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3.45 of 5 stars 3.45  ·  rating details  ·  1,899 ratings  ·  470 reviews
Laurence Gonzales’s electrifying adventure opens in the jungles of the Congo. Jenny Lowe, a primatologist studying chimpanzees—the bonobos—is running for her life.

A civil war has exploded and Jenny is trapped in its crosshairs . . . She runs to the camp of a fellow primatologist.

The rebels have already been there.

Everyone is dead except a young girl, the daughter of Jenny’
Kindle Edition, 322 pages
Published July 13th 2010 by Vintage (first published January 1st 2010)
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The classic feral child story with a twist, an enfant sauvage not only raised by beasts, but genetically one of them.

While fleeing an uprising in the Congo, primatologist Jenny Lowe rescues Lucy, the 14 year old daughter of fellow researcher David Stone. Although she senses there is something odd about the girl, it is not until after their return to the United States that Jenny realizes the truth: Lucy is a human/ape hybrid, produced by Dr Stone in a desperate attempt to preserve the best of hum
Lucy began as her father's experiment. He raised her in the jungle while giving her a strong British education. She was also raised by her mother who gave her an introduction to life as a bonobo. The rest of the story is about what happens after her parents are killed and she is rescued and taken to the U.S. by Jenny.First of all you must suspend reality to enjoy this book.

Clearly I loved this book. It is a good story, well written and just plain fun. From the beginning I knew everything was no
Horrible, horrible book. Why did the reviews not mention the descriptions of lesbian makeouts and the hatred for human kind that seep from this book? A warning would have been nice.

Had to read for book club, but couldn't force myself to read past page 126 when Lucy (the ape/human hybrid) begins making out with her high school friend Amanda.

The theme of the book seems to be that humans have no inherant dignity and are the exact same as apes, except that we are also evil. The only way to save the
Entertainment Weekly gave this an A, so I thought I'd post my review. I read an ARC of this in April 2010.

As the killing and attacks heat up in a Congolese civil war, scientist Jenny Lowe (studying bonobos -- a type of chimpanzee) is forced to abandon her research post. Along the way, she stops by a fellow scientist's camp and discovers he is dead, but his teenage daughter is alive. The leave together and Jenny takes the girl, Lucy, home to Chicago with her until something can be sorted out. Af
The back cover of this book touts "a daring biotechnical thriller in the tradition of Mary Shelley and Michael Crichton." This description is like buying a mislabeled can of vegetables at the grocery store: you chose a can of peas from the shelf; you are expecting to find peas inside; but you really have a can of corn instead. So, you eat the corn but later question where the peas went.

The only part of the original quote that holds true is the word "daring." The author has created a unique situ
Elizabeth Van Orden
I know a lot of reviewers on panned this novel. I still decided to go ahead with it based on the reviews on NPR last fall. Even with a master's degree in anthropology, I still enjoyed this novel. The gene-splicing technology is similar to that proposed for bringing back the Woolly Mammoth: Whether or not science is there yet is another question altogether and I suspended my disbelief for the purpose of the novel.

I also suspended my disbelief t
Although this book defimitely had an interesting plot, I felt myself being pushed away by Gonzales in pretty much every line. I read this book for a college class just this semester & I really did want to like it because the plot was so different from what I've read before. But that just didn't happen. This book is obviously anti-christrian, I may not be a firm believer in God, but even I found myself being frustrated by the repeating "hypocritical christian" characters. I also thought that ...more
I’m going to be at ComicCon this year (so will Wil Wheaton, George Takei, and Chris Ware, although they're not going to be, you know, with me), helping present a panel on Powerful Women: Now With Clothes. A mosey down my Goodreads list shows that lot of what I read does not contain women, powerful or otherwise, as main characters; the women characters I do read who kick serious ass (Cassie Maddox & Ursula Todd, right off the top of my head) are not necessarily sci-fi or fantasy characters; & ...more
Dina Roberts
I was fascinated by the premise of this book.

It's about a child who's a species hybrid...half Bonobo and half chimpanzee.

