Picks and Pans Review: The Woman and the Ape
When a highly evolved chimpanzee named Erasmus escapes from an animal smuggler and finds refuge in the backyard potting shed of a London zoologist, the scientist's wife, Madelene, finds the renegade monkey to be more of a soulmate—more of a man—than her self-important husband. This new novel from the Danish author of the bestselling Smilla's Sense of Snow, is a witty, compelling thriller that touches a primal nerve that has lain dormant since King Kong fell hard for Fay Wray.
What sort of beast is this prodigiously sensitive chimp? What nefarious research plans do the heartless scientists have in mind for its future? How will Madelene rescue it—and herself—from their evil clutches? As we're asking ourselves these questions and following the plot through its continually surprising turns and leaps, Hoeg keeps our disbelief at bay and manages to direct our attention to larger, more serious matters: the cruelty of animal research, the secret misanthropy of many animal protectionists, the nature of intelligence, of passion, of love—and of the mysterious qualities that define us as human. (Farrar Straus Giroux, $23)