Book Review: Ape House

Ape House: A NovelApe House: A Novel by Sara Gruen
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ape House is the story of Isabel Duncan, a scientist at the Great Ape Language Lab and John Thigpen, a reporter who visits the Lab to write a piece on Isabel's work teaching bonobos sign language. When a mysterious explosion blows up the lab the apes go missing, only to pop up on a reality TV show a few weeks later.

Ever since reading about KoKo, the signing gorilla, in The Weekly Reader in elementary school, I have been intrigued by communication between apes and man. Sara Gruen did extensive research with real life signing bonobos so even though this is a work of fiction, the way the bonobos communicate in it is based on fact.

I loved this book – the storyline was original and fast-paced and it was filled with colorful characters. I know in general critics didn't like this book as much as Gruen's previous book, Water For Elephants. I would agree this book is not a work of great literary fiction but I'm just taking for what it is: a fun adventure/mystery.

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