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Book Reviews of Ape House

Ape House
Ape House
Author: Sara Gruen
ISBN-13: 9780385523219
ISBN-10: 0385523211
Publication Date: 9/7/2010
Pages: 320
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.

3.7 stars, based on 121 ratings
Publisher: Spiegel & Grau
Book Type: Hardcover
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

27 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

flyinggems avatar reviewed Ape House on + 407 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
I was a little concerned when I started seeing reviews that the book was not good. If you like Sara Gruens writing, then read the book. If you are Looking for Water For Elephants part 2, then this might not be the book for you. I really like Saras other books. I like her style of writing, she reminds me of Jodi Picoult. Gruen does her homework on her subjects making the story real.

I am so glad that I did not let the reviews make me miss this book. I felt the book was different then Water for Elephants but this was not a sequel to that but a separate book and should be judged separately. The story is very slow to start but draws you in. I felt that I put my foot on the gas and did not let go and then the end was there. It was a little predictable but that comes when you read 2-3 books a week. You know that authors like to tie up ends and give you pretty packages.

There are many different characters in the book, none are really developed all the way, there is no main characters, they all share the role. You are left with some questions about the past and what the future might hold. I would have liked to see a thicker book with more developed characters.
junie avatar reviewed Ape House on + 630 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
After reading the mixed reviews about this book, I was reluctant to read it, but so glad I did. I found it intriguing and fastinating and read it in two days finding it hard to put it down until finished.

I may be in the minority, but liked it better than Water For Elephants, but that may be because I dislike the circus and adore the Great Apes.
Caryn9802 avatar reviewed Ape House on + 91 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
I loved this book. Even more than Water for Elephants. You can tell the author thoroughly did her research. The entire premise was fascinating to read about. I can't wait for her next one!
sfc95 avatar reviewed Ape House on + 686 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I enjoyed this book, however it is nowhere near the book that Water for Elephants is. This book has too much going on, it starts out so slow and then ramps up at the end. It is difficult to keep abreast of all of the subplots (ones that we could certainly do without)and it makes the reading more like running in circles. As for endings, this one has a beautiful little bow at the end. I am not always happy with that kind of ending and in this case it seemed inappropriate.
reviewed Ape House on + 81 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Do NOT expect this to be 'Water for Elephants.' I found myself struggling to finish this, as it seemed to wander about too much. WFE jumped around, but did it seemlessly. This was more reminiscent of her "Riding Lessons."

I am ambivalent with suggesting this to others. It isn't bad, but it isn't one of the best reads out there.
reviewed Ape House on + 25 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
A horrible disappointment. I waited for months for this book to come out, assuming that it would be of the same caliber as "Water for Elephants". It took me weeks of forcing myself to read to get through the book. At the end, I didn't care what happened to any of the characters, including the apes. I was just happy to be finished.
Chocoholic avatar reviewed Ape House on + 291 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This is the newest novel by Sara Gruen, author of "Water For Elephants". In this outing, Sara explores the kinship of the Great Bonobo apes and the bonds they make with humans. Isabel is one of their caretakers, who is injured and her beloved apes are taken from her and in an inexplicable move, end up being the latest reality TV fodder. There is a lot of characters in this story; including a primatologist, a stripper, a journalist, and an Argyle-wearing Pit Bull named Booger. This was a great, fun read and I was impressed by the amount of research that the author put into this work to get it "just right".
PamelaH avatar reviewed Ape House on + 90 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I liked Gruen's "Water for Elephants" so much, I decided to read this one. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it! I had a hard time putting this book down because I just had to find out what was going to happen to the intelligent, gentle Bonobo Apes who had been taken away forcibly from the Great Ape Language Lab. For Isabel Duncan, a scientist at the lab, it is like losing family and terribly heart-breaking. The race to find and save these incredible creatures from human exploitation ensues with many twists and turns.
reviewed Ape House on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
As much as I enjoyed Sara's first book Water for Elephants I was really looking forward to this one. I was pretty disappointed. The story line goes from believable to pretty hard to imagine to downright ridiculous. The only reason I finished the book was because I was on vacation and didn't have anything else to read that night. I've never been so happy to finish a book.
fullybooked avatar reviewed Ape House on + 61 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Trite dialogue, unbelievable characters and situations. Feels like a first effort and hard to believe she wrote the excellent Water for Elephants.
reviewed Ape House on + 15 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I was not a big fan of Water for Elephants, so I didn't have high expectations. I heard about this book from the Great Ape Trust website and was intrigued that Sara Gruen had done so much research before writing the novel. Anyone with interest in apes and language would probably enjoy this.
reviewed Ape House on
Helpful Score: 2
After the effect that Water for Elephants had on me, I was really looking forward to reading Sara Gruen's next book. Although this book had an interesting subject, it didn't grab me as much. Sara's writing style is still very intriguing, but the book seemed to have some scattered and random thoughts in it. I felt that she was trying to take an experience that she had, the visiting of the bonobos, and make a full length book out of it. I really was hoping to like this book enough to keep, but I will be putting it up for swap.
Ashley1010 avatar reviewed Ape House on + 67 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Great book about communication, family, and love. Some chapters are heart-wrenching and hard to read while others had me smiling or laughing. So sweet & so moving.
reviewed Ape House on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Having previously read Sara Gruen's Riding Lesson's and Flying Lead Changes, I knew I enjoyed her writing. Easy flowing, with writing that built the charaters personalities and emotions well enough to understand and follow, I expected the same from Ape House. I was wrong. Ape House surpassed my expectations. Not only did Sara build knowledge of characters, emotions and experiences of those characters well enough for the reader to follow, but the story she wove regarding the bonobos was based on fact. As a reader not only could I feel the emotions that Isabel felt, I immediately pulled for the bonobos safe return. This was one of those books that quickly turned into a "I can't put down" book.
bup avatar reviewed Ape House on + 164 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Maybe I'm just in a good mood, throwing all these 5-star ratings around lately. Or maybe I've been reading good books. Who can say?

