Monday, February 21, 2011

ape house questions, part 3

Wrapping it up! Although I didn't love the book, I did really enjoy reading along with the Book Beginnings and Bookends group and I am looking forward to next time!

1. How would you describe the relationship between John and Isabel?

Blah. I don't understand what happened! It seemed like something exciting was going to happen and then it just fizzled to nothing. I didn't want John to cheat on Amanda, but I was hoping there would be some "oh, are they going to kiss!?" moment and there was nothing. It seemed like any attraction was one-sided (John's) and I'm not really sure what the point of it all was.

2. What was your reaction to finding out Peter's role in the explosion and capture of the apes?

I kinda saw it coming. The author had been hinting that Peter wasn't such a great guy since the beginning. It made sense that someone from the "inside" had facilitated the capture and I really didn't think it would be Celia.  He was a bum.

3. Both John and Amanda ended up achieving their professional goals. Amanda ended up getting pregnant and John is excited about having a baby. Do you think this is the end to their problems? Can John and Amanda be happy?

If John got all hot and bothered about someone he hardly knew, I can't believe that he wouldn't do it again. I also wonder how much Isabel had to do with his love for the apes. He is still reporting on the apes and Isabel. He is also taking these dangerous assignments to Africa while his wife is pregnant?! I would hope that he would snap out of it and be happy at home, but I doubt it. Perhaps if his career is fulfilling, he can be happy at home.
4. What did you find to be the most intriguing about the bonobos?

The language! I would love to watch them communicating with Isabel. They are so misunderstood and underappreciated.  

5. Which character did you enjoy reading about the most?

Isabel. She seemed the most interesting and complex. I always enjoyed when the author came back to her. She was so strong. She battled back from the horrible accident hardly thinking of herself but only of her apes. I would have wanted more on her history. Her insistence on calling the bonobos family made her seem so lonely. 

6. Was the ending what you expected? Did things resolve the way you thought they would?

The tone of the book led me to believe that it would have a happy ending. I couldn't imagine the apes being killed or sent off to that horrible test site. I did think that John and Amanda's marriage might have ended or at least left rocky, but I didn't think John and Isabel would get together. 

7. And finally, any overall thoughts or feelings that these questions haven't addressed? How would you rate this book for others? Any part that you loved? Anything you hated? SHARE!

I honestly didn't love the book! I thought there was way too much going on. What was the deal with the meth lab and the dog? What about Isabel's background? Why did Gruen try to make us think that John was the father of the green haired kid? I'm not sure why we needed to know the story of his first sexual experience. Cut the green haired kid, cut the meth lab and the dog, cut all the details on the porn star. Give me more on the bonobos and Isabel. I thought the scenes inside the Ape House were the most interesting. I wish much more of the book had been spent detailing their adventures. I guess I was just frustrated that it ended with so many random loose ends. I'm not sure how I would rate it... What is the scale? I give it 2 out of 5 Jane Austens!


  1. I am with you on not particularly liking the book. There was too much random content and not enough about the bonobos.

  2. hey natalie! i am so happy you read along with us this time. i'm with you. i didn't like the book that much either. it started strong and then i feel like we didn't get enough peter or explanation on why he did it. there wasn't enough confrontation with peter and isabel. the meth lab, the dog, the stripper/hooker, and especially the green-haired kid. a paternity test at the end of the book? it just didn't make any sense. i haven't done my post yet, but i am so glad you joined us for the book club and i hope you'll be back for the next one! :)

  3. I totally agree that the most intriguing part of the book was the language of the bonobos - I think they are unappreciated too so it's easy to see why they are so fascinating once you get to study them in a lab like they had.

  4. I didn't think about it until I read your post, but the meth lab was so random. Maybe there were more lose ends that didn't really tie in then I remember.


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