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The Girl With No Name: The Incredible Story of a Child Raised by Monkeys
 
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The Girl With No Name: The Incredible Story of a Child Raised by Monkeys [Kindle Edition]

Lynne Barrett-Lee , Marina Chapman
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (173 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The poignant story of a girl who overcomes unique hardship and deprivation—growing up with a troop of capuchin monkeys—to find ultimate redemption

In 1954, in a remote mountain village in South America, a little girl was abducted. She was four years old. Marina Chapman was stolen from her housing estate and then abandoned deep in the Colombian jungle. That she survived is a miracle. Two days later, half-drugged, terrified, and starving, she came upon a troop of capuchin monkeys. Acting entirely on instinct, she tried to do what they did: she ate what they ate and copied their actions, and little by little, learned to fend for herself.

So begins the story of her five years among the monkeys, during which time she gradually became feral; she lost the ability to speak, lost all inhibition, lost any real sense of being human, replacing the structure of human society with the social mores of her new simian family. But society was eventually to reclaim her. At age ten, she was discovered by a pair of hunters who took her to the lawless Colombian city of Cucuta where, in exchange for a parrot, they sold her to a brothel. When she learned that she was to be groomed for prostitution, she made her plans to escape. But her adventure wasn’t over yet . . .

In the vein of Slumdog Millionaire and City of God, this rousing story of a lost child who overcomes the dangers of the wild and the brutality of the streets to finally reclaim her life will astonish readers everywhere.


Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Torn from her family at the tender age of four and abandoned in the Colombian jungle, Chapman must fight to survive. This remarkable memoir, coauthored by Barrett-Lee, is based on years of Chapman’s conversations about her brutal childhood with her daughter. Her first few, horrifying days in the jungle are presented in vivid detail, as is the troop of capuchin monkeys with which she found refuge and a sense of community over the years. When she casts her lot with hunters who sell her into slavery, her unfamiliarity with basic human concepts is heartbreaking in its entirety. Fortunately, her monkey upbringing has surprising intersections with the talents of a street kid. A well-paced, cliffhanger approach to telling the story makes for a riveting narrative. Chapman’s struggles, no matter how outrageous, are made relatable through the deft descriptions of her thoughts and feelings. A constant theme throughout is her strong desire to be someone. Thrilling, upsetting, and powerful, this memoir is a coming-of-age tale like no other. --Bridget Thoreson

Review

“Chapman tells the harrowing story of her being stolen from her home in Columbia in 1954 at the young age of four by unknown assailants and dropped in the woods to fend for herself. She found comfort and family among a group of monkeys, whose land she happened to stumble upon. The jungle, being an unforgiving place, forced Chapman to learn the ropes quickly, and she found solace in belonging to a group, regardless of species. In fact, as time progressed, she became more comfortable as a monkey than as a human, even being shunned by the indigenous people in the South American jungle. Throughout her time spent in the forest, Chapman learned an important lesson about belonging; “Family is not just about who you appear to belong to... or who you look like... [it] is found anywhere you are loved and cared for.” Unfortunately, this lesson was demonstrated again and again, as one day the little girl was taken from the jungle and began a more difficult life trying to survive the dangers of a “people’s world.” Sold to a brothel, only to run away and become a street-hustler, then later staying with an abusive Mafioso family, life was not easy for the girl of many names, until finally one woman took pity on her and offered her to a better life. This book, which is as much a memoir about the importance of classification and belonging as it is about the endurance of the human spirit, will be enjoyed by those looking for a story of perseverance through even the greatest obstacles life brings.” (Publishers Weekly )

Product Details

  • File Size: 880 KB
  • Print Length: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Pegasus Books; 1 edition (April 9, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BNPI7FG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #43,125 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
60 of 64 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Story with no corroboration September 7, 2013
Format:Hardcover
"Girl with No Name " tells the fascinating tale of Luz Marina, a 5-year-olf girl kidnapped from her Columbian home and left in the jungle to die. Somehow, with the help of a troupe of capuchin monkeys, she survives for several years before being found by a couple of game hunters and brought to the city. Her tale of survival is amazing. Almost too much so. When he eats bad seeds, an elderly monkey pushes her to a stream and forces her to drink water until she vomits up the poison. After that, she basically lives in a bucolic dream, eating what the monkeys eat, sleeping where they sleep and generally living in a child's paradise of colors, lights and never-ending play.

About a third of the way through the book, I started doubting the story was real. It seemed incredible that a child could live so easily in a jungle in which indigenous people had to work so hard -- building fences and hunting and crafting containers, etc. The child never had a toothache or cold or childhood disease. The perfect life.

But it seems that a kidnapping, even in a dangerous country like Columbia would have made the news somewhere. Not to mention the mafia activity that the author claims she witnessed, including an explosion that destroyed a bridge and killed two boys. Not even the convent that sheltered her is asked to show records of her stay. And the ghostwriter who prepared the manuscript only relies on her own interior sense that Luz was telling the truth.

