Danny's Reviews > The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore

The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore by Benjamin Hale
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's review
Mar 03, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: library-book
Read from February 27 to March 03, 2011

Finally finished this book! Nothing wrong with the book, I flew through the first 400 or so pages, but then I got sick and I apparently can't concentrate enough to read when by throat is scratchy and my sinuses are about to have a snotsplosion.

Of course, the book does take a narrative turn near the end too, so that might have added to my inability to continue on. Who knows.

The point is, I really, really, enjoyed reading this book, which I didn't expect to do because I picked it as a sort of novelty book off a list of upcoming literature featuring bestiality in an issue of Publisher's Weekly. Yeah, you read that right. Bestiality.

To get it out of the way, a lot of reviewers have compared the narrator of this book, who is a talking Chimpanzee, to Humbert Humbert. Humbert Humbert, I'm told, ruminates a lot on the beauty of a young girl in the book Lolita. Having never read Lolita, I got more of a Portnoy's Complaint vibe. But you get the picture: Benjamin Hale does not shy away from monkey on human sex. This, I will admit, is hard to read through at times. But if you can get past that, then you can focus on everything else Bruno Littlemore is saying.

He's an angry narrator, imprisoned for his crimes against humanity, and it is at humanity that he is so enraged. The novel is largely composed of his pontifications on the state of human society. Exploring humanity as an intimate outsider, kind of like de Tocqueville in Democracy in America. I guess. I dunno. I've never read it.

The point, again, is I really liked the book. It was readable and interesting and, yes, creepy and sometimes gross, but even those parts offer some food for thought. If a chimpanzee can talk, what DOES separate the men from the apes?

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