Customer Reviews for

Ape House

Average Rating 3.5
( 425 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(110)

4 Star

(150)

3 Star

(99)

2 Star

(41)

1 Star

(25)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Good Book

While this book was not as Great as Water for Elephants, it was a very good book. Once I started it I didn't want to put it down until I was fnished with the story. I am looking forward to reading more of her books as they come out.

posted by BethAnnH on May 10, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

Very disappointing.

"Water for Elephants" is one of my all-time favorite books, so I couldn't wait for "Ape House". What a disappointment. It ended up being a sad book about sad people with no character development. Too much talk about sexual monkey actions and people who hate their jobs. ...
"Water for Elephants" is one of my all-time favorite books, so I couldn't wait for "Ape House". What a disappointment. It ended up being a sad book about sad people with no character development. Too much talk about sexual monkey actions and people who hate their jobs. I found it daunting that so many negative aspects were included in the story - prostitutes, meth labs, alcohol abuse, animal abuse, and lying by the media. Although I had to get to the last chapter to finally find something positive, it was not worth the read.

posted by 907794 on October 3, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2010

    Very disappointing.

    "Water for Elephants" is one of my all-time favorite books, so I couldn't wait for "Ape House". What a disappointment. It ended up being a sad book about sad people with no character development. Too much talk about sexual monkey actions and people who hate their jobs. I found it daunting that so many negative aspects were included in the story - prostitutes, meth labs, alcohol abuse, animal abuse, and lying by the media. Although I had to get to the last chapter to finally find something positive, it was not worth the read.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 21, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Nice Change

    "Ape House" is a light read that attempts to open the animal world to us by bringing the Bonobos Apes to life in an original way.

    This is a story about a family of Bonobos, their caretaker scientist Isabel Duncan and a down to earth reporter John Thigpen. I will cover the plotting in a few words, it begins with the primate language laboratory being bombed and Isabel left badly injured, severe enough to end up in the trauma ward of the closest hospital. The Bonobos fall into the hands of a porn producer and are locked up in a house with cameras broadcasting their every move on cable television. Reporter John Thigpen covers the story while his personal life is on a down turn, his home life it is about to take a drastic change. The plotting gets meatier when Isabel is released from hospital and teams up with John to find out who targeted the laboratory, for what reason and what has happened to her family of apes.

    The story explores in a far-fetched semi captivating manner, the issue of animal rights from the point of view of activists, scientists and the public. The plot takes a meandering course with a bit of action here and there mostly done by the humans, there are also subtle references to sexual activities amongst the apes and their unique methods of communication. I found this part satire and part morality driven tale was presented to us by a cast of lackluster and easily forgotten characters, maybe if the Bonobos had been given a greater role it would have left a more lasting impression. Unfortunately the book started strong just to peter out by the end, I was disappointed when the tale did not capture the apes' behaviour, gestures and emotions in a more detailed fashion.

    Although the story was not what I had anticipated, I nevertheless enjoyed the change.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 10, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Good Book

    While this book was not as Great as Water for Elephants, it was a very good book. Once I started it I didn't want to put it down until I was fnished with the story. I am looking forward to reading more of her books as they come out.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 24, 2011

    Lame

    This book compelled me to write my first review. Would this have been published without Gruen's previous success with Water for Elephants? Surely not. Sketchy character development - Amanda Thigpin especially. Hard to warm up to any of the key characters - Isabel or John, or even the apes! Strange disconnected details that make the plot seem comical. Ugh.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2011

    Great read

    I LOVED Water for Elephants and couldn't wait to read Ape House.
    Although not the book Water was, it is a great read for when you're looking for someting not too heavy.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2013

    Better than Water for Elephants.

    Even better than Water for Elephants.

