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The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore Paperback – February 13, 2012
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Top Customer Reviews
Bruno is intelligent, witty, and quite arrogant--a wonderfully glorious combination. Bruno's voice is in sharp contrast to "Room" by Emma Donoghue, a novel with a child's narrative voice that was well received by critics and audiences in 2010. However, like that book, "Bruno Littlemore" transcends the narrative trickery to provide the reader with an emotional experience that you will remember long after you've finished the final pages.
P.S. There is monkey/human sex and monkey/frog sex. The former is love, and the latter you've probably seen video of on YouTube.
To say that this is not a book for everyone would be a gross understatement. I knew going into this novel that Bruno and his human companion develop a sexual relationship. Somehow I was still shocked when it occurred. I am puzzled that this relationship developed at a time in Bruno's evolution when even the scientists admitted that he had the language skills of a two year old child. The relationship between Lydia and Bruno occurs at a time when Lydia is a mother figure and he is still being charmed by Sesame Street. The speed at which this relationship changed from pseudo mother/child to lovers left me flabbergasted and dismayed. I have read books where people do unfathomable things, but usually the author makes some effort to bring us into the heads of their characters so that we may better understand their actions. I did not feel this at all with Lydia. I did not understand her feelings, her motivations, or her actions. Unfortunately, this killed a lot of this story for me.
There's no doubt that Bruno's evolution is a fascinating read. The first two hundred pages or so that involved language acquisition were interesting and made for compelling reading. Bruno's obsessive descriptions of things in his environment were made more palatable by the author's beautiful writing.Read more ›
The novel is told from Bruno's perspective in the form of a transcribed recording of his autobiography (see, Lolita). Bruno is selected at a young age from a zoo for research and is transferred to a lab in Chicago. A young researcher, Lydia Littlemore, takes a special interest in Bruno and Bruno shortly reveals his ability to speak, or to learn to speak, honed by (of all people) an autistic night janitor.
As Bruno says, "A being acquires language because it is curious, because it yearns to participate in the perpetual reincarnation of the world. It is not just a trick of agreement. It is not a process of painting symbols over the faces of the raw materials of the cosmos. A being acquires language to carve out its own consciousness, its own active and reactive existence. A being screams because it is in pain, and it acquires language to communicate."
This is when the novel really takes off. As Bruno "evolves," he takes on the better and worse qualities of humankind: vanity, self-consciousness, morality. Bruno becomes human in as many ways as an ape can, to his benefit and detriment: he loves, he is loved; he suffers, he makes others suffer. Through Bruno, the novel asks many questions about the nature of man and animal, about language, about morality, and about love.Read more ›
In response to the one negative review on here, Bruno is not supposed to be a likeable character. Yes, he's sarcastic, crass, self-contradictory (aren't we all?), but, above all, he is overwhelmingly truthful, and I can anticipate that some readers will squirm as he voices his (very loud) opinions. That is the beauty of this book. As "unlikeable" as he may be, there are some extremely tender moments where I felt myself feeling compassion and pity towards Bruno. THE EVOLUTION OF BRUNO LITTLEMORE is an exploration of the human condition-- the good, the bad, and the ugly. And Bruno certainly doesn't spare us from the things we don't want to hear about ourselves.
Hale is an excellent writer and his talent shines through on every page. It's a hefty book, but it moves quickly with a vivid cast of characters that at times will have you laughing out loud. I couldn't put this book down. An excellent debut novel to say the least. I look forward to reading more of Hale's work in the future.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I quit reading it when I got to the chimp and the frog. It was monkey porno! I hated the book.Published 6 months ago by Pamela Shields
This book, written from the voice of a chimp, explores what it means to be human and how a being becomes lost and caught between two worlds. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Kristine Saunders
Not the book for me.
Book clocks in at about 585 pages and I read up to page 186 and....I couldn't care any more. It's just vanilla writing in my opinion. Read more
Cleverly written with a strong narrative voice--but certainly some of the most disturbing sexual content and violence. If you're okay with...say... Read morePublished 10 months ago by James Christopher
I like the storyline but the author is too wordy. Read about 80 pages and then gave up.Published 11 months ago by S. Cisneros
I don't think this book got the attention it deserved. The writing is brilliant, the story clever and wonderfully imaginative. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Gia
This book is a tour de force through the incredible life and times of a fictional chimp who has quite a lot of very real lessons for humanity. Read morePublished 21 months ago by P. Shapiro