At first I wasn't sure if I liked the writing. The two teens in the book sounded too mature to if the author was speaking through the characters. But after awhile I was okay with it. I no longer saw the teens as being poorly written by an author who doesn't understand teens. Instead I saw them as teens who are above the ordinary. The two teens in the story are not your
Emily Park

Lucy opens in the Congo, where primatologist Jenny Lowe is studying bonobos (a cousin of the chimpanzee, and one of humanity's closest relatives). When Jenny is forced to flee from the Congo as the civil war reaches her study site in the jungle, she finds that another primate researcher has been murdered. Her colleague leaves behind a 14-year-old daughter, Lucy, and Jenny feels obligated to take Lucy with her as she flees the country. Jenny takes Lucy to C
Tara Chevrestt
I took a chance on this one. My first thought upon finding this was "A half human, half ape girl? I don't know about this.." But my curiosity was picqued enough that when I found it at my local library, I decided... "What the heck.. it's here already and doesn't require an ILL request.."

It was surprisingly good and had me on the edge of my seat. (Obviously! I devoured it a day!) Lucy is the result of a scientist that has lived 25 years in the Congo jungle studying bonobos. The scientist artifici
A lot of people seem to want to compare Laurence Gonzales and his latest novel, Lucy, with the work of Michael Crichton. I can't imagine a bigger insult to Crichton's work. The concept of a new species made up of mixed monkey and human genes being created by a scientist who studies monkeys deep in the African jungle sounds like something Crichton would write, it kind of sounds like something Crichton DID write, but nothing else in this novel comes even close to or lives up to Crichton's literar ...more
A novel that suggests what might happen when a young girl is discovered to be the result of the experimental breeding of human and ape.

Lucy, the fourteen-year-old daughter of a primatologist, a girl who has had only apes as playmates, is rescued from the jungles of the Congo during a civil war uprising and brought to live in the suburbs of Chicago. The stunning revelation of who--and what--she is sets in motion her fight for survival and for her very right to exist.

Here is a novel that has as it
I thought this book was AMAZING. It had great detail, it actually seemed realistic, and it was thought-provoking.
Lucy is a sci-fi book about a half-human, half-monkey girl named Lucy. When Lucy;s father is killed in the Congo, Jenny Lowe (a primatologist) adopts her, and takes Lucy to live with her in Chicago. She soon learns that Lucy is part bonobo (a type of monkey), and she loves her even more because of that.
But when the world find out Lucy's secret, some people (Christian fundamentalists
This book is unrealistic to some extent, but Laurence Gonzales makes Lucy feel real and alive. I loved this book so much, it had almost all of the elements that are in a great book; great plot, characters, lessons and the book is very emotional too. I loved how Laurence Gonzales used the concept of a hybrid human in our world and for her to try to fit in. I found this book very realistic and exiting. I especially fascinated when Lucy came out of the airplane in NYC and there we people supporting ...more
I have a very bad habit. Okay I have several but this one is becoming rather painful for me; I pretty much insist on finishing a book once I've started it. It's the literary equivalent of forcing myself to eat lima beans as a child because somewhere out there is some poor hungry child that would love to have them. So for that poor literature starved soul out there, maybe; everyone else ...

What should have been a great exploration of important philisophical and ethical issues; what makes us human
One of the rare adult books that sneaks into my pile... the book is like the lovechild of Tarzan and Crichton with a little of the movie Project X (with Matthew Broderick and the chimps)...

This book made me angry... but that's a good thing... I can see some of the criticisms that have been leveled at it... it does tend to oversimplify and puts the US Government as a heavy...

