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His Monkey Wife, or, Married to a Chimp: A Novel Paperback – 31 Dec 2000

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Product details

  • Paperback: 214 pages
  • Publisher: John Reed Book Distribution (miscellaneous titles (31 Dec 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0966491335
  • ISBN-13: 978-0966491333
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.5 x 21.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,036,307 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


Mr. Fatigay, an English schoolteacher, returns to England from the Upper Congo with Emily, a chimpanzee who resolves to educate herself and become a rival for Fatigay's hand. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By monkeyhumble@aol.com on 25 Mar 2002
Format: Paperback
I loved this book.Emily, the chimp, lives in the Upper Congo with Mr Fatigay, a feeble English schoolmaster. Emily is very bright and has picked up the ability to read and understand English in addition to Chimpanzee by careful observation. She is also in love with Mr Fatigay. She is therefore heartbroken when she hears that he is to return to England to marry a feckless privileged woman called Amy. Mr Fatigay decides to take Emily with him as, what turns out to be, an unwelcome present for Amy. The wedding takes place but, as you may guess from the title, all is not as it seems. Emily becomes Mrs Fatigay and the remainder of the book is taken up with what happens next.
This is a very funny story although it is extremely odd. I quickly forgot that Emily was a chimp, although I never doubted Amy's lack of humanity. Mr Fatigay is undeniably dense and the mystery of the book is not that a chimp should be able to read but that the same chimp should find this man attractive. It is no surprise that Emily has lots of male admirers but I think that may be a reflection of the fact that she is apparently very low maintenance. The story resembles a well-written Mills and Boon or, at a different level, Jane Austen's Persuasion. Lots of unrequited love, big eyes and trembling lips, enhanced by unwanted facial hair!
I am sure that the novel contains a serious political/anthropological message. I might pick that up on the second read. On the first go I found it to be great fun,easy to read and I did laugh out loud on the tube on a couple of occasions-the line "Hi, sir! Hi,sir! You've married me to a chimp" is, in the context of the wedding scene, hilarious.
This is lots of fun.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 8 reviews
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Delightful wit 6 July 2001
By kennedy19 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
It's good to see this offbeat little classic back in print. John Collier is perhaps better known for his short stories, but this first novel was an exquisitely funny satire. It tells the story of Emily, a chimpanzee who pines for a certain Englishman, Mr. Fatigay, while he teaches school in Africa. When Fatigay returns to England, he takes the friendly chimp with him as a companion, for he realizes that she is clever... though he has no idea that the silent chimp is able to read and to recite literature in her head, nor that she loves him. Emily is handed over to Mr. Fatigay's human girlfriend in England, who will tolerate no rival of any sort and treats her new servant shabbily. Still, Emily finds time to dress up and sneak out to London and the British Museum Reading room (where she is taken for a fascinating woman of mystery!) among other absurd adventures. Though the book is lighthearted, we do feel for its protagonist and her hidden love. Collier has a keen eye for the petty foibles of humankind, and of course the big joke is that the chimp is more intelligent and sensitive than any human here. The premise is somewhat outrageous, but the good writing allows us to suspend disbelief and go along for a ride filled with subtle giggles and wicked belly laughs.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
delightful reading 5 April 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
If this is not a lost treasure, I don't know what is. "His Monkey Wife" is exceptionally unique and delightful to read. I found myself identifying with and empathising with Emily (the "chimp") and rooting for her throughout.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
The Missing Bronte Link 14 Aug 2005
By A. Conrad - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I must say that despite my qualms about some of the author's "politics," not to mention his barely-simmering-below-the-surface rage toward "modern, independent" women, I'm still so taken with the prose style and the very loveable character of Emily that I've read 180 pp and am almost sad to be coming to the end.

And to be fair, Collier manages to skewer the entire leisure class- though he does reserve his sharpest barbs for the women.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Linger over the Language 6 May 2005
By Sarah Britton - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
when you read this book. Thirty or so pages into the novel I found that I was hurrying through the description to get at the plot and getting frustrated. Then I became captivated with the language (a la Jane Austin) and I started the book over - slower this time. Emily the chimp is a dear and a terrific role model for "women" the world over. I was rooting for her all the way!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A Great Little Novel 11 Jun 2008
By Alan Venable - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is one of those great little novels from a few decades back that you just can't believe is so little known. Being a primate myself, I loved the premise that a chimpanzee woman falls in love with a human man and, in her own subjective experience, becomes his wife when he takes her from Africa back to England. Not an easy premise to pull off, but I was delighted by it. The story could end us seeming just comical, but in fact it's touching Another reminder that there's still worlds to learn about what goes on in the minds and hearts of our kindred species.Take Me With You When You Go
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