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Chimpanzee

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3.46  ·  Rating details ·  133 ratings  ·  36 reviews
Unemployment has ravaged the U.S. economy. People struggle everywhere, exhausted by the collapse that destroyed their lives. Benjamin Cade is an expert in cognition, and before the flatlined economy caught up to him, he earned his living as a university instructor. Now, without income, he joins the millions defaulting on their loans — in his case, the money he borrowed to ...more
Hardcover, 220 pages
Published August 26th 2014 by Underland Press (first published August 9th 2014)
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3.46  · 
Rating details
 ·  133 ratings  ·  36 reviews


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Jenny (Reading Envy)
This is a review of the hardcover, but I have to say I am really looking forward to listening to the radio play version that arrived in my mailbox on Saturday!

What I need in my dystopia is realism and possibility, that it could happen here, in my lifetime. That is the brilliance Darin Bradley brings to his novels, both in Noise and in Chimpanzee.

The premise of Chimpanzee may be even more chilling to those of us working in academia, who have seen the impact of the various economic downturns on e
...more
Lori
Jan 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read 1/23/16 - 2/1/16
4 Stars - Strongly Recommended that you pay your friggen school loans off because holy shit the government is gonna get theirs...
Pages: 216
Publisher: Underland Press
Released: 2015





Holy fuck you guys, get those school loans paid off, pronto!

In a future dystopia, America enters The Second Great Depression and people are losing their jobs left and right. In an effort to maintain some form of control, as college grads begin to default on their school loans, the government starts
...more
Yann Rousselot
Jul 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
So if you took Twelve Monkeys, add The Time Traveler's Wife but subtract the time-travel, multiply by 1984, factor in Strange Days and divide by Fight Club, you get Chimpanzee. (Wow, that required some intense concentration. Had I had a PhD it would have been easier - maybe I do, and it was repossessed.)

Honestly, I fell into this novel with gusto. The prose is tight, so tight sometimes you wish he's just let loose with some florid flourish, but Bradley's prose is straight-edge, sharp as a tack.
...more
Charles Dee Mitchell
Aug 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: contemporary-sf
In Noise, Bradley's first novel, groups of young people learned that in the static of now defunct analog television broadcasts, some person or group was laying down rules for how to survive an imminent breakdown of society. The rulebook lay out the necessary stockpiling of food and weaponry, but its most important lessons were in ruthlessness. When the collapse begins, we see how well the group Bradley created has absorbed these lessons.

Chimpanzee is a not a sequel to the first novel, but Bradle
...more
Jess
Sep 16, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dystopian
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Philip
Sep 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
I'm not entirely sure what I just read, but I think I loved it.
David
First of all, the book has a clever concept. Take the current topic of student loan debt, then incorporate what lenders do when a borrower defaults on payments on a mortgage or car loan - repossession. The book doesn't assume this can be done the same way as a car repossession (taking the car to a sales lot and selling the same car to another buyer.) Rather, what is done is make the person who can't pay his student loan effectively unable to access (and therefore unable to use) the education rel ...more
AudioBookReviewer
Dec 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
My original Chimpanzee audiobook review and many others can be found at Audiobook Reviewer.

