Here are my responses for chapters 13 to 25 in Ape House for the Book Beginnings and Bookends group. I read ahead, like last time, and I am really regretting it! I'm struggling to put myself back where I was before I had finished the book... Next time I will wait for the rest of the group!
1. Would you watch or be tempted to watch a show like Ape House?
Aside from being a HUGE fan of the Bachelor, I don't watch a lot of reality tv. I guess I watch Jersey Shore, too, which seems a little like Ape House. I could see watching it once or twice, but concern for the animals would make me turn it off. It is such an unnatural setting for them! If someone like Isabel had been part of the show and it seemed to be a loving environment, I might have watched!
2. Do you think John did the right thing by quitting his job and moving to L.A.?
I do. His marriage was suffering and nothing good could have come from him staying behind. He needed to get out of that job, too, although I thought he was a little crazy for leaving before finding a new one. I also found it sad that he and Amanda hadn't talked through her new career and move more thoroughly before she left. She sprung it on him and expected him to just go with it. He took the news better than a lot of partners would. I wonder how moving to New Mexico will affect their relationship.
3. We haven't seen a whole lot of Isabel in this section, but what do you think of Peter now that we know more about him?
He is a creep! He slept with Celia, which is enough to think he is a bad guy, but his previous treatment of the apes makes him seem like an opportunist. I am also pretty confident that the "shithead from Kansas" is Peter. He must be involved in the show, and possibly the sale of the apes to Ken Faulks. I'm not sure why Faulks would have a relationship with him otherwise.
4. Can John turn the ape story for the tabloid into something he is proud of? Is he getting a little bit of redemption by being assigned to his dream story again even if it is for a tabloid?
I can't imagine US Weekly publishing an in depth article on the mistreatment of apes, even if there were a hit television show on the subject. It would be fluffy and really just filler for the photos... not that I don't love US Weekly! If this were reality, he could bring some attention to the apes and maybe help the cause. I doubt his editor would want more than that. I keep thinking that he should sell the story to a better paper. Can a journalist even do that? Probably not. Based on the tone of this book, I bet he gets the final story published in its entirety so that his trip to LA wasn't a total waste.
5. Have your thoughts on John and Amanda's marriage changed since last week? Where do you see their marriage headed?
Their relationship is so sad. She is clearly struggling and he is gone. I keep thinking something horrible is going to happen to her- she is robbed, she has a horrible miscarriage, she is publicly embarrassed by having her ideas stolen and kicked off the show. My thoughts haven't really changed. I still think that John will seek comfort in Isabel and Amanda will be terribly hurt.
6. What do you think will end up happening to the apes?
I really can't imagine that Gruen would end this book unhappily. I'm not sure exactly how it will play out- another university offers to buy them, an anonymous donor helps Isabel to purchase them, maybe something illegal is revealed about the sale and the FBI gets involved- but the apes will be okay.