"The Girl with No Name" makes for an action-packed read. I read it voraciously to the end. But it would have been even more amazing had it not seemed like a fantastic story concocted by a former street kid to account for a real history she chose not to remember.
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49 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A biography I won't soon forget March 25, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
What a pleasure it is to write the first Amazon review of this book. I finished it in just over a day because, among its many strong points, The Girl With No Name reads like a novel. The further I got into it, the more impatient I was to find out what happened next.

I've always enjoyed stories that involve a clash of cultures. When people of different classes, religions, or countries are thrown together and faced with the challenge of living together despite their differences, the door opens to all sorts of insights, humor, and character development.

And this account--whose truth I don't doubt for a moment--takes that plot device to the max, because it's not just about the meeting of two cultures, but two species.

Marina Chapman was abandoned in the jungles of Colombia as a four-year-old, and forced to survive for the next five years without the help or companionship of other humans. As the title suggests, she did so by taking up with a troop of capuchin monkeys.

And the culture clash to which I refer happens not just once, but twice in the course of the story--once as she learns to live as a member of her new-found monkey family, and then five years later, as she tries to adjust to living in civilization, having long ago forgotten how to be human.

As you can imagine, there's a tragic side to this tale. Many of her relationships--those with other people, that is--were filled with cruelty and abuse.

But there's also joy, great strength, and tenderness to be found here.

I've long been intrigued by how humans relate to animals. It seems to me that we have a sense of superiority that's unwarranted. How can one species say that it is fundamentally better than another?
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic and Incredible Story April 1, 2013
Format:Hardcover
Around five years old, Marina is kidnapped from her home in Columbia. She remembers the men running with her through the woods, before unceremoniously dropping her. Wandering for days, she is hungry and thirsty, crying for her mother. After an exhausting night, she finds herself surrounded by monkeys. By copying their actions she learns to survive, and eventually is accepted into their group. After many years of surviving in the jungle, she finds two hunters, who she reveals herself too. Walking on all fours, unable to speak, she is taken back to the city and sold to a brothel.

This is a very interesting and dynamic book. I was a bit skeptical about the premise, but it was fascinating. I wanted to read more about Marina, how did she find a husband, raise a family? How did those around her react to her past? I definitely think an epilogue is needed. Highly recommended.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sorrow and joy in one book April 2, 2013
Format:Hardcover
You can't read this book and not feel something for Marina. This essentially begins (after a short preface) with the kidnapping of a young girl who is abandoned and then forced to live on her own in the wilds of Columbia. For years, she goes undiscovered, relying on a group of monkeys to teach her to survive. She therefore learns to live in a rather uncivilised manner and has a very difficult time adapting to life when she is rescues and brought to live among people once more.

I can't imagine that all of the things in this book are reported exactly as they happened, there are a few things that rather contradict themselves, but honestly, by the end, I really didn't care. This book is about an amazingly resilient child that grows up to be remarkable woman. There were certain parts that made me angry, other portions that made me hurt for her and wish I could grasp her hand and tell her everything was going to be alright, I did not get through this book without a range of changing emotions.

While I do not want to discredit the ghostwriting abilities of Lynne Barrett-Lee at all, I did have a difficult time reconciling the voice of a woman that was raised by monkeys and didn't learn to speak until later in life with the at times very formal sounding speech of Ms. Barrett-Lee. This made it difficult for me to fully relate to the memoir.

Overall I thought this was interesting and certainly tells a story that completely true or not, is worth the time to read. If you have not read this book as of yet, may I recommend that you secure a copy for yourself.

This review is based on a digital copy from Open Road Media.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Enjoyed beginning to end.
Published 9 days ago by Brenda Simera
5.0 out of 5 stars Suspend your disbelief
I don't know if this is true or not, but I loved the story.
Published 17 days ago by Belinda
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable book
Enjoyed the book, is a true story of a remarkable little girl.
Published 18 days ago by Mary H. Detsch
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Bought it as a gift.
Published 19 days ago by Evelyn LeSarge
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational
Loved this book from start to finish. Truely an amazing story of courage of unbelievable circumstances. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Cheryl Harris
1.0 out of 5 stars If it was fiction....
I have a hard time believing that this child could remember everything "AFTER" she was abducted but not before. Read more
Published 1 month ago by R. Baughn
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing. It changed me
This book changed the way I thought about animals and ecology. Truly stunning. (I mean it) I think something may have been lost in the writing from the real experience but 100%... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking.
Intriguing story that inspires lots of self-analysis. What would I do in this situation? Has my background, culture, and early childhood been significantly different from... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Darlene Lemon
5.0 out of 5 stars the girl....
I loved to read true stories. This one was well worth my time. As a matter of fact, I brought it to book club and they decided it would be the book for June. Fascinating!
Published 2 months ago by Estelle N. Smith
3.0 out of 5 stars interesting but drawn out
Interesting but drawn out story. While it is plausible, it seemed difficult that a child that young could survive in the wild the way she did and I would think the psychological... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Michele
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