Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Ape House

Ape House
Sara Gruen
300 pages
Publisher: Spiegel & Grau
Source: library

You can read the Goodreads summary.

I love, love, loved this novel.

Isabel has worked with the bonobos so long they feel like her family.  When the compound is bombed, leaving her seriously injured, her life is turned upside as is the life of the bonobos who are thrust into the public spotlight on a reality show.  Their safety is soon called into question as the show's producers try to keep the show operating and Isabel and her crew try desperately to save them.

When I started the novel I knew it would be about apes, but that's about all I knew.  I was not expecting this book to be so depressing.  It really opened my eyes to the mistreatment of apes and I found it loathsome that someone could "free" the bonobos and then sell them to someone to use for a reality show.  That's pretty sick, but it made for more moving and compelling reading.  Sara Gruen is a great author with a real ability for the written word.  Her characters are so rich, their emotions became my emotions as a I read.

I enjoyed the animal rights aspect of the novel and it's clear that Gruen has a passion for animals.  Aside from the bonobos, I enjoyed the treatment she gave the pit bull in the story.  Far too many people these days have the wrong impression of pit bulls and it was great to see Gruen's characters have confidence in Booger.  I was happy to see him get a second chance at life.

I don't really know what else to say without writing some spoilers, so I'll just reiterate that I loved this book and I think it's worth reading.

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