The Statues that Walked: Unraveling the Mystery of Easter Island | Terry Hunt | Carl Lipo

Friends, I freakin love history. Especially ancient, INTERESTING history. Now, my excitement cues up a notch when said history is the subject of a non-fiction audiobook. YOU GUYS! I was beyond pumped up for my purchase of The Statues That Walked: Unraveling The Mystery Of Easter Island by Terry Hunt and Carl Lipo on audible during one of those super cheap sales. Unfortunately, the book was much cooler in concept than it was in execution and I ended up with a major case of eye glaze. You guys ever get that? When you get so excited about an academic topic, so you read a book about it and then you end up totally zoned out because it wasn’t what you expected. Like, I was expecting fascinating stories about the statues and why they exist, because let’s face it those statues are fricken cool. Alas. It was not meant to be.

The Statues That Walked by Terry Hunt and Carl Lipo | Good Books And Good Wine

So, Easter Island was “discovered” by Europeans in 1722 on Easter, hence why it’s called Easter Sunday. What the Europeans found were some big ass statues and a mystery! How the hell did those ancient people build the statues and move them around? Like, these statues are several tons, right. And so, The Statues That Walked attempts to unravel that mystery and answer the question. Also, Easter Island apparently was ecologically devastated. So, what the book provides is a pretty intense look at the culture of the people, the different theories about how they made and moved the statues and actually a long, in depth segment about archaeology. It’s all based on this study that the two authors, Carl Lipo and Terry Hunt conducted in 2001. OH OH and the book also tries to counter Collapse by Jared Diamond, but as I have not yet read Collapse I cannot say which theory I think is better.

Y’all, I HATE when I am not into a book that I am pumped up about. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t hate The Statues That Walked, but I just felt so lukewarm about it. My thing was, it was super boring. Like, I know, I KNOW the archaeology bit is important and kind of the basis of the book. And I know it’s important to show your work and how you came to your answers. I also know it’s important to talk about how one conducted their studies. But for me, this was so boring. I just wanted to hear about the ecological devastation and the statutes. Actually, mostly the statues and their significance. Unfortunately, while the book does talk about the statues, obviously, I just thought it wasn’t that compelling to listen to. Kind of like my rambling right now — it’s likely not all that compelling.

Fortunately, the audiobook narration is relatively decent. The audiobook of The Statues That Walked: Unraveling The Mystery Of Easter Island by Terry Hunt and Carl Lipo is produced by Audible, Inc and so the quality of sound is fantastic — no static or weird feedback here. ALSO! The audiobook is mad short, so it wasn’t too much to sit through the dull parts. It is 6 hours and 40 minutes long, which again, not that bad for a non-fiction. The narrator is Joe Barrett who does a decent job with the material. He sounds like a college professor — and I don’t mean that negatively. He enunciates and probably pronounces everything correctly. Anyways, if you are SUPER interested in the topic and methodology, then get your hands on The Statues That Walked. On the other hand, if, like me you just want the statues none of the methods, you should probably skip this one.

Disclosure: Purchased on Audible

Other reviews of The Statues That Walked: Unraveling The Mystery Of Easter Island by Terry Hunt and Carl Lipo:

Devourer Of Books – “A solid work of nonfiction

S. Krishna’s Books – “The authors present an intriguing portrait of this island

Bonus content! Here I am at the Museum of Natural History In New York with an ‘Easter Island’ head:

Easter Island Me


About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. Wah sad this one was a little less cool than you thought. You pretty much are the only other person who reads random history books like this…though I’ve read way less than I used to these days. I’m such a history nerd and I can’t like understand when other people don’t get excited about it haha. Def sounds way more academic of a book than I’d want not knowing a TON about this subject. Sometimes I need something that balances a little bit better until I KNOW I want to get super in depth about a topic.

    • Wahhhhh. Yeah, I love that random history stuff it keeps me from getting so burnt out on YA. Like I love YA but I can’t strictly read that and nothing out. Boo to people not understanding why history is beyond awesome.

      Yeah, it’s all about balance!

  2. Can I just say that it is SO AWESOME that you read history/history-based books like this FOR FUN? That makes you awesome in my book, since I’ve always enjoyed history and loved learning about it.

    I’m sad for you that this didn’t turn out as you’d expected. For me, I would have been more interested in learning about the myths/lore behind the statues and not so much the archaeology stuff. It does seem like Easter Island could be potential fodder for a fictional story though!

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