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Ape House: Chapters 1-12…

February 7, 2011
I am so so excited that our Bloggers Book Club has started back up again! I am a good reader on my own but there’s nothing like a deadline to get me speed reading and keep me paying attention. I also love being a part of this book club because they pick books that I may never have found until years later after hearing how good they are.
Ape House so far is really good, some of the chapters fly by and the interactions between people and then between the chimps are really fascinating.
I am surprised at how fast my reactions to the characters and the plot are changing. Right off the bat I did not like the idea of an “Ape House” because my mind immediately goes to lab testing facilities, but as the plot thickened I saw how they were learning and researching and it made me appreciate this particular facility more.
On with the Questions:
  • What was your initial reaction to the idea of a language lab with bonobos who are capable of having conversations with humans?

Like I said above, my initial reaction the idea of a “lab” made me worry, my head goes right toward those scary research labs. But the idea of a “language lab” where the bonobos communicate with the humans and they practice their ASL, is very cool.

  • Isabel said early in the book that the apes know they’re apes and know that the humans are humans, but they don’t see any superiority with either… What do you think the major difference is between the two?

I think the major difference between the two are the reactions from  the public. The apes don’t get respect from people and people don’t think they can communicate with them based on their perceptions. I think if the bonobos are as intelligent as they seem then they might perceive this as the “average human” having that superiority complex over them. The humans they communicate with on a normal basis treat them as equals and I think that leads into them believing that neither are superior.

  • What are your thoughts on John and his feelings toward Isabel? How do you think their relationship will play out?

I think it’s interesting that John can’t stop thinking about Isabel since he’s married, but with the way his own relationship is headed on it’s own; I wouldn’t be surprised if they end up in a relationship. I do think a friendship will grow out of their love and concern for the apes.

  • How do you think Isabel will respond to the apes being taken?

I think I was surprised at how she reacted more angrily than sadly. I don’t blame her at all for taking it out on Peter, and I even found my self getting mad at him for not being their human voice.

I do also think (and hope) that the book goes in the direction of her tracking them down, saving them and maybe starting her lab again!

  • Do you think Celia is part of the team that ambushed the learning center?

I can’t decide how I feel about that tie. I think she very well could be, but I also think that maybe she’s just being stereotyped. I also think there could be a strong possibility that she got the internship at the lab for the wrong reason and then saw that they were a great place for the bonobos so she changed her mind… I think anything is possible with her at this point.

  • What are your thoughts on John and his relationship with Amanda?

I liked the two of them a lot at first. I thought it was really sweet how much he loved her and how pretty he thought she was but to be honest her sulking and wining are bothering me. I understand that she maybe needs a change or wanted to try out LA – but she just seems so unhappy.

I think her negativity on her self is going to end up deteriorating their marriage which is unfortunate.

I am already looking forward to the next chunk of this book. I also really like Sara Gruen’s writing style so far – I think it seems realistic and honest. I am looking forward to not only this book but her other one that is really popular, Water for Elephants.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. February 7, 2011 3:11 pm

    You do make an interesting comment about Isabel being mad instead of sad about the apes at first. I didn’t really think about that. You would think she would be sad first and then angry.

  2. February 7, 2011 4:34 pm

    I think their marriage is going to deteriorate too…I think it’s going to be interesting that both John and Amanda are going to have their problems–negativity and perhaps infidelity. I think you’d really like Water for Elephants–it’s a great book!

  3. Maryland Magnolia permalink
    February 8, 2011 10:06 am

    I was surprised that Isabel reacted to the bonobos’ kidnapping with anger rather than sadness too!


  1. Ape House: Chapters 13-26… « Oui, Bien Sur!
  2. Ape House: Chapter 26 – The End… « Oui, Bien Sur!

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