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Bonobo Handshake: A Memoir of Love and Adventure in the Congo Paperback – June 7, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
Bonobo Handshake is a wonderful mix of story-telling, science, and history melded together to become an engaging memoir. A lot of non-fiction falls into the "dry" category for me, but this book was anything but stodgy. I was able to learn while being entertained - literally laughing and tearing up at different parts of the story - about not only bonobos and chimps but also the DR of Congo, which had previously only existed for me via bloody images on the news.
While I'd hesitate in recommending it to my friend's kids (they're pretty young - I'm not sure I'd be up for explaining the "handshake" to them), I'd DEFINITELY add this to any of my friend's reading lists. FABULOUS!
I looked up the website: [...] and saw the pictures of the people and bonobos in the book.Read more ›
I will share this book and its story with everyone and look forward to seeing you and your husband's name in print again and will do my best to support the bonobos. Best of luck with all the great work you and everyone in the book are doing!!
At first I was a little put off by the striking self-absorption and immaturity of her perspective. Then I came to appreciate that her willingness to reveal this was part of her unflinching honesty, which is what makes her observations so vivid. Her writing style is certainly fresh and engaging. Even the choice of title is clever - an ironic reference to a certain bonobo social behavior that is explained in the text and which I won't spoil by revealing here.
The story is comprised of three intertwined themes: the volatile beginning of their marriage, the plight of the Congo where the bonobos have their only habitat, and the nature of the bonobos themselves. What makes them, and this book, fascinating is the portrayal of mankind's closest genetic relative as a species that is inherently and strongly caring of those around them, a trait previously thought unique to humanity. Their use of sex to prevent and resolve conflict is described in voyeuristic and comical detail. The author seems to hold up her idealized view of bonobo society as a mirror to her own and mankind's demons. Despite the enthusiasm of her convictions, I found myself wondering how much her observations may reflect that the bonobos she describes are exclusively traumatized orphans in captivity. This may not be an objective, scientific treatment of the subject, but it certainly is an entertaining and compelling introduction to a species and part of the world that deserves more attention.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a must read if you love animals. It also includes informative information on the history of the Congo.Published 4 days ago by Nahserah
Loved it! Easy reading and lots of information, not just about Bonobos but about all the issues and wars the people of the Congo have had to face..Published 2 months ago by Margaret R.Mckiernan
This book is so well written and has such a great love story. The sexual content is very PG - you know sex is happening but it is not described in graphic detail which I found... Read morePublished 3 months ago by LakeGirlVA
This is a great way to learn about bonobos and the people who dedicate their lives to protect them. A fun read. BUY IT!Published 5 months ago by John Stewart
The writer spares nothing in describing the horrors of war and what happens to people: rape, horrific killing sprees, torture, mutilation, etc... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Tea&BookLover