the wisdom of animals

September 9, 2010

Sarah Gruen turns from elephants to apes in her latest “Ape House:  A Novel.”  from the Baker & Taylor description:

A group of apes are kidnapped from a language laboratory and subsequently cast on a reality television show that calls into question scientific assumptions about common DNA that is shared by apes and people.

Booklist and LJ both give it starred reviews while PW and Kirkus agree in their distaste for the book.  from Kirkus:

The factual information Gruen presents about bonobos and their language acquisition is compelling; unfortunately, the humans, who get far more page space, are a drag.

ouch.  Ron Charles of The Washington Post, in his recently launched video reviews, adds his criticism as well, complaining about the lack of editing among other things (note to Ron Charles – your videos are amusing and insightful thus far, but please post all of them on YouTube so that embedding in WordPress is as easy as possible.  thanks).

regardless of the mounting negative reviews, EW picked “Ape House” for its September 24th Shelf Life Book Club with Gruen answering questions during the discussion.

feel like you’ll side with Booklist and LJ and like the book no matter what?  or willing to take the risk?  2 arcs for the first 2 Sno-Isle Libraries employees to comment.

posting by marin


5 Responses to “the wisdom of animals”

  1. Kristin Says:

    So do I count as a Sno-Isle employee even though I don’t start again until the 20th? I’d like to give it a shot at least.

  2. myounker Says:

    you count! i’ll save it for you.

  3. Marina Says:

    Can there still be another arc available? If so I’m willing to take the risk.

  4. myounker Says:

    marina, it’s yours

  5. david Says:

    I was one of 2 people in the world who didn’t like “Water for Elephants” and it came back to bite me when I actually met Sara and she read my lukewarm ‘recommend’ at the bookstore. Luckily she was en route to Canada and didn’t have time to stick around and beat me up.

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