Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Murderer's Ape” as Want to Read:
The Murderer's Ape
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Murderer's Ape

by
4.22  ·  Rating details ·  1,481 ratings  ·  323 reviews
AN OBSERVER, GUARDIAN, TELEGRAPH, TIMES, SUNDAY TIMES and BOOKTRUST BOOK OF THE YEAR

A Waterstones Children's Book of the Month

'I don't know when I last read a book with such pure and unalloyed pleasure. It's ingenious, it's moving, it's charming, it's beautiful, it's exciting, and most importantly the characters are people I feel I know like old friends' - Philip Pullman


Sa
...more
Paperback, 640 pages
Published September 6th 2018 by Pushkin Children's Books (first published April 16th 2014)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Murderer's Ape, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Murderer's Ape

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.22  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,481 ratings  ·  323 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Mathew
This took a while to read but not because it's dull or slow-paced but rather I enjoyed savouring it. When a rather gifted ape, Sally Jones, finds her dear friend framed for a crime he did not commit, she finds herself on the run from a secretive organisation whose intent is to bring disorder to its home country of Portugal.
Sally must country across the world to find the one person who can help set her dear friend free and her adventures take us to exotic places where we meet a rich, memorable c
...more
Skip
Jul 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read about this one in the NY Times Book Review. Sounded interesting, and did not disappoint. Captain Henry Koskela (a/k/a Chief) and female gorilla Sally Jones are hired by Alfonse Morro to pick up some tiles along a river in their small cargo ship. Things go awry at the pickup, Alfonse Morro falls in the sea back at the port, and Chief is arrested for his murder. Sally Jones goes on the run, and subsequently enlists the help of new friends to prove the Chief's innocence as he is convicted and ...more
Peter
Sep 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grade
I LOVED this book and I LOVED Sally Jones the eponymous ape of the title. Sally is the narrator and writer of the story and her voice is as warm and fuzzy as a gorilla's should be. Mute - in that she cannot speak to the other characters in the story - this somehow enhances her thoughtful, observant, intelligent nature and ability as a narrator to see what others don't and document it. There is a wealth of observations about human nature as Sally looks in from the outside at how people behave and ...more
Caren
Jun 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children, ya
This is old-fashioned storytelling at its finest: clear-cut villains, an unusual heroine with rare capabilities, far-flung travels, and a bit of a mystery to solve. Sally Jones (and please, do not call her "Sally"---her name is "Sally Jones", thank you very much), our heroine, is a gorilla. She is an exceptional gorilla in that she can read and write, just not speak, so she perfectly understands humans. She has many talents: engineering a cargo ship, playing chess, repairing accordions, to name ...more
Laiba
Jun 21, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story begins with Sally Jones, the ape noting down her story in order to have a clear conscience. We get to know that Sally Jones works as an engineer on a boat and how her captain was charged guilty of murder and that's where that story line completely takes the backseat and instead the story becomes more about the journey of the ape from Lisbon to India and how she survives once her captain is arrested. Only towards the end after a good 500 pages does the story line of the murder takes the ...more
Eliana G.
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Murderer’s Ape, by Jakob Wegelius, is an amazingly well written book about Sally Jones. Sally Jones is a gorilla who has been around humans her entire life. She is an amazing engineer and mechanic, and loves to learn things. When her and her friend Henry Koskela, or “Chief”, are in Lisbon, a man that goes by the name of Morro approaches them and offers them a job to move tiles. It paid very well, but Sally Jones was unsure of Morro. Sally Jones and Chief manned their own boat, the Hudson Que ...more
Annie M
Jan 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received this book through a Goodreads giveaway.

