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His Monkey Wife (Or, Married to a Chimp) Paperback – May 1, 2000
"Children of Blood and Bone"
Tomi Adeyemi conjures a stunning world of dark magic and danger in her West African-inspired fantasy debut. Learn more
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From Library Journal
Collier's comic spoof follows a pet chimpanzee's attempt to break the engagement of her owner. As the plot unfolds, the monkey reveals herself to be far more sophisticated and loving than the fianc e, who is more interested in herself. This 1930 farce is still good for a few laughs. This is the only paperback edition currently available.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Praise for John Collier and His Monkey Wife
"A work of genius"The Boston Globe
"From the first sentence of the novel the reader is aware that he is in the presence of a magician [Collier] casts a spell and he does so always with a smile."Paul Theroux
"A wayward masterpiece Whatever this volume has cost you, it is, believe me, a great bargain."Anthony Burgess
"It is impossible to convey the subtle wit which makes you laugh out loud, the beauty and penetrating satire which blend so perfectly into its brilliance."Booklist
"The whole is written with sly humor throughout and is illuminated by splendid similes and metaphors which mark the author as a true humorist."New York Times
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As for the prose, which other reviewers have praised highly, I found it charming in places, but unnecessarily over-wrought in general. Mr. Collier certainly knows how to turn a phrase, but too often he does a double-backflip when a mere flick of the wrist would have been so much more effective. Passages made me long for the elegant simplicity of Wodehouse - oh what he could have done with this premise!
It's hard to know whether Mr. Collier is a racist, misogynist misanthrope, or merely a product of his time. That said, he dosn't seem to like people much - female and dark people in particular. It is jarring to read his caricatures of African tribespeople, so be forewarned on that too.
I dunno - lost my Kindle and have a hard copy of this so I guess I'll return to it. It's not without its comic rewards... but sadly this is no lost masterpiece.
Did I mention that Emily is a chimp?
This hilarious satire of both Victorian and Edwardian mores is must reading for anyone who enjoys animal stories, satire, or Saki. Highly recommended.