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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The ape whisperer
An eye-opening autobiography by Monkey World's Jeremy Keeling (written with the assistance of someone called Rick Broadbent) and the tale of a relationship with a singularly unsociable orang-utan, Amy.

Jeremy has been a hero of mine ever since i came across the "Monkey Business" TV programme which chronicles life at the ape rescue centre, which was co-founded...
Published on 27 Jun 2010 by BlueSkiesForever

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38 of 42 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars One man, lots of monkeys and an orang-utang
On the face of it, this book did not sound promising, I mean why would I want to read a book about a man and an orang-utan (though I will admit I found Any which way but Loose the movie with Clint Eastwood and an orang-utan great fun), but I decided to give it a whirl and soon found myself totally engrossed in this story.

Jeremy came from a seriously...
Published on 29 Jun 2010 by Elaine Simpson-long


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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The ape whisperer, 27 Jun 2010
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An eye-opening autobiography by Monkey World's Jeremy Keeling (written with the assistance of someone called Rick Broadbent) and the tale of a relationship with a singularly unsociable orang-utan, Amy.

Jeremy has been a hero of mine ever since i came across the "Monkey Business" TV programme which chronicles life at the ape rescue centre, which was co-founded by Jeremy, Jim Cronin and a third man (who left the project early on, hence the reason that i can't remember this name!). His matter-of-fact yet absolute dedication to his primate charges impressed me deeply as did his deep rapport with the apes and monkeys themselves. I had never guessed however what a harrowing life history his laconic, rather awkward exterior was hiding.

From his early life as the son of a dysfunctional family running a ramshackle family zoo in Derbyshire through life as a zoo keeper for the jet set, a life-threatening car crash and five marriages this is a story and a half, especially as i haven't even mentioned the most startling revelations; i'll leave them for you to find if you decide to read the book.

This book, as i mentioned above, is also the story of his relationship with "Grumpy Amy", an orangutan who was rejected by her mother at birth and ended up being hand-reared by Jeremy. It sounds as if he was the perfect surrogate parent for an orang: as he says himself he feels a deep connection with this most independent and socially awkard of species, being something of a human orang himself!

If Jim Cronin's dream was to create a sanctuary for chimpanzees rescued from beach photographers, the pet trade and laboratories, Jeremy's was to find a way for Amy to live a life as an orang, rather than as a pet, but still to remain part of his life. By the end of the book Amy is living in a group at the park with other orangs and has become a grandmother. She's never got to the point of being able to raise her own babies however. You win some, you lose some.

The book is also the story of Monkey World and the primates which it has rescued. The park's early years sound fraught indeed: bankruptcy seems never to have been far away. Later things pick up with the arrival of Jim's new wife Alison, the start of the television series and the development of a hard-won reputation for challenging standards and forward thinking. Sadly, this is followed towards the end of the story with the sad tale of Jim Cronin's battle with cancer and death.

More widely, we learn a great deal about the changes in attitudes towards animals, zookeeping and conservation that have occurred over the last half century.

Recommended to anyone interested in primates. The book is generally well-written and nicely structured. And while Jeremy won't be drawn on issues of vivisection politics he has plenty of interesting opinions on other animal-related topics.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jeremy & Amy, 29 Jun 2010
Excellent book. If you are a Monkey Life fan, then this is a must read. I never realised that Jeremy's life had been quite so eventful. There have been extremely hard times for him. The book looks at Jermey's life and also that of american Jim Cronin, who had the dream of setting up an ape rescue centre in the UK. I didn't realise just how difficult this all was. The things they have been through are amazing. Its so sad that Jim is not there now to carry on with his dream.

Jeremy talks about his life in a matter of fact kind of way. I can't help but feel that there was so much more to tell though; I read the book in 2 days and wish there had been more!!!