So why 5 stars... the book just was entertaining, thought provoking and a good solid read... was it perfect, no? But I woul
When the dust jacket proclaims a book is a “daring biotechnical thriller in the tradition of Mary Shelley and Michael Crichton” and then the actual science in the book amounts to about two badly written paragraphs, you know you’re in trouble. This is a dismal, prejudiced, poorly written thriller that pretends to be in love with science and nature when all it is really in love with is trying to convince the reader that all Christians are evil and all Americans are stupid and/or corrupt. In fact, ...more
This is a novel about a half-human, half-bonobo girl that purports to teach us about "what it means to be human"--so you can tell how subtle it's going to be, i.e. not at all. There are several points that are genuinely suspenseful, but the story feels unstructured and the lack of subplots makes it feel even more simplistic. Several sections dealing with societies that are perceived as more in-tune with nature are facile to the edge of being offensive. It's readable enough while you're hoping th ...more
The whole premise of this book and much about it were completely preposterous, but I still could not put it down.
M'eh. I was hoping for more gene-splicing science or at least some interesting studies on the bonobos and how a hybrid would come to be and perhaps thrive. What I got instead was the author's/narrator's view of the human sociological/political/moral condition and it was pretty condescending and in some parts, even a little intellectually insulting. It was kind of a spaghetti western style of good guys in white and bad guys in black with a little ET thrown in for good measure. You know the govern ...more
Im Dschungel Kongos bricht wieder einmal Krieg aus. Im letzten Moment kann sich Jenny, die dort allein lebt und Bonobos - Menschenaffen - erforscht, retten. Während ihrer Flucht vor den Rebellen stolpert sie nicht nur über die Leiche eines englischen Kollegen, sondern auch über seine minderjährige Tochter, Lucy. Sie flieht mit ihr in die Staaten, wo sie sich so lange um das Mädchen kümmern will, bis sich Angehörige gefunden haben. Mit Lucy ist es leicht, zusammen zu leben. Nachdem sie den Schock ...more
I find "Lucy" a difficult book to rate. The author created some characters I enjoyed spending time with and the story kept me reading. He also tried to make some interesting points about humans having lost their oneness with animals and the natural world, and about the nature of humanity. He didn't do badly, but other authors have done both better.
He obviously did some research and read some scientific papers on the difference between humans and apes. Scientific papers on genetics assume an unde
Becky C.
When the author used Yoda-speak twice in the first 50 pages I was ready to throw this book against the wall! "Dart-of-Harkness, it is." and "I sensed a disturbance in The Stream". Oh, please. Did this book not have an editor??? But because of the premise I kept reading and was moderately rewarded, altho I did have to get past a couple of Darth Vader references later on. Bottom line--terrible writing, fair storyline.
From my perspective, this is the best science fiction I've read in a while. It takes place in contemporary America, but it deals with an experiment that is currently feasible. Science fiction is about extrapolation. I found it believable. I loved the central character and the alternative family that grew around her. I really should read more about the great apes and progress made with teaching them sign language.
I picked up the audio (9CDs) at the library to have something to keep me "alert" for a road trip. The first part of the story had me captivated. It was very suspenseful, but at the same time, I was keenly aware that the author seemed to have some weird agenda, and some of it was just plain stupid, so I continued to stay tuned once I was home, with some reservation. At about the third disc I became very disinterested. Every time I thought something exciting was going to happen, I was let down, be ...more
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Lucy is a rather inelegant vehicle for Gonzales' politics re: the environment, science, animal testing and other various icky issues. What he lacks in subtlety, he makes up for with an almost eager Grindhouse style: cheesy dialogue, predictability and lots of Native American spirituality. Oh, and if you still arent convinced, Lucy reads Twilight.
I don't understand all of the buzz about this book. Reviews have compared Gonzales' effort to a Crichton novel. I do have to admit that the book was engrossing, but mostly because I was amused by how silly and contrived it was. This is the first Entertainment Weekly recommendation that has been way off target.
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Laurence Gonzales is the author of Surviving Survival and the bestseller Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why. He has won two National Magazine Awards. His essays are collected in the book House of Pain.
More about Laurence Gonzales...
Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why Flight 232: A Story of Disaster and Survival Everyday Survival: Why Smart People Do Stupid Things Surviving Survival: The Art and Science of Resilience One Zero Charlie: Adventures in Grass Roots Aviation

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