Sally Jones is a heroine like no other. She loves music, excels at engineering, and does not talk. She also happens to be a gorilla. When her best friend, the Chief, is falsely imprisoned for murder, Sally Jones is left all alone in the city of Lisbon. With a little luck and the help of a few new friends, Sally Jones gets the chance to prove the Chief's innocence. This opportunity sends her on an adventure all the way to India and back. The Murd
...more
Jacob
Sep 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Just one of the best books I have read all year!!! I loved this – the story, the characters, the setting, the writing! It is sooooo good. I'll be on the lookout for anything by Wegelius from now on, and, indeed, more European literature for children.
Sam Tornio
Sep 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
For all its rollicking adventure, this generous book is ultimately a profound and subtle meditation on the particulars of loneliness, the depth of grief, and the work of redemption.
Robin Stevens
May 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The charming life story of a very unusual gorilla. Don't expect a fast-paced mystery narrative - this is more like Around the World in 80 Days than Murder on the Orient Express, and whodunit is never really in doubt - but it's gently fun stuff. (12+)

*Please note: this review is meant as a recommendation only. Please do not use it in any marketing material, online or in print, without asking permission from me first. Thank you!*
Kieran Fanning
Apr 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
5 out of 5 stars to THE MURDERER'S APE by Jakob Wegelius - a brilliant globe-trotting adventure, full of danger and charm, told by the most original of narrators, and beautifully illustrated by the author.

Only loose thread that bugged me was Ana's secret admirer - or perhaps I missed the relevance of him.
Anastasia Dines
Mar 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book because of how extraordinary and how much dedication Sally Jones had. She never gives up and always finds a solution.

The end is really sweet and I can’t wait for another Sally Jones adventure.
Alex Peachman
Dec 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an old-fashioned adventure story told from the point of view of a gorilla! Sally Jones can't speak, but she is an expert engineer and is determined to clear the name of her boss after he is wrongly accused of murder. There's a sea voyage, a stay in a Maharaja's palace and lots of rooftop escapes. Full of exotic, weird and wonderful adventures, my only criticism is that the ending did drag a bit.
Brona's Books
Jul 11, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars
Wegelius has created a classically told story full of friendship, courage, kindness, determination and loyalty. Sally Jones is a gorilla - yes, a gorilla - who is smart, thoughtful and very talented, but she cannot speak. However Sally Jones can write a little and at the start of this story she learns to type on a 1908 Underwood No. 5 typewriter.

By the end of the first page I completely believed the premise of this tale and having a gorilla as the protagonist seemed perfectly natural. S
...more
Karen Miller
Jun 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Murder’s Ape: the odyssey of an ape named Sally Jones, whose owner is accused of killing a small time crook. This isn’t a fast paced who dunnit, so be prepared to meet many fun, funny and fascinating characters as the story meanders from Portugal to England to London to Egypt to India. Sally Jones tells the story from her very intelligent point of view, which makes the journey unique and exciting. It’s an award winner in Scandinavia, and I can understand why.
Though listed as YA, it’s appropr
...more
Thebooktrail
description

Visit the locations in the novel

A joy in both languages! Having read this in the original Swedish when a very thoughtful friend sent it with a note ‘Saw this and thought of you”. Not really sure if that was a good sign since it’s about a monkey with attitude who sails the seven seas. Having said that the monkey is tough and wants to clear her friends’s name of a crime and investigate the truth plus she LOVES a good adventure so I’m hoping she meant this side of the book!

It reminded me of ARound
...more
Victoria
Do animals have feelings? What do they think about? Do they understand anything? This book by an author from Sweden answers all these questions.

The main character is a gorilla named Sally Jones. She works as a mechanic on a shop and lives in our world, not so far away: in romantic Lisbon. Sally Jones is capable of many things humans can do. She even plays chess! As many other animals (and not many other human beings) she's very loyal to her owner, so when he gets in trouble, she doesn't simply w
...more
Nadira M
Feb 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a charming story! This is a wonderful read, detailing the adventures of Sally Jones and her friends as they try to clear the name of her friend, the Captain wrongly accused of murder. She traverses Lisbon and further afield, ending up in India in the enployment of a Maharaja, who embarks on his own journey of personal growth. She meets many characters along the way, some who become friends, others who most certainly do not! Having a soft spot for Lisbon this was a joy to read. It brought ba ...more
Christina Worrall
Aug 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
I’ve wanted to read this book since it came out in the UK and it did not disappoint. It is very long (over 600 pages), but it really didn’t feel it. The English translation is brilliant, and like a lot of adult translated fiction still keeps an essence of the original language in the narrative. I thoroughly enjoyed the tale of Sally Jones.

