About: A female scientist named Isabel Duncan meets a married male reporter named John Thigpen, who encounters animal rights protestors during his visit to a lab housing Bonobo apes. An explosion at the lab severely injures Isabel and the apes escape. A reality TV show soon airs, featuring the apes and becoming a worldwide phenomenon. Isabel does everything she can to save her beloved Bonobos from the media frenzy.
Thoughts: Reading Bonobo Handshake before reading Ape House added so much pleasure to my experience. I was already familiar with all things bonobos, i.e. how much sex they have, how loving and loyal they are, how human-like they are (sharing 98.7% of our human DNA), etc. It turns out that Sara Gruen and the author of Bonobo Handshake, Vanesssa Woods, are friends.
At first I couldn't get into the idea of an ape reality show, but Gruen really made it work. The story had enough going on to keep me interested, with different subplots and drama other than the apes. What really came through for me in the story was how much the author loves these bonobos. She lived and breathed bonobos - even living at the Great Ape Trust in Des Moines, Iowa - and it showed.
I enjoyed it a lot.
Why I Chose: Sara Gruen's Water for Elephants was wonderful, and I'm always fascinated by apes and chimps. I wish I could go live at the Great Ape Trust.
Rating: 4.5 / 5
Have you read this? Plan to?