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Bad Monkeys Paperback – July 24, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
In this clever SF thriller from Ruff (Fool on the Hill), almost everyone is a bad monkey of some kind, but only Jane Charlotte is a self-confessed member of The Department for the Final Disposition of Irredeemable Persons. Or is she? In a series of sessions with a psychotherapist in the Las Vegas County Jail nut wing, Jane tells the story of her early life in San Francisco and her assimilation into the Bad Monkeys, an organization devoted to fighting evil. Crazy or sane, Jane is still a murderer, whether she used a weapon like the NC gun, which kills someone using Natural Causes, or more prosaic weaponry. Still, nothing is quite what it seems as Jane's initial story of tracking a serial killer janitor comes under scrutiny and the initial facts about her brother, Phil, get turned on their head. At times the twists are enough to give the reader whiplash. Ruff's expert characterization of Jane and agile manipulation of layers of reality ground the novel and make it more than just a Philip K. Dick rip-off. (July 24)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
From Bookmarks Magazine
Matt Ruff's fourth novel, a speculative thriller and takeoff on secret agent fiction, is clever, highly imaginative, fast-paced, hallucinatory, and even maniacal. It's also a satirical (and somewhat philosophical) riff on American society, good versus evil, and reality versus illusion. Jane Charlotte, who proves to be a totally unreliable (but intriguing) narrator, had critics guessing about her-and the Bad Monkeys-until the very end. While Bad Monkeys has whiffs of Philip K. Dick, G. K. Chesterton, Brian Azzarello, and Thomas Pynchon, a few critics thought that without Ruff's crazy tricks (which some thought too preposterous), Bad Monkeys would be a ho-hum novel. The verdict: extra suspension of disbelief required.
Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc.
Top customer reviews
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At the beginning of the story, Jane Charlotte is arrested and is questioned by a psychiatrist. When the police arrest her, she confesses that she works for "The Department for the Final Disposition of Irredeemable Persons", or, for short, the "Bad Monkeys". The Bad Monkeys is a division of a secret organization devoted to fight evil. - an underground fight between good and evil. Is her story "real" or is she crazy. In this organization they call evil people "Bad monkeys" - and these are people who must be destroyed. It is an interesting story of the nature of good and evil and about a secret society dedicated to improving the world by assassinating serial killers . Fantasy, falsehood, science fiction, all mixed together, as one reviewer wrote.
Her psychiatrist is trying to get to the bottom of what is true and what is false.
Jane starts out sounding sincere, then she begins to lie , and we have to sort it out - what is truth, what is lies, what is delusional, and what is real. She says her victims are all serial killers, mass murders or child molesters. So is she good or is she evil? You wonder. You keep wondering as you read all the way to the end.
Even though you know she lies - and you know her story is fantastic - you find yourself believing her when you shouldn't - just like in real life we tend to believe people we shouldn't in real life.
Very interesting book
"Bad Monkeys" is funny, thought provoking, and choked full of surprises. If you liked "Sucker Punch", you'll love "Bad Monkeys". I did and I do.
I do wish that Ruff had taken the time he needed to turn this into a proper novel, rather than an over-sized short story. It's incredibly entertaining, but ultimately, unenlightening. It teases the reader with promises of something deeper, sadder, just more, but it halts quite abruptly. There's so much zaniness packed into such a small space - there's plenty of room for longer, slower sections that, I don't know, meditate on the nature of good and evil, sibling rivalry, the nature of reality, and / or whatever else happens to be on Ruff's mind.
Its an excellent book and a great read.
Most recent customer reviews
Anyways, here is my sanitized review for you all since Amazon doesn’t consider it appropriate...Read more