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Comment: This book has already been loved by someone else. It MIGHT have some wear and tear on the edges, have some markings in it, or be an ex-library book. Over-all itâ?TMs still a good book at a great price! (if it is supposed to contain a CD or access code, that may be missing)
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The Love Song of Monkey Paperback


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 149 pages
  • Publisher: Leapfrog Press (November 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0981514804
  • ISBN-13: 978-0981514802
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 5.2 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,692,442 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Neuroscientist and author Graziano (Hiding Places) has crafted a compelling fantasy based on a semi-plausible what if: a physicist constructs a state-of-the-art machine in which a terminal patient undergoes a complete molecular rearrangement, coming out unbreakable. Narrated by Jonathan, a married 20-something dying of AIDS, the novel begins with a trip to Dr. Kack, of the experimental, highly secret Kwark-King cure, which Jonathan's wife, Kitty, has insisted he try. The machine hasn't exactly been successful—the intense pain has driven patients to opt out, and animals to die—but Dr. Kack manages to get Jonathan all the way through. Jonathan does, indeed, emerge transformed, but in a kind of waking coma that looks a lot like death. As such, Kitty and Dr. Kack drop his body in the ocean, and the bulk of Graziano's imaginative, intelligent narrative chronicles Jonathan's ethereal voyage beyond civilization and back again as a kind of superhuman, sustained by his love for Kitty. Twin ideas of forgiveness and mercy twist through this strange, moving, patiently wrought novel, making for a trippy but charming read. (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

Neuroscientist and author Graziano has crafted a compelling fantasy based on a semi-plausible "what if." Imaginative, intelligent narrative...Twin ideas of forgiveness and mercy twist through this strange, moving, patiently wrought novel, making for a trippy but charming read. --Publishers Weekly, October 2008

More About the Author

Michael Graziano (1967-) is an American scientist, novelist, and composer. He was born in Connecticut and grew up partly on a farm in upstate New York. He is now a professor of neuroscience at Princeton University. He has published numerous novels, some under a pseudonym, scientific books on the brain, and books of music. His novels often take the form of parables or metaphors - fairy tales for the modern adult.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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While the book is short, I hesitate to call it a quick read.
k.c.
A blend of funny and dark, the story is wonderfully light, yet, at the same time deeply thought-provoking.
A Stranger
It is a quick read and will probably take you less than two hours to get through.
Author Unknown

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Dennis Littrell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 17, 2008
Format: Paperback
[Note: Nearly a hundred of my fiction reviews by great literary artists and others not so well known are now available in my book, "Novels and other Fictions." Get it at Amazon.]

This is a fantastic novel, and I mean that in the old-fashioned sense that the events are fantastic. And surreal and deeply human. I read it in one fell swoop. It runs. Fast. It's a little crazy and you can feel Graziano making it up as he goes along--which is a great way to write a novel since you don't know how it's going to end. If you're clever and naturally creative--as Graziano is--some beautiful effects can be achieved. I once wrote a novel this way. You start out at one place: here Graziano, who is a professor of psychology at Princeton, starts with his protagonist dying of complications from AIDS. He is being taken to the hospital by his anorexic wife. He's in a lot of pain and scarcely cares whether he lives or dies. And then you end up in another: at the bottom of the ocean, in a museum, as a cat burglar called the Monkey man, and all the while you sing "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" by T.S. Eliot.

I suspect that where Graziano thought he was going in the beginning is different from where he actually went. I also suspect that he had intended a realistic narrative but found himself constrained. And so he threw off the shackles and typed a tale incredible.