This doesn’t mean it was without its problems, and I really don’t enjoy some of the old-world feel it was given. Of course it is primarily a book about a gori
...more
Josie B.
Feb 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, teen
This was a delightfully quirky novel that a friend recommended. The day my library hold arrived was the day it received the American Library Association's Batchelder Award , given to the most outstanding children’s book originally published in a language other than English in a country other than the United States, and subsequently translated into English for publication in the United States.

Something in the language, pacing and illustrations reminded me of Maria Gripe's The Night Daddy, but the
...more
Les McFarlane
Mar 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This wasn’t a book that I would have picked up of my own accord if I’m honest. That is to Sarah for the recommendation!
Really enjoyed it. It was such an enjoyable read, even though it was lengthy, it was never a chore. The story is told by sally jones, the murderer’s ape referred to in the title ( typed of course. We all know apes can’t talk!) Her adventure to reveal the truth and overturn her friend’s prison sentence, convicted of murder he didn’t commit, crosses continents and shows humans at
...more
Bella (Cheezyfeet Books)
I did enjoy this book but I think it was unnecessarily long. The plot moved slowly until the last 100 pages and then it went so so fast and it felt a bit strange, the pacing was just quite off, I thought. I enjoyed the story and I liked reading about Sally Jones’ adventures, but it just wasn’t really what I was expecting at all. I do still recommend it though because despite all this I managed to read nearly 600 pages in 3 days which is quite an achievement for me, so that must be a good sign. I ...more
Angela Groves
Sep 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a book that would have been my favourite as a child. It's a story full of mystery and adventure. It's exciting, moving and an absolute joy to read. It is written from the perspective of a gorilla named Sally Jones, and she is wonderful. There are times when you forget she isn't human, then every so often you get those subtle reminders, and you love her even more. Every character is so well written, they bring out all the right feelings. This is an incredible book that will inspire a love ...more
Andrew Wolgemuth
Mar 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, audio, book-club
Most certainly the best gorilla-narrated book I've ever read, this translated YA novel is a fun read (and Peter Graves's narration is outstanding). Sally Jones is a likeable heroine who exemplifies making one's way in the world despite obstacles and natural disadvantages, weathering unexpected adventures and situations along the way.
Karen W
Oct 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Stop whatever you are doing right now and rush out to get this exquisite middle grade read. It is well written with twists and turns that are often unexpected. No heavy handed morals, but filled with emotion that feels natural and real. Simply an amazing read that is just waiting for you to pick up.
Nancy
Dec 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grade
This book, about a gorilla named Sally Jones, pairs well with Eliot Schrefer's great ape titles - Threatened, Endangered, and Rescued. It also pairs well with my Beastly Brains.

Have a read and ponder whether great apes should obtain nonhuman rights!

Heidi Burkhart
It is really hard to dislike a book that is so wildly popular. As I audiobooked the title I wanted to like it, and kept trying to search out the appeal of it.

I could see that it could be good for discussions....who is the ape? Is she a symbol for a a minority...not being able to talk....a symbol for being silenced or not heard?

Toward the end I realized that the reader's voice, though smooth and professional, didn't click for me.

It just wasn't the book for me.
Nancy
Nov 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was the book of the week in a Rye, UK, and it intrigued me. I thought my grandchildren would enjoy it. So far, 3 adults have read it and loved it! I found the story fun and suspenseful, and a little scary in parts. I sure wish I knew that gorilla named Sally Jones!
Trisha
A quirky and clever novel full of adventure and charm.
Ben Trevail
Dec 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely brilliant!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Case of the Good-Looking Corpse (The P.K Pinkerton Mysteries, #2)
  • Mörkövahti (Mörkövahti, #1)
  • The Jamie Drake Equation
  • The Harlem Charade
  • Slog's Dad
  • The Rift
  • The Skylarks’ War
  • Hell and High Water
  • The Fall
  • Found
  • Stop the Train! (Cissy Sissney, #1)
  • Hero on a Bicycle
  • Ash Road
  • Race to the Bottom of the Sea
  • Outwalkers
  • The Blue Cat
  • Freedom's Just Another Word
  • Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life by Ashley Bryan
See similar books…
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“Hans ögonbryn var större än en normal karls mustascher. Och hans mustascher påminde om svansarna på två förvuxna tvättbjörnar.” 0 likes
More quotes…