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The Intimate Ape: Orangutans and the Secret Life of a Vanishing Species
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The Intimate Ape: Orangutans and the Secret Life of a Vanishing Species

3.16 of 5 stars 3.16  ·  rating details  ·  31 ratings  ·  10 reviews
Written with infectious personal passion, "The Intimate Ape" takes readers into orangutans' natural habitats and discovers the complex natures of these great apes, and the dedication of the humans who care for them. color photo insert.
Paperback, 320 pages
Published March 1st 2010 by Citadel (first published 2010)
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Kirsten
This is a LibraryThing Early Reviewer book.

It would have been nice if this actually lived up to its subtitle: Orangutans and the Secret Life of a Vanishing Species. The reader learns very little about the "secret life" of orangutans; instead, nearly all the orangutans described in the book are those that reside in zoos or are being rehabilitated and have had extensive contact with humans.
This doesn't make the orangutans described any less fascinating, when Thompson actually spends time describin
...more
Melody
I wish GoodReads had an "abandoned" button. Or in this case, a "hurled into the corner at speed for being entirely unreadable" button.

I found the author's style so annoying, clunky and fragmented that I gave up very early on. There may indeed be something of worth here, but I haven't the fortitude to wade through the clanking prose to find it.
Alistair
i learned far too much about the author and the private lives of the researchers and not enough about the lives of the orangs and especially about those of them in the wild rather than rescue centres or zoos .
in fact the researchers sound a rather unpleasant lot but perhaps years in the jungle will turn anyone a bit funny .
the style made my teeth grate as well and seems aimed at the Reader's Digest audience .
of course there is the usual blather about vanishing species and how we are destroying
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Heather Browning
I didn't like this book as much as I thought I would, given my love of orangutans. I can't even really pinpoint why, but there were a couple of things. In the first instance, the subject matter wasn't what I'd expected - for the most part, rather than covering orangutans in themselves, the book was about the people who work with them - their histories, experiences and perspectives on the animal. This may have been interesting in itself but I also found the book struggled with structure and tone. ...more
Achilee
I read that a lot of people who reviewed the book were disappointed. The reason of their disappointment being that the book is as much about orangutans as about the people who study them. As well as it is not enough about the lives of the truly wild ones.

For the later reason I would say that it must be pretty hard to just talk about what we know of the wild ones: they must be the toughest great apes to study in the wild due to their semi-solitary and nomadic nature. I still think that this book
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Kevin
Based on the subtitle Orangutans and the Secret Life of a Vanishing Species I was expecting to be reading a book about the secret lives of Orangutans. But in imy view the author spent more time writing about the secret lives of the various Orangutan researches he interviewed than on the Orangutans. Granted, these researches did important work and deserve the recognition but I really felt too much time was spent on the inner lives of the researchers.
Laura
I spent time in Borneo (2 weeks) with Dr. Birute Galdikas and I'm always afraid of reading criticism of her - I forget the name of the book that had that. In any case, the author was pretty even handed and discussed the difference in philosophy in handling of the orangutans between different researchers. By mid-book I was enjoying reading about the efforts on behalf of the orangutans and hope the good work continues
Sarah
This book was barely readable. It was very poorly written and organized with fractured stories throughout the book. It was a struggle to finish and in the end didn't learn much at all about orangutans but instead about the researchers who studied them. I would not recommend this book to others unless you are specifically interested in the researchers themselves.
Deb
This poorly written book has very little to do with apes and more to do with the researchers who study them. Although vaguely interesting on that level, it was an overall disappointment as it was not what I was expecting. Don't recommend it.
Yasmin
The book at most times seemed to focus more on the people working with the apes than the actually monkey. I suppose the author may have thought there were plenty of other books written solely on the ape. I just haven't read them!
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