Sunday, November 14, 2010

-- Ape House --

I finished Ape House earlier this week and since I promised a quick review - here goes:

Written by Sara Gruen (the author of Water for Elephants) this story revolves around a family of bonobo primates who prove to a research community that primates are capable of understanding human language and also conversing with humans through sign language.  Unfortunately though, early in the book, the bonobo's home is attacked and they are taken into a "Big Brother-esque" reality TV show situation where the world is exposed, not just to their impressive language abilities but also their extremely human natures (craving cheeseburgers, watching trash TV and engaging in sexual behaviors).

In a quest to 1) rescue the bonobos from their reality TV show and 2) ensure that they remain far away from the research labs that engage in truly inhumane treatment of such animals, the main character Isabel crosses paths with many interesting characters.

In my opinion, this book was an enjoyable read, but not really as complex as I had expected it to be.  Maybe its my background that made me want more detail about the bonobos and their conversations with humans, but regardless, I felt that the focus of the book was a little too heavy on the sex-y stuff and too little on abilities and mistreatment of the animals.  Even so, this was a great book - not the best I've read this year, but definitely in the Top 10!  I think if you liked Water for Elephants, you'll like this book (maybe not love it - but definitely will like it)!


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