Wednesday, October 13, 2010 at 11 a.m.
Jersey Shore isn't the only house of monkeys we can think of that is featured in a reality television show. Bestselling author Sara Gruen has written into her new book, Ape House, the story of an actual group of primates on primetime.
Best known for her 2006 novel Water for Elephants,
a favorite for mommy book clubs around the country last year, Gruen is an author who knows how to get a point across, politically or otherwise, without vulgarity or hyper-sexuality, something that seems rarer these days than delicious Mexican food in Miami. The author will be at Temple Judea
for a reading of her latest novel on Thursday.
Gruen is the kind of writer for which you want to shut the TV off; she reminds you that reading can be just as relaxing as a glass of wine. Luckily, for the illiterates out there, this book'll be made into a movie next year featuring bloodsucking, British heartthrob Robert Pattinson and legally blonde Reese Witherspoon. While Water for Elephants dealt with animal cruelty, it was also touching, amusing, and an easy ready. The story recounts an old man's memories of working in a traveling circus. Ape House, on the other hand, addresses the topic of animal rights.
The stars of the book are chimps, or bonobos, who start out in science lab where they communicate with humans through sign language. After a bomb blows up at their abode in the Great Ape Language Lab, they are freed, and picked up by a producer of pornography. Apparently, in Gruen's America, people like to watch horny bonobos on the tele.
Though the main character, caretaker Isabel, has a less than interesting persona, she is whom the beasts call on when in need through ASL, probably to save them from the humiliation and exploitation of "reality" media. Maybe someone can teach Snooki to sign?
Gruen will be appearing at Temple Judea (5500 Granada Boulevard, Coral Gables) at 7:30 p.m. on October 14. It's a free event, but tickets are required. Contact Books and Books, 305-442-4408 or booksandbooks.com.