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Ape House

by Sara Gruen

Gruen cleverly contrasts dysfunctional family dynamics, unscrupulous research methods and sleazy media exploitation with the behaviour of a family of lovable Bonobo apes in this satirical look at interspecies communication. She addresses the ethical implications in an entertaining way, without preaching, but still packs a powerful punch with an uncomfortable message about our inhumanity towards our closest relatives in the animal world.

Extract

All eyes landed on one of the producers, who took note, sighed and propped hiomself up. 'The apes are having a lot of sex and spending up a storm, but basically that's it. So far there hasn't been a single altercation. There's no drama. We have to kick it up a notch.'
'How?' asked Faulks, his gray eyes trained on the chart.
'Drama, fun, the unexpected. Fights, coalitions, betyrayals. The kind of thing audiences expect from reality TV,' said one of the producers. 'We need tension.' He stood abruptly and walked from the table. He propped his hands on his hips, inadvertently displaying sweaty armpits. 'Jesus God. People always turn on each other. So do meerkats, for Christ's sake - Animal Planet kept Meerkat Manor going for years. What's wrong with these creatures?'

Parallels

Lone Wolf by Jodi Picault
When the Killing's Done by T C Boyle
 

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