Great Apes – Reader Reviews

23 reader reviews

“Once you get over the opening of the book – which will put you off enjoying sex for a goodish while – and move into the London of the chimps, the humour really kicks in. Really the joke is no deeper than a PG Tips commercial – the juxtaposition of putting chimpanzees in human clothing in a human world – but it is superbly realized. You’ll come to love the terms ‘pant-hoot’, ‘knuckle-walk’ and ‘go bipedal’. The way Self handles this anthropomorphising of chimps, and primatomorphising of humans, is just genius. The chimps are civilised in all ways, but their chimpness is retained and manifested is hilarious ways; sub-adults (teenage youths) are still sullen and insolent, the eminent professor will arrive home to his Group and discuss his day at the office whilst all around is vigorous inter-generational incestuous mating and casual displays of swollen anuses (perhaps the unpleasant human sexual behaviour at the start of the book was intended to contrast with the innocent and functional mating of the chimps, to show what dark shadows we humans throw on what is essentially the same act).” – Nigel Collier

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