To begin with I struggled with this book. I have never had to reach for the dictionary so often and I started to wonder if this was pure author self-indulgence. I had a similar sentiment of being privy to the personal bugbears of Will Self in his deliverance of unsubtle digs at various categories of people, for example sycophants, through the vehicle of ape behaviour. There is only so many times that variations on a joke about "ass-licking" can make you smile. However, setting the Selfish agenda aside and persevering through the first chapters I enjoyed the book more and more. The interest and challenge emerged in being asked to view human behaviour in its proximity to that of other apes. As the main character Simon Dykes struggled to accept that he was not a human being but an ape, the way people behave towards each other came to the fore. In the end it was even hopeful in revealing some overlay of human dignity on an animal foundation. The book is long and rambling but there is enough here to make it worth reading. Its last line is almost poignant and at the same time made me laugh more than the previous 400 pages.