ape house-sara gruen

it’s time again for TIFF in the city. i rush to get this up before i take my annual place in the presence of the red chair innerviews, yippee! i’m happy that my recruition (yea, i borrowed from the shaq dictionary, whut?!) plans are coming into fruition, and as my fellow virgo friend fanen pointed out to me the other night (along with pointing out when i was dumber than an ape), “seth rogan is famously from vancouver”. really? this is the first i heard of it…i knew we had pacey, but that dood? really? bigups for the apatow connex, then. the author of this book is another vancouverite that i didn’t know about, and i heard (about) her on npr’s book podcast. needless to say, i’m ’bout it, ’bout it. uuuugggh.

“What the American public didn’t know was the grins were actually grimaces of fear. They also didn’t know that Buddy, Ivan, and Donald had been acquired in the way of all “wild-caught” chimps, which is to say yanked from the bodies of their murdered mothers, or that they had spent their first five years in captivity in enormous centrifuges and decompression chambers designed to test the rigors of space travel on the human body. Nor did they know that the chimps were used as crash-test dummies and slammed repeatedly into walls at high speeds to develop seat belts that would effectively restrain human astronauts during reentry into the atmosphere. Indeed, until they were left to expire in the sun, the public didn’t know that while the human astronauts were greeted with ticker tape, confetti, and hero parades, the Air Force decided that Buddy, Ivan, and Donald were no longer useful and leased them to the Corston Foundation, where they were renamed 17489, 17490, and 1749 respectively, infected with hepatitis, caged individually, and subjected to regular liver biopsies. Ferdinand Corston surely breathed a sign of relief when the surge of gossip about a major celebrity’s marital infidelities swept his own bilge out of the media’s eye. The Corston Foundation was the very last place Isabel would want the bonobos to end up. On the other hand, knowing where they were was the first step in rescuing them.” (129)



3 thoughts on “ape house-sara gruen

  1. writerly dilemmas:

    “At this moment, the story in his head was perfect. He also knew from experience that it would degenerate the second he started typing, because such was the nature of writing.” (215)

    “One buffoon of an executive actually declared that a perfectly designed page should cause readers to spill their coffee. It made John yearn for the days when Ken Faulks was at the helm, but Faulks, a media mogul with sandy hair and a crooked smile, had long since moved on to the greener pastures of porn. John had no particular fondness for the man-as John recalled, he had the people skills of Genghis Khan-but at least he’d kept the company solvent.” (38)

  2. aping:

    “He was worried about her colorful language. If one of the bonobos picked up an offensive phrase and used it the requisite number of times in proper context, it would have to be included in the official lexicon. It was one thing when a bonobo came up with an insult like ‘dirty bad toilet’ on his own, and quite another to acquire ‘dumbass’ from a human.” (17)

    “She stared resentfully as the police thanked the interpreter and left. She knew they had no intention of speaking with the apes, even though it was clear the apes knew more than anyone. She knew the police thought she was nuts. She had encountered this reaction more times than she could recall, but never, never, had she felt so desperate about it.” (46)

  3. sensual description:

    “He wagged his finger for emphasis. Held his breath and nodded sagely. Leaned forward conspiratorially, floppy jowls reeking of cologne, pie hole reeking of Red Label.” (101)

    “After just a moment, John pressed his nose into her hair. It was smooth and slick, unlike her old hair, but it still smelled like her. He took a deep breath and held it in, taking an olfactory snapshot. He kissed the back of her head and closed his eyes.” (157)

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