Albert's Reviews > The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore

The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore by Benjamin Hale
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M 50x66
's review
Dec 05, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: fiction, chimpanzee, animals, humanity
Read from January 14 to February 26, 2012

I spent my time with this book alternately impressed and frustrated at the writing style. The first-person narrator and title character is a chimpanzee named Bruno who has learned how to speak. It's clear that from the process of learning language, he has fallen in love with it, so I guess it makes sense that the narrative is written in such a flowery style. It does read well in some parts, but at the same time, it feels like the author is trying too hard to use big words.

It was nearer to the end when I started to lean more towards frustration. Bruno's friend Leon is introduced. I expected that the dialogue between the two would take a more casual tone than Bruno's elaborate first-person narration. After all, no one talks like that in real life. But, it turns out that Leon is a Shakespearean actor, and he does talk like that.

I realize that in the world of the story, this can be explained by saying that Bruno's speaking style throughout the entire narrative is influenced by his time with Leon. That makes logical sense, but it was still a decision by the author to have them talk that way. It made Leon seem not like a real character, but rather a device to deliver more fancy writing.

The book worked best when it focussed on Bruno's icky but somehow touching relationship with Lydia. Unfortunately, it lost me once it became about his adventures with Leon. I would like to judge the book as a whole, but this is a case where the final impressions took away from my earlier enjoyment.

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