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Ape House

A Novel
Gruen, Sara (Book - 2010 )
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
Ape House


Item Details

When a family of bonobo apes who know American Sign Language are kidnapped from a language laboratory, their mysterious appearance on a reality TV show propels scientist Isabel Duncan, together with reporter John Thigpen, on a personal mission to rescue them. An entertaining book that calls into question our assumptions about these animals who share 99.4% of our DNA.
Authors: Gruen, Sara
Title: Ape house
a novel
Publisher: New York :, Spiegel & Grau,, 2010
Edition: 1st ed
Characteristics: 306 p. ;,25 cm
Summary: When a family of bonobo apes who know American Sign Language are kidnapped from a language laboratory, their mysterious appearance on a reality TV show propels scientist Isabel Duncan, together with reporter John Thigpen, on a personal mission to rescue them. An entertaining book that calls into question our assumptions about these animals who share 99.4% of our DNA.
ISBN: 0385523211
9780385523219
Branch Call Number: FIC GRUEN 2010
Statement of Responsibility: Sara Gruen
Subject Headings: Bonobo Fiction Animal rights activists Fiction Human-animal relationships Fiction Reality television programs Fiction
Topical Term: Bonobo
Animal rights activists
Human-animal relationships
Reality television programs
LCCN: 2010008928
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Report This Jun 09, 2013
  • druby rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

I was reluctant to read this book even though it came highly recommended; the story just did not sound appealing at all. Also, I was not a fan of the author's other book "Water For Elephants" Well, turns out Ape House is a very good book after all. The characters are believable and the premise is quite unique. It also had a fair share of suspense thrown in for good measure.

Report This Jul 27, 2012
  • zaire189 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

AMAZING NOVEL! I admit I was a bit hesitant to read it at first but I absolutely loved the book! JUSTICE was definitely SERVED! It was very touching to read about Isabel's undying devotion, love and care to the bonobos. It pained me to think though that such animal cruelty described in the book can possibly exist in the real world.With people like Isabel, I hope to see those animals facing these kind of circumstances will be soon safe and greatly cared for. Anyways, by the end of the book, I came to love each and everyone of the bonobos.

Report This Jun 08, 2012
  • sayadeh rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I didn't know what to expect from this novel, but I was pleasantly surprised. It was plot-driven and entertaining. The author's description of Amanda's struggle to find success as a writer on her own terms made me wonder whether she was drawing from her own experience. Good bedtime reading.

Report This Mar 15, 2012
  • crayment rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Almost as good as Water for Elephants, but the bonobos are wonderful.

Report This Jan 24, 2012
  • Amille05 rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Great light read! Read it in a couple of days and found myself excited to go home to read it!

Report This Jan 11, 2012
  • azor rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Very different from Water for Elephants. Interesting idea but the story is not as captivating. i was very intrigued with the apes. However, it is not from their perspective as I was led to believe.Still worth reading.

Report This Dec 22, 2011
  • GLNovak rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

I enjoyed this story very much. The relationship between John the reporter and his wife Amanda is refreshing. They are close and through all the mayhem in their lives they remain close. The bonobos are presented with genuine characters and shown in all their playfulness. Life for them is all in the moment - a lesson in there for us maybe. The build-up to the conclusion led me to expect a bit more in terms of the fleshing out and tying up of loose ends. It almost felt as if Gruen had come to the end of her 300 pages and ran out of steam. This is not the high drama of "Water for Elephants" but it is a good read.

Report This Oct 03, 2011
  • mariekirby rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Very good story. Fascinating topic with well researched background information. Also a well paced, interesting plot.

Report This Sep 11, 2011
  • Jan rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

I quite enjoyed this book. It was quick, engaging reading. Not too much depth to the plot, and not a whole lot of extraneous words, but sometimes I just want to read something where I don't have to think too much! The good guys are good and the bad guys are horrid. And we learn a lot about the bonobos.

Report This Aug 04, 2011
  • Junebug84 rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

I have read books by Sara Gruen before and I always liked them, but this novel was a little different from the others even though her novels maintain the common animal theme. I felt that I learned a lot more while reading this novel. Even though it was fiction, I had no idea what Bonobos ate, or how similar their characteristics are to humans. It made it difficult to read at some points because animal cruelty became a major issue in the novel. The cruelty of animals is a big issue in this country and it may have been hard to take in, but I was glad that the author incorporated that in the story because it makes people more aware of the situations that all animals (not just Bonobos) experience. We are their voice, and they depend on us. That is something that Isabel Duncan, the scientist who is the animals' caretaker understands. She can even communicate with the apes via sign language, which is truly fascinating. I would recommend this novel to anyone. To sum it up it is all about the nitty gritty of journalism and the exposure of monkeys in a nutshell.

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