Graziano's strength is first in the rapid paced narrative and then in the great freedom he gives his story. Neither conventional reality nor scientific plausibility deters him from his fancy. The narrative is lean like something from James M. Cain or Cormac McCarthy, but without the strict adherence to realism.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Joyce M. Gilmour VINE VOICE on November 6, 2008
Format: Paperback
THE LOVE SONG OF MONKEY is a wonderful, thought-provoking read. It doesn't fall into my normal realm of books that I would read, but it leaves me with lasting thoughts and makes me think about relationships in my own life. I find myself continuing to reflect on the ideas presented days after finishing it. THE LOVE SONG OF MONKEY pulled me in and I just couldn't put it down. I kept wanting to know just how Michael Graziano would wrap it up and put it all together. I wondered how the title fit with the book, and voila! MG does just that in a surprising twist in the book. This book is magical with elements of science fiction but through it all, you will find yourself laughing at times, wanting to cry at times, and looking into yourself for how you relate to others and where things will go in your own life. I felt like I was right there, experiencing the events right along with the main character in the book... even to feeling claustrophobic during the kwark-king experience (wondering what that is? You'll need to read the book!) Michael Graziano is an amazing author and pulls off a great read. I hope he continues to write for years to come.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Stranger on October 3, 2008
Format: Paperback
Light and Charming, Love Song of Monkey takes you away and makes you want to sit quietly and think about the world. A blend of funny and dark, the story is wonderfully light, yet, at the same time deeply thought-provoking.

Graziano writes with a simple eloquence that leaves the reader feeling as though every word was in exactly the right place. An effortless read that captures your imagination and leaves you calm, satisfied and feeling thoughtful.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By k.c. on October 6, 2008
Format: Paperback
The Love Song of Monkey may be my favorite read this year. Michael S.A. Graziano does an amazing job of creating characters so real and vivid, they carry the surreal aspects of the story perfectly. While the book is short, I hesitate to call it a quick read. I plowed through it simply because I couldn't put it down, but then I went back and read it again. The Love Song of Monkey is rich with layers of meaning and stop-and-think moments. This is love as Ian McEwan might conjure it, something complex shared by deeply flawed people, and yet something ultimately beautiful. I'm glad to have discovered a new favorite writer.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Kyle Dickerson on December 2, 2008
Format: Paperback
Graziano has created yet another timeless tale. The Love Song of Monkey takes a wonderful journey through the human heart, soul, and psyche. We see the cold reality of humanity, and the warm embrace of redemption. Graziano uses imagery throughout that parallels the psychological battle within each of us to overcome our own prisons we create around ourselves. Within, lies the belief that love conquers all...even betrayal and death. We are encouraged to understand the wrong-doer and rejoice with the saved, always acknowledging that a glimpse of each lies within all decisions. From the depths of the ocean floor, to the peaks of the city skyline, The Love Song of Monkey speaks to the human soul.

An epic quest within ourselves!

Kyle Dickerson
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By D. Cloyce Smith on June 6, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Graziano's fabulist allegory begins with the opening lines from "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock," but perhaps the more appropriate passage can be found later in the poem: "I am Lazarus, come from the dead, / Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all." And, although, Jonathan, the Lazarus of "Monkey," doesn't quite tell us all in this slim novella, he certainly tells just enough to spin a dark, quirky, and even entrancing love story.

Dying from AIDS, Jonathan allows his wife to take him to Dr. Kack, a quack physician developing "a machine that fixes the broken arrangement of carbon atoms" in order to cure the patient. The only catch is that the excruciating pain always kills the subject--or, at least, the patient is transformed to a state that certainly resembles death. What Dr. Kack doesn't realize is that he is busy creating immortal life forms akin to golems. (There's a fantastic twist to the plot, but I won't ruin it here.) Chained to a statue of Venus de Milo, Jonathan ends up at the bottom of the sea, meditating on his former life, developing "an uncanny sense of the space around me," getting acquainted with pelagic life forms, and occasionally terrifying deep-sea divers. But all these underwater entertainments can't distract him from his one true passion: his wife, Kitty.

The advertising for this book compares Graziano to Vonnegut. (It's usually unfair to pin a book's marketing on the author, but in this case he happens to be co-owner of the press that published it.) There are perhaps superficial similarities to Vonnegut, but the more apt comparison is to Calvino--particularly "The Baron in the Trees.
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