As I was reading 'Ape House,' I thought to myself, "this is a bit wackier than 'Water for Elephants' was." Then I remembered all the things that actually happened in 'Water for Elephants,' and while they were sometimes raw, violent, and just plain wince-inducing, they were a bit wacky too.

Forgive my sexism, but here we have a female writer of mainstream, non-genre fiction, who's not afraid of plot and takes some risks right on the edge of the Suspended Disbelief Bridge. Like John Irving but a girl.

And man it works. You got your signing bonobos, your eco-terrorists, your porn kingpin, your explosions, everything. And humor. Really good humor.
reviewed Ape House on
Helpful Score: 1
I greatly enjoyed this book. I liked that it had more to the story than just the story of the bonobos. The added life situations made for a very believable story line. There were a few pages that were hard to read, due to the animal cruelty factor, but overall the book was not depressing.
ginamig avatar reviewed Ape House on + 76 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Simply fantastic! If you liked Sara Gruen's novel "Water For Elephants" you will like this. I was fascinated & could not put it down. Ms. Gruen is a wonderful storyteller."
reviewed Ape House on
LOved this book. We are a lot closer to primates than we realize.
reviewed Ape House on + 5 more book reviews
The most fascinating part of this book is the cognitive capabilities of bonobos, of which I was completely unaware. It's changed the way I look at animals in general.
rfdudley avatar reviewed Ape House on + 75 more book reviews
I loved this book and read it almost in one sitting. It kept me entertained while waiting for jury duty. Isabel is scientist studying bonobos, apes, and loves them dearly. The bonobos are very smart and human-like and communicate with her using American Sign Language. John is a reporter writing a story about Isabel and the bonobos. There is a devastating explosion at the lab and Isabel's world falls apart. John and Isabel reunite to save the bonobos and themselves in the process. Sara Gruen based this book on fact and I cannot wait to learn more about the bonobos!
bookgoddessme avatar reviewed Ape House on + 106 more book reviews
I love Sara's style of writing with a dramatic opening, and an unfolding of quality stories and characters we care about. The story of the apes was completely believeable and interesting, fascinating as a matter of fact. It could really happen. The reader knows Sara delivers justice, good to the good characters and bad to the bad ones. Recommend!
tleeg avatar reviewed Ape House on + 21 more book reviews
What a great book. The characters were great
reviewed Ape House on + 628 more book reviews
IT was pretty good, though I would have liked a lot more information about the bonobos language acquisition skills.
reviewed Ape House on + 114 more book reviews
I really really liked this book! Much more than expected!
reviewed Ape House on + 203 more book reviews
This is the first book I read by Sara Gruen. I was disappointed. The story about the apes and researcher is fascinating. There was not enough story around this subject The story focuses on the newspaper reporter and his wife the story is boring and too much. It was a fast read. I couldn't put it down because I wanted to know what happen to the apes. There are parts of the story that I would have liked more developed.
Readnmachine avatar reviewed Ape House on + 1387 more book reviews
An explosion at a center studying language acquisition by bonobo apes sets off an adventure that is both sad and funny, and which manages to blend animal-rights activists, reality TV, tabloid newspapers, Russian strippers, and computer hackers in a highly satisfying read.
reviewed Ape House on
What a disappointment and total waste of time. Didnt even finish it. Cant believe it was even published!
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