The economy has collapsed. The government is overwhelmed, crushed by national and personal debt and the corresponding lack of revenue. Benjamin Cade has lost his teaching job, and like so many others, has defaulted on his student loans. Technology and economics have come up with a solution. If you don’t pay for your education you lose it. Cade must now go through the grueling brain therapy that repossesses
...more
Ruth
Mar 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Chimpanzee is an intelligent dystopian novel. Bradley introduces a future where America is deep into a New Depression. People are losing their jobs, and struggling to survive. Benjamin Cade, a PhD in literature, finds himself as one of the strugglers and can no longer pay on his student loans. No problem, his loan holders can now take back what he gained with their money, in Benjamin’s case they are repossessing his education. Through advances in cognitive science and chemical therapy, Ben must ...more
Mary
Aug 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Chimpanzee, by Darin Bradley
4.5 stars. This first rate sci-fi is reminiscent of Ray Bradbury's " Farenheit 451. Benjamin Cade, PhD. is a former university professor whose position has been eliminated. The U.S. Economy is devastated and half the homes in the country have been foreclosed on. Ben joins the millions of unemployed and is unable to pay back his student loans. The Federal Govt. is determined to reclaim their property...Ben's education. Ben is forced to under go "Repossesion Therapy", a
...more
Alex Ristea
Oct 24, 2014 rated it it was ok
Got about 25% into the audiobook, and putting it down. This novel is not for me.
Sara DeSantis (Hot Reads Librarian
A book we mentioned in class
Daniel Amaral
Sep 21, 2017 rated it liked it
This book was just ok for my taste. I initially got it because I heard it was an interesting modern dystopic novel, and I wanted to see what the modern dystopia genre was all about. I don't feel I got a very good introduction out of this one, however. It's got a lot of interesting ideas with vr drugs "chimp goggles", the repossession therapy where basically you repay your debt to the government with your memories, and I did like how they showed Ben's memories disappearing over the course of the ...more
Sandra Frey
Nov 07, 2015 rated it liked it
There's a great sci-fi dystopian idea in this book, and the mention of it on the cover flap was what made me excited to read it--the idea that if people default on their student loans, the government can repossess their education. There are great peripheral questions that accompany this idea, questions that the author does touch on, but doesn't really explore--such as what happens to the parts of you that the government redacts (and stores), what this does to your memories and relationships from ...more
Rick Hunter
Sep 15, 2014 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: people with ADHD and doctorates in English
I won this book through Goodreads Firstreads giveaway.

I really, really wanted to like this book. Of the 500 or so books that I've entered to win here on Goodreads, this would be in the top 10 of the ones that I wanted the most. The concept of this book is one of the most original ideas that I've ever heard of. In the book, the government repossesses people's educations by hooking them up to these machines if that individual has defaulted on their student loan. That sounds super interesting to me
...more
McKenzie Richardson
Mar 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
I received this book from Booklikes in exchange for an honest review. Like many of the other reviewers for this book, I liked it but have no idea what to make of it.At first, I just wasn't into it. Ben's ideas were too vaguely philosophical to interest me and I thought he was kind of a pretentious jerk. As the novel went on, both of those things still rang true, but I was so caught up in the events surrounding Ben that I didn't really even pay much attention to him anymore. The idea of Reposses ...more
Amy
Dec 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I disliked philosophy in college. I provide that preface to this review so you understand the significance of my five star rating. The protagonist thinks/journals and teaches his subject matter (writing and rhetoric) with large amounts of philosophical meandering. But the plot and the dance along it were well worth my time. In fact, I don't think a character with any other traits would not have pulled this off.

Darin Bradley took economic policy and banking greed to the extreme and yet I didn't
...more
Chris
Jul 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Here we have a piece of decently written science fiction about the collapse of American society and the loss and reconstruction of the self through technology. The novel's central conceit is that, in a collapsing job market, people who can't pay back student loans are forced to give back their education through emotional repression that also represses some of the subjects other memories as a collateral loss. In the background, people have been playing games in which they "sim" various mental sta ...more
Fritze
I loved this book. It's so perfect for *today* in it's depiction of people finding, or making, ways to survive in an ever declining economy.