The only downside is that there are quite a few grammatical errors, which is a shame, although this will be down to the publishers and not the writer. Maybe bringing forward the publishing date meant they didn't have time to proof read it sufficiently!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Monkey Business, 23 Sep 2010
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As a supporter of Monkey World in Dorset and an avid follower on TV it made sense to find out about Jeremy Keeling and how Monkey World began. But what I was surprised about was the colourful life Jeremy had prior to that, it was also a surprise to find out he originated from my area and all the locations were of real interest to me. Although the narrative is sometimes poorly structured the story itself is a good read. A must for all Monkey World fans.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful story, 2 July 2010
This is a wonderful story that goes far beyond the cover remit. It is the story of Jeremy Keeling and Amy, but it is also details how he and Jim Cronin built up Monkey World, a sanctuary for abused and rescued animals. The early chapters were actually my favourite, conjuring up images of Gerald Durrell-type romps, as Keeling made his way in the family zoo and then working for a millionaire with a private menagerie. Some of the stories are eyebrow-raising and the tone cleverly steers a path away from sentimentality while maintaining a heart. The fate of poor Horace brought tears to my eyes.

Well-structured and well-written, this was a hugely enjoyable read and I suspect there is enough material for an equally-riveting sequel.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unmissable, 5 Oct 2010
By 
S Grimston (East Anglia UK) - See all my reviews
If you love Monkey World like me you need to read this book. The story of Jeremy and Amy is one of both
sadness and joy. It is not the best written book, but the stories are amazing, and my love of the people
and animals at Monkey World is even stronger that it was before. It really made me want to go back there
as soon as possible. No slushy sentimentality here. Jeremy tells it as it is warts and all.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly an extraordinary story, 23 Aug 2010
If you have ever seen the TV series of Monkey Business or Monkey Life and listened to Jeremy the way he talks and interacts with the animals, then you will understand me when I tell you that the way this book is written, is as though Jeremy is sat with you telling his amazing story. Until this was written, I had looked for information on Jeremy, but could not find out much about him. After reading this book, it puts me in awe of Jeremy! He has had and is still having a facinating life, ups and so many low times, I laughed, cried and sat in disbelief of some of this amazing man's struggle through sadness, illness, marriages, bereavements of human and animals and his astonishing achievements. A must read, a fantastic book, I could not put it down!!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read, 28 July 2010
I love this book! Having been fascinated with Monkey World for as long as I can remember I eagerly awaited this book and I wasn't disappointed; this book made me laugh (at Amy's antics and Jeremy's descriptions of the animals in the glossery at the back) and sob my heart out (at Jeremy's description of Jim's passing and Horace). I read this book in 2 sittings only broken up as I was forced to go work! It is really hard to put down after you start it. Only downside of the book is the couple of spelling errors and changing some of the animals sex!
Overall a great book that warms your heart and gives you a really good insight into Jeremy and Monkey World. If you love Monkey World buy this if you don't know that much about Monkey World STILL buy this you won't be disappointed!
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38 of 42 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars One man, lots of monkeys and an orang-utang, 29 Jun 2010
By 
Elaine Simpson-long (Colchester, UK) - See all my reviews
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On the face of it, this book did not sound promising, I mean why would I want to read a book about a man and an orang-utan (though I will admit I found Any which way but Loose the movie with Clint Eastwood and an orang-utan great fun), but I decided to give it a whirl and soon found myself totally engrossed in this story.

Jeremy came from a seriously dysfunctional family with two parents who disliked each other intensely and were far more interested in the animals they looked after in their ramshackle zoo than their children. When Jeremy was a baby and the heating was down in the reptile house he would find himself Amy sharing a bed with his mother and a giant python. His mother didn't seem too bothered about this ,or worry that the python might view Jeremy as a snack, but as she threw Jeremy out of the house when he was only 12 for daring to see his father who, by now, had left the family home, it is fairly clear that maternal feelings were not part of her DNA. He ended up living a hand to mouth existence and lived in a broken down caravan in a field. I am amazed that he survived both physically and mentally, but he did and then he obtained a job at Colchester Zoo and later went to manage a private zoo run by one Gordon Mills who had discovered Tom Jones amongst others.

