animal rights and welfare.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781771643856
Publisher: Greystone Books
Publication date: 09/17/2019
Pages: 248
Sales rank: 621,656
Product dimensions: 5.60(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Alfred Fidjestøl has published several critically acclaimed biographies and history books about humans and cultural institutions. In 2014, Fidjestøl became the first nonfiction author ever to receive Gyldendal’s Hunger Award. He was awarded the Språkprisen Prize in 2017.

Julius lives as a content alpha chimpanzee and father of two within a community of nine chimpanzees. He celebrated his fortieth birthday in 2019.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Chapter 1 Nature and Nurture 5

Chapter 2 Happy Days 16

Chapter 3 A Room of One's Own 41

Chapter 4 Home for Christmas 57

Chapter 5 Monkey Business 72

Chapter 6 A Fugitive Crosses His Tracks 87

Chapter 7 Crime and Punishment 113

Chapter 8 Four Weddings and a Funeral 129

Chapter 9 The Child 152

Chapter 10 King of the Apes 166

Chapter 11 End Game 187

Chapter 12 These Eyes 199

Notes 205

Bibliography 224

Index 229

About the Author 240

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Alternately joyous and heartbreaking, Almost Human is more than just a biography of a confused chimpanzee. It is also a fascinating, well-researched book that provides excellent information about wild and zoo chimpanzees, the history of trafficking live chimpanzee infants out of Africa, and the dramatic change in the way animals have been perceived and treated in zoos over the past century."

—Jane Goodall

“The story of this remarkable, delightful but often troubled icon has been told [...] in this short but thought-­provoking book written by an award-winning Norwegian journalist. This fascinating little book touches on central issues of our time, too, but never hectors us.”

Daily Mail

"The life of Julius the chimpanzee has been as rich, dramatic, and important as any human's. Thank you, Alfred Fidjestøl, for writing this detailed and riveting biography that is worthy of its subject. Everyone who cares about animals should read it.”

—Sy Montgomery
, New York Times bestselling author of The Soul of an Octopus

“A sort of true-life fairytale in which Beauty and the Beast are the same single character. Almost Human is a moving and memorable account of the up and down life of Norway's Julius, one of the world's most famous chimpanzees.”

—Karen Joy Fowler , New York Times bestselling author of We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

Customer Reviews