Whereas books like 1984 and The Hunger Games are set in extreme distopias, this one is relatively minor. Loan forfeiture leading to foreclosure, freedom of expression vs. the police state, struggling against poverty - it's all there and it's all bad. And yet Bradley also gives us some faith that humanity will keep trucking and our innate creativity will fin
...more
Fantasy Literature
Mar 10, 2015 rated it liked it
In the midst of a severe depression, where government officials are obsessed with micromanaging everything they can lay their hands on in the name of efficiency and the public good, Benjamin Cade loses his teaching job and finds himself, along with the majority of the population, unemployed. Unable to pay back his student loans, Ben must face the logical conclusion, and Darin Bradley's haunting extrapolation, of viewing education as a product to be bundled and sold: His degrees in literature and ...more
Lee
Feb 12, 2015 rated it liked it
I wanted to like this book, the premise of deleting state taught memories (as repayment for debt) kinda intrigued me, but I found it to be too typical of most of the writing these days....writers who are intelligent (or think they are...lol) lording over how smart they are, using arcane language (big words to us not so smart people) that serves no purpose other than to prove their worth. I'm sorry, I read to escape, not to try to decipher graduate school language! The beginning of the book was e ...more
Karen
Mar 11, 2015 rated it liked it
I loved the concept of this book, and I really wanted to enjoy it. Unfortunately, for me the writing didn't hold up to the excellent premise. To me it read as rather self-indulgent and overly concerned with its own brilliance, to the great detriment of the actual storytelling. You could maybe sell this as a sort of performance art, but as an enjoyable narrative it falls flat. It is a novel that feels created for the sole purpose of dissecting it in a college classroom, and in that way it misses ...more
Turok Tucker
Feb 24, 2016 rated it liked it
Slow going. Moments that peak interest, then move towards abstraction. A few unfinished subplots: Why the violence? What was the affair? what happened and why to Cynthia? etc,. CHIMPANZEE never seems to figure what it wants to be. Chimping goggles don't appear until later in the book, then become a universal allegory that gets a mandatory nod at the end of each section. I respect the novel. I believe the writer has a huge intellect. However, it tended to bore....
Joetta
Sep 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. It wasn't perfect, and sometimes it felt unclear in a way that didn't seem helpful to the story, but overall super intriguing and engaging. One thing, though, that really drove me bonkers is how he talked about wearing the rose-colored glasses and how for days everything looked different. That is just not how the visual system works---most adjustment happens within a minute if I'm remembering correctly, but definitely on that time scale.
Jen
Collapsed economy, government recovering defaulted student loans by "repossessing" the knowledge the loans paid for, protests by masked youth? This book should have been right up my alley.

It felt disjointed, self-absorbed, pretentious; a masturbatory navel gazing story that goes nowhere, and goes there slowly.

I was going to give 2 stars, but the more I think about this novel, the less I like it.
Sarah
Dec 05, 2014 rated it it was ok
This is an interesting cross between Michael Crichton and Chuck Palahniuk. I don't think it's going to end up being very memorable; too much philosophical mumbo-jumbo to make a very clear imression. Maybe I'm not smart enough to grasp the overall message, but it seemed a little garbled and vague to me. Still, it was a great premise that was reasonably well-executed.
Wayne T.B.
Oct 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book was freaky but very cool. I always like dystopic sorts of books, and after watching some of my younger cousins struggle with student loan debts the subject matter here hits close to home. Bradley's prose is edgy, memorable and while his main character isn't always likeable, he IS always interesting, which is the most important thing.
Donna Riley-lein
A work looking for a revolution

Pretentious. An "Everyman" caught up in a revolution as society crumbles. But this everyman has advanced degrees in the philosophy of thought. This has been done more entertainingly and more importantly accessibly elsewhere.
Kip
Dec 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Incredible. I seriously got chills when I realized what was happening. Prepare for a walk in an all-to-possible near future. Like Noise before it, Chimpanzee pushes you through a reality that scares the crap out of any sane person.
Cynthia
May 07, 2015 rated it it was ok
made it about 5 pages in ... i dislike the over-thought choppy "intelligent" writing ...just write a good book and we will notice that it is written well with a tricky intelligent theme ... can't do it
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Darin is the bestselling author of Noise, Chimpanzee, and Totem — and Light Both Foreign and Domestic, a collection of short fiction. He holds a Ph.D. in English Literature and Theory and has taught courses on writing and literature at several universities. He has also worked as the principal video game writer at id Software and has served in various editorial and design capacities for a number of ...more
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“It is the spaces we must be concerned with. With clearing them out. Because of the contexts within them. With less context reacting us, we might all be safer. More efficient. I stare at the building across the road, and I wonder about its presence. Its residential spaces. Its malice.” 0 likes
“Everything begins by making your audience pay attention.” 0 likes
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