Though this book is titled Jeremy and Amy it is not a story of his relationship with just one animal, endearing and amusing though she was, but the story of his relationship with all animals, and monkeys in particular, which seemed to replace his family and normal relationships. He has been married five times, though he says his last wife is 'the best', first time at 18 to a woman some twelve years older than him and, again, it is clear that he is seeking stability and love which has been seriously lacking. Amy is the one ever present thread running through his life as he lurches from one relationship to another. Then there is a turning point when he meets Jim Cronin, a fellow zoo keeper who is obsessed with monkeys and whose dream was to open a sanctuary for monkeys in Dorset.

The second half of the book details the struggles, ups and downs and near financial disasters involved in the setting up of Monkey World which is now internationally famous and attracts some three quarters of a million visitors a year.

The point of this book is that you can find happiness and redemption out of the most appalling and difficult childhood and conditions and the reader has to admire Jeremy's determination and his fight for his beloved monkeys, his ups and downs, his endless visits to hospital with bites, broken bones, dislocated back etc etc which he seems to take in his stride and his sheer bloody mindedness and never say die attitude. And of course, there is a reason why he is unable to form long lasting human relationships, a secret he has kept nearly all his life but which we are made privy to near the end of the book. It is all revealed in a very matter of fact way and I, personally,was pleased that this was not used as an excuse for a 'misery memoir'. Instead, we have a heart warming book and while I am pretty certain that Jeremy would probably be a pain in the neck to live with, being totally focused and obsessive, we need people like him in this world who are dedicated to a cause and see it through.

And Amy? She is enormous fun. She sulks, she ignores Jeremy when he does something she dislikes; she is furious at being turfed out of her comfortable billet where she had been raised by him after her mother rejected her, and being put into an animal enclosure; refuses to climb a tree and when she does, gets stuck and he has to fetch her down; she is sheer delight and comes into her own when Jeremy is involved in a serious car crash when he fell asleep at the wheel of his car with Amy in the passenger seat. The first policeman on the scene crawled into the upturned car and finds an unconscious Jeremy with his head being cradled by Amy who refused to let him go.

Delighted to find that my doubts about my enjoyment of Jeremy and Amy were proved wrong. Do read.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everyone needs an Amy in their life, 10 Oct 2011
This review is from: Jeremy & Amy: The Extraordinary Story of One Man and His Orang-utan (Paperback)
I visited Monkey World this weekend and decided to buy this book as a memento of the visit. I hadn't seen any of the TV programmes relating to this site and I knew nothing of the founders so I read the book without any expectations or preconceptions.

I have only had the book for two days and I've nearly finished it already, which is a testament to the style of the book and the events within it, as it is not the kind of book that I would normally read.

In a nut shell it is a very interesting matter-of-fact life story that lets you develop your own emotional attachment to the characters and events that occurred as the language is not flowery and does not spoon-feed the reader.

Amy is an absolute joy to read, especially when she is introduced to her new mate-to-be and you really feel Jeremy's determination to do the best for the animals, often to the detriment of any human relationships. His passing scientific observations on the difference between primates and humans also interested me, especially his comment on childbirth and why humans tend to have a more difficult labour.

I wish I had read the book before visiting Monkey World as I recognise the names in the book to the names on the boards outside the enclosures. I guess that just means that I'll have to go again!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Honest,Sensative,and down to earth., 21 Aug 2010
By 
Amazon Customer (chasetown england) - See all my reviews
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Could not wait to read this book,as i am a keen conservationist this was right up my street, this book is a turn pager, you find yourself wanting more and when it ends....well i think there could be a second book, what this man does for a living, and basically he blagged his way into it,there was no university, or doctor of this, or that, he had a very rough start which bode him well for what was going to be his carear.He holds no bars, this book is about him and an orangutan named amy,Which thankfully are still with us today and anyone can go and say "hi" to at Monkey World in Dorset. Iv been, and I do recomend to all to go and see what man has wickedly done to the primates,and monkey world has picked up the pieces.

This book needs to be read.
I hope this author will write another book,keep us informed of life with the primates.
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Jeremy & Amy: The Extraordinary Story of One Man and His Orang-utan
Jeremy & Amy: The Extraordinary Story of One Man and His Orang-utan by Jeremy Keeling (Paperback - 7 April 2011)
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