28 Sep 2015


Book Review / Ape House by Sara Gruen

Sam, Bonzi, Lola, Mbongo, Jelani, and Makena are no ordinary apes. These bonobos, like others of their species, are capable of reason and carrying on deep relationships - but unlike most bonobos, they also know American Sign Language.

Isabel Duncan, a scientist at the Great Ape Language Lab, doesn’t understand people, but animals she gets - especially the bonobos. Isabel feels more comfortable in their world than she’s ever felt among humans... until she meets John Thigpen, a very married reporter who braves the ever-present animal rights protesters outside the lab to see what’s really going on inside.

When an explosion rocks the lab, severely injuring Isabel and “liberating” the apes, John’s human interest piece turns into the story of a lifetime, one he’ll risk his career and his marriage to follow. Then a reality TV show featuring the missing apes debuts under mysterious circumstances, and it immediately becomes the biggest - and unlikeliest - phenomenon in the history of modern media. Millions of fans are glued to their screens watching the apes order greasy take-out, have generous amounts of sex, and sign for Isabel to come get them. Now, to save her family of apes from this parody of human life, Isabel must connect with her own kind, including John; a green-haired vegan; and a retired porn star with her own agenda.

Published:     1st September 2011
Publisher:  Two Roads
Author Website:  Click here
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Owned Copy

What I loved about this story...
I can't believe that this has been on my shelf for so long and equally I can't believe that it has taken me so long to read it!  I loved how even though the story is called Ape House, it wasn't all about the Apes.  Certainly a lot of the story is about the bonobos.  It starts off seeing them at a very well kept facility where they have been taught (and also picked up alot of other things along the way) sign language communication.  After the explosion happens there is a chunk of story that focuses on other characters such as Isobel who worked at the facility looking after bononos and was there when the explosion happened.  She is trying to find a way to save the apes from where ended up being.  The story also focus's on John who is a reporter who initially visited the facility to interview Isobel and meet the apes.  John is still a reporter, although for a different company for one reason or another and is still adamant to stick to his ape story.  I am glad that this story concentrated on more than the apes as although it was well written and the apes were very interesting to read about but wouldn't stretch to a whole story all about them.

What I didn't like about this story...

There wasn't anything in particular that I thought yes I don't like that but the story was pretty slow for me so it was harder and harder to pick this up again.  I started reading this when I was on holiday at the beginning of August when I went to the beach and manged to read about half of it by the time it was time to come home.  I have actually read one or two books in between finishing this one so it has taken me just over two months to read it but not because it wasn't good it was just a slow story.

(From Goodreads)  Sara Gruen is the #1 New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of WATER FOR ELEPHANTS, APE HOUSE, RIDING LESSONS, and FLYING CHANGES. Her works have been translated into forty-three languages, and have sold more than ten million copies worldwide. WATER FOR ELEPHANTS was adapted into a major motion picture starring Reese Witherspoon, Rob Pattinson, and Christoph Waltz in 2011.

She lives in Western North Carolina with her husband and three sons, along with their dogs, cats, horses, birds, and the world’s fussiest goat.
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