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A Beautiful Truth Audio Download – Unabridged

2.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio Download
  • Listening Length: 8 hours and 8 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
  • Audible.co.uk Release Date: 17 Sept. 2013
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00ENWD422
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank:

Customer Reviews

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Format: Kindle Edition
I liked the idea for this novel, of showing what the usual outcome is when people decide to adopt chimpanzees or other primates because they seem human-like and cute. The couple in this story, Walter and Judy, adopted a young chimp named Looee who was brought in illegally from Sierra Leone by a man who worked for a circus. Walter and Judy couldn't have children of their own so Looee became their surrogate child. They dressed him up and children's clothing, taught him to eat with silverware and bought him tons of toys to play with. Looee was cute and in many ways very childlike. But in other ways such as his strength and emotions, he wasn't really like a child at all. As usually happens, when Looee reached sexual maturity, he went from being a cute little guy to a frustrated teenager with super strength and all the problems that that entails. The story was told in the third person from the perspective of Walter and Judy, and of Looee and the other primates.

Where this story didn't work for me was the way it was written with little punctuation such as quotations around spoken sentences. It was often difficult to tell who was speaking and when the speakers changed from one to the other. When speaking from the chimps point of view the writing was done in often incomplete sentences and nonsense syllables and words. There were many times when it was difficult to tell what was really going on.

The story was tragic and sad. The parts about the medical testing done on these animals was heartbreaking and it is difficult to believe that human beings can be so cruel. As a book on activism and animal rights this book was outstanding. But the odd, unorthodox writing style made it a difficult book to read.
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Format: Paperback
I don't think the title fits at all. There is nothing beautiful in this book, just lots of ugliness, but it's a captivating story and I'm glad that I read it all the way through. I had my doubts, at first, because the beginning is written like lyrics from a Talking Heads song (Once In A Lifetime) - I could even hear the story being narrated in David Byrne's voice. It is told in third person, moving from person to person, giving the reader insight that the characters don't have, but I didn't feel drawn to the story until the various chimp POVs were included. It was strange to feel more connected to the chimps than the humans. (The loose, random writing style left a LOT to be desired.)

The story follows the life of Looee, a chimp captured as baby, raised by a childless human couple. After 14 years with no serious incidents, something devastating changes all of their lives, and Looee is sent to a primate research facility. The living conditions of the test animals is deplorable. I realize this is a work of fiction, but there are scenes that I could hardly stomach, regardless of how the scientists justify their actions. The author does a great job of highlighting the ugliness of animal testing, without the condemnation of the human race that often accompanies this subject matter.

I don't think this is a novel that is going to appeal to a wide range of people, and yet it's one of those stories that is so radically different from most fiction, I think readers should at least attempt to tackle this one. Also, a portion of the novel's sales will go to the chimpanzee sanctuary, Save the Chimps, so it's reading for a cause.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

I had a strange relationship with this book. Most of the time I found things a bit difficult. I didn't feel that attached to the characters as characters- more sympathised with their situation. It was written as if in a chimp's voice (or at least that's what I presume it was meant to be). In a way that's good, because it's different and it makes you see a side of the story which you wouldn't usually see. However it did make it more difficult to read, and to engage in.

Having said that I was surprised by how much certain events impacted me. It made me think that maybe I felt more for the characters than I had realised.

It was interesting how McAdam was able to show different sides of the story without losing any empathy for characters on various sides of the arguments.

I also found that I preferred the second part of the story, when the two stories joined together. However I think this side of the story wouldn't have the same impact if I hadn't already known the characters.
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Format: Paperback
The concept was initially interesting, but my interest began to wane after about 50 pages. I speed read the next 100 pages, then gave up completely and consigned it to the bin.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A strange mixture of imagined emotions superimposed on research findings. I found it a clever but unsatisfying piece of writing.
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