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Woman and the Ape

4.0 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Unknown Binding
  • Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux
  • ISBN-10: 0374998086
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374998080
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Unbound
Though "humorous" is not a word usually associated with Peter Hoeg, The Woman and the Ape, with its irony and satire, is very, very funny. An ape of unknown primate species escapes smugglers at the docks of London, only to be captured by animal researchers and primatologists, who intend to advance human knowledge--and themselves--through their testing and research on him.
The ape, named Erasmus, is actually more intelligent than the men who are testing him secretly at the estate of Adam Burden, a zoolological research director. When Madelene, Burden's alcoholic wife, discovers Erasmus, she helps him escape, and the two go off together. Establishing their own Garden of Eden in a protected forest outside of London, Erasmus and Madelene enjoy seven weeks of mutual discovery, learning, and eventually love, hidden from the outside world. When Erasmus learns to speak English and Madelene's native language, Danish, the two return to London.
Hoeg is brutally satiric of British society and academia as Adam Burden, his evil sister Andrea, the scientific community, the smuggling network, and virtually all other humans are shown to be arrogant in their assumptions about the relationship of men and animals. They will be taught an object lesson, and Madelene and Erasmus are only too happy to provide it. Themes of freedom vs. captivity (real and symbolic), man's role in the evolutionary scheme of things, and the fragility of the environment are developed, none too subtly, as the ape proves his superiority to "civilized" humanity. When asked what he calls the other members of his species, Erasmus replies, "People," indicating that humans would be considered "animals" where he lives.
This satire/sci-fi novel, though intriguing, is strange, becoming even stranger with its interspecies love affair.
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By A Customer on 24 Dec. 2003
Format: Paperback
So many good things to say about this book.... its got the same hook that drew me into Hoegs others, i.e. a convincing and novel peek into someone's conciousness, in this case Madelene, a likeable lonely alcoholic seperated from her native Denmark and married to the ambitious zooologist Adam Burden. Its also a startlingly witty satire and a high tempo thriller with twists and turns that had me gripped. On another level its a commentary on the way our civilisation works, and a bit of a reworking of the Eden/paradise myth. Good stuff.
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Format: Paperback
Not excately an everyday tale of everyday people. I never really got into the Peter Hoeg thing. In Denmark he is considered as one of these authors you must have read if you want to have an opinion . This book really gives you something to talk about weather it's ethics, evolution, sex, love or if the queen is an ape. Read it and feel good about stimulating thoughts you thought you would never have!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A very strange book, and I'm not sure I understood what the author was trying to say. Perhaps you have to be Danish to 'get'it? I stuck with it to the end but can't say I'm glad I did - a bit like watching something on TV only to find that you've wasted two hours of your time.
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Format: Paperback
I picked this book up by chance whilst i was on holiday, and after getting so into it that the bags under my eyes were big enough to carry my luggage in, I finally found an author I want to read more of.
The amazing portrayal of the central characters and their twisted lives was not only clever but brilliantly written.
I found myself truly wondering about the world, I urge you to as well.
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Format: Paperback
I read this book over five years ago. It has stayed with me all this time and now I intend to re-read it. There are not many books that make you feel like that.
It is unique and exciting and gives us a great fly on the wall view of contempoary society. Even makes you re-evaluate what you consider is your own humanity and think about mans treatment of other sentient beings.
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Format: Paperback
It seems ridiculous to hail 'Danish Dreams' as a great book, but find fault with 'Woman and the Ape' for lacking realism, but I will.
The situation can be absurd, as long as the people have depth. The the lack of depth of the characters is demonstrated by the woman curing her alcoholism on a whim.
All that and it's still an OK book, a fine narrative, but somehow I expected more from Hoeg.
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