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Like Kafka's Gregor Samsa, London artist Simon Dykes has suffered a surprising transformation?he's become a chimpanzee. So has everyone else around him, but he doesn't realize it. Dumped in a mental hospital for his delusional thinking, Simon comes under the care of Dr. Busner (an alpha male) and tries to understand the strange new world around him. Chimpanzees are indeed the ascendant primates; humans are a fading offshoot that have simply failed to learn how to sign or vocalize properly. As one might expect from Self (Cock & Bull, LJ 3/1/93), this situation provides ample opportunity for a lacerating send-up of contemporary human society, and Self can be very funny. But as a whole it doesn't really work. The alternative chimp society is not persuasive, and Self is too busy with bad-boy langauge and obsessive sex to get at deeper issues. Buy where Self is popular.?Barbara Hoffert, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Simon Dykes is a successful London painter who arrives at a point where he ponders the futility of life: he's in the throes of serious angst, particularly his corporeal self is weighing him down. His latest apocalyptic paintings are disturbing and reflect his narcissistic fixation on the body. So he decides to forgo drugs on the fateful evening that he is to meet his lady, the lovely Sarah Peasenhulme, and the rest of their clique; but then the evening assumes its own momentum and drugs flow bountifully. After a night of halting lovemaking, Simon awakens to find himself in bed with an ape, a chimpanzee. Soon he discovers he is in a world dominated by chimpanzees. Despite appearances, Simon maintains that he is a human and hovers on the brink of madness until Dr. Zack Busner, clinical psychologist, maverick drug researcher, former television personality, and alpha male at the top of his reign, decides to take on the case and bring Simon to an understanding of his "chimpunity." Self creates a fully realized chimp world with this Kafkaesque, or Swiftian, satire that hypnotizes with its comic romps, existential posturings, and Shakespearean intrigues. Certain to find a readership beyond Self loyalists. Bonnie Smothers --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Editorial Reviews
so again, i bought this book for english class assigned reading. this book has so many words that you can't figure out unless you have a dictionary with you. Read morePublished on April 19, 2013 by pritam
Self's satirical ersatz for The Planet of the Apes is a funny, raucous, and often brilliant book that compels us to face our own stupidity through the lenses of the apes. Read morePublished on December 24, 2012 by Steiner
This book is a clever piece of social satire. The concept of inserting chimp social dynamics into our world is brilliant in itself and the author expands it with a penchant for... Read morePublished on June 12, 2012 by CaRaPr
Self's final book from his drug induced phase, before he went clean. And it's as packed with ideas, language riffs and gags as any of his best fiction. Read morePublished on June 10, 2009 by Sirin
There is so much potential in the background of this story, looking at humanity from the outside, considering how life on earth could have unfolded differently, and of course... Read morePublished on December 8, 2008 by Cup of Tea
One of the funniest, most dazzling linguistic and intellectual displays I've read in years. Self's gleefully coprolalic, vertiginously fluid command of the English language recalls... Read morePublished on August 14, 2007 by E. Walton
Great Apes was a waste of time to read. The author was obviously trying to comment on modern society through a "Planet Of The Apes" type gimmick, but the payoff isn't worth the... Read morePublished on July 28, 2005 by Curran Filer
There really isn't too much to add to what others have said in reviewing the book. This is a world weary cynical satire of human life which is one of the funniest things I have... Read morePublished on July 11, 2004 by Lizzie D
A wicked view of humanity and its hypocrisies. A great novel to make you think about humans, their genetic programming and their place in the world. Read morePublished on March 6, 2004 by A. Dutkiewicz