I was thrilled when this arrived in the post yesterday from Two Roads Books. I read Water for Elephants as part of Cara’s book group and absolutely loved it, so couldn’t wait to get my hands on Ape House. It’s published in paperback on 1st September this year, so it’s available for pre-order from Amazon if you can’t wait either.
is a fabulous book. It’s complex, informative, educational, fascinating, enthralling, uplifting and an all round good read. There isn’t one part of it that disappoints – no cardboard characters or throwaway plot lines, everything pulls together to make a beautifully completed whole.
Sara Gruen put two years of research into writing this book, and it doesn’t actually show. What I mean by that is that the accuracy of the facts behind the plot is seamless with the fiction that wraps it all together, no awkward edges destroy the way the story flows. There’s no mawkish sentimentality even though many of the main characters are bonobos – you get the feeling that Ms Gruen respects the Great Apes as much as she does her human protagonists.
Is that an odd way to describe a relationship between an author and her characters? Respect? I hope you know what I mean. We’ve all read books that jar at some point, where a character is forced into a plot point that just doesn’t really work for them, doesn’t play well with how they’ve been drawn, but they are forced to it to pull the story together. No danger of that here – the characters all have their own flaws, no perfect ppl in this book or the world, but even the less pleasant are internally consistent.
I don’t really like to do detailed synopsis in my reviews, as I never want to spoil a story for anyone. I just hope that I describe enough of the writing and the book to whet an appetite, and that that’s what I’m doing here. I will tell you to set outside a day when you pick this book up – you really won’t want to put it down. And when you’ve finished it, you’ll be a little disappointed that you’ve reached the end.
Finally getting to the end of our 100 books. Book 87 to be accurate.
The rest of the boring small print. If you don’t want to miss out on any of the news on the challenge, please sign up to my rss feed: there’s an email link over in the side, or you can sub with a reader. I’m also on twitter using the hashtag #100books and facebook.
If you want to donate, please feel free, there’s a link in the sidebar or you can use this one. If you’d like to join in with your own version of the challenge, please leave me a comment to let me know so that I can link to you. And also, the booklink above is an affiliate link, but it’s set up with its own tracking id, so anything bought via a 100 book challenge link is separate to those usually on my blog, and I’ll be donating that money through to Oxfam as well.