Review: Ape House

Posted on November 9, 2010


Ape House
By Sara Gruen
Spiegel & Grau
September 2010
320 pages

Best-selling author Sara Gruen is acclaimed for her amazing animal stories and Ape House does not disappoint. In Ape House, readers are introduced to the incredible and hilarious bonobos, the only great apes who share 98.7% of their DNA with humans.

Philadelphia Inquirer reporter John Thigpen could never have imagined his idea for a story about the Great Ape Language Lab would explode into America’s newest obsession. But that’s exactly what happens. The day after he visits the lab and meets Isabel Duncan, scientist and devoted “mother” to the family of six bonobos – Bonzi, Sam, Mbongo, Makena, Lola, and Jelani – an explosion frees the apes from their quarters but they are captured and sold to a secret buyer. Thigpen’s pursuit of his story and Duncan’s crusade to save the bonobos, lead them on separate search & rescue missions that converge in the middle of a reality TV show circus in New Mexico.

Gruen’s skillful writing infuses humor and circumstance to mirror the similarities between humans and bonobos. Through her brilliant storytelling, she manages to capture the essence of our bizarre American culture in the palm of an ape who flings it right back at us. Ape House is highly entertaining.

Copyright (c) 2010 by Peggy Tibbetts

Click here to add Advice from a Caterpillar to your RSS reader.