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  • Posted August 30, 2013

    Wonderful read. One of the first things I liked about the book i

    Wonderful read. One of the first things I liked about the book is the use of imagery by Ms. Gruen....regardless of the setting. I could easily picture the characters, the bonobos, the places, the crowds; I could smell the food, the grime, the gravel and the smoke. That alone was enough to compel me to read the book in one sitting. Movies sometimes are blamed for robbing us of our imagination, but, in my opinion, it is hard for an author to provide us with enough details that little imagination is needed to comprehend the brutality of an act. Without revealing much more of what already has been described in the overview, in my eyes, the Author's masterful caption of the effects of the explosion on our heroine played like a reel in slow motion. Well done.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2013

    Good read

    A good read with accurate animal information which makes it believable and enjoyable. The human interactions were a bit lacking to me in some way that I find difficult to describe. Over all it was a pleasurable read that I wiuld recommend.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 3, 2012

    Disappointed

    Simply not as good as Water for Elephants.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2012

    Loved it

    Entrrtaining and informative


    i

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  • Posted February 13, 2012

    Brilliant!!!

    Absolutely brilliant!

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  • Posted January 2, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Loved it!

    I could not put this book down, loved it although some of the animal cruelty was difficult to read about the end result is worth the read. I'm so glad my book club picked this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2011

    A one trick pony

    After her Water for Elephants, this was a let down.

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  • Posted August 13, 2011

    Ok but no Water For Elephants

    I read this book expecting the storytelling and character development of Water For Elephants, and although the novel held my interest, it lacked something in comparison to Gruen's last work.

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  • Posted July 30, 2011

    Keep me interested

    I read this because I really enjoyed Water for Elephants. I liked the character Isabel and enjoyed the apes. Wish it was more about that and less about some of the other characters. It was really good in certain parts and just okay in others. Could have done without Amanda.

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  • Posted June 23, 2011

    Loved it!

    Sara Gruen is a masterful storyteller. She manages to once again weave a concise and emotional story together, along with a bit of education for us to learn by.similar to that of her other novels, including Water for Elephants.

    Our story starts at a university facility where our heroine, Isabel Duncan, is solely interested in her family of apes, whom she has spent years teaching sign language as the study. They are her family until the day the site is bombed and the apes disappear until they are suddenly found on a reality tv show.

    This book not only shows the intelligence levels of these endangered animals, but it also makes you wonder "who are the real amimals?". Would it be the apes, or the humans who use and abuse them for their own purposes and gains? It also allows for Isabel to learn to trust old and new friends in her quest to find and rescue the apes from what could ultimately be very harmful to them.

    I loved this book. I encourage others to also try it out. From the initial explosive start, this novel had me until it's emotional end.

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  • Posted June 16, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Wonderful view into the world of Bonobos

    I used to be an intern at a zoo and had some experience working around great apes. I wanted to try this book, because of my past experience as well as reading Water for Elephants. I really enjoyed this book!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 13, 2011

    Loved it!

    A friend of mine recommended this after I had loaned her "Water for Elephants." It is very different from Elephants...but I like that and was very intrigued with this story. Really did not want it to end!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2011

    Great read

    I enjoyed this book at a weekend at the water it is interestng, informative, and entertaining with just enough mystery to keep the reader entangled. This author has captivated me since Water for Elephants. I can't wait for more offerings.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2011

    Good weekend read

    Water for Elephants is one of my all time favorite books. So I was excited to pick up Ape House. Though it lacked charisma and magic as was portrayed in Water for Elephants- it was still a good read. It veers on a more realistic side of life, marriage, social issues, media, and animal cruelty. It still ultimately holds a heart warming story of the relationship between Isabel and the bonobos while opening the readers eyes to animal abuse in America. If you are looking to read a book for a quick escape into a magical love story- this is not the book for you. If Sara Gruen kept writing the same storyline as Water for Elephants but used bonobos instead- she would be criticized for being uncreative and repetitive. Overall, it's a good book about the harsh realities of the real world, animal exploitation, and cruelty while maintaining love and compassion.

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