Read The Woman & the Ape by Peter Høeg Free Online
Book Title: The Woman & the Ape|
The author of the book: Peter Høeg
ISBN 13: 9781860462559
Edition: Harvill Press
Date of issue: August 21st 1997
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 417 KB
City - Country: No data
Loaded: 1733 times
Reader ratings: 5.2
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If you approach this book as a kind of essay on the topic of animals and London (in terms of how many animals are either consumed in London as food or maintained there as pets, zoological spectacles and research objects), you will find a lot to like in this book. If you approach it as an essay on the relation of the animal world to civilized humanity, you will find perhaps less to like, but at least the outlines of a very complicated problem: should the civilized world impose some kind of limit on itself (both in terms of its physical expansion and the scope of its knowledge and control) vis a vis the natural world, or should civilization actively incorporate nature and preserve it "as such"? And what would the preservation be exactly?
These questions are all interesting, but this is NOT an essay. As a novel it doesn't work so well, or not as well as hoped: the characters remain vaguely sketched out, the city and settings equally vague (the city itself is a strange image of London as some kind of amalgam of New York City and something like Hong Kong or Mexico City--London is a big city, so I've heard, but I can't imagine it as the massive, frenetic, sprawling, horizontal and vertical concrete jungle that Hoeg describes here).
The first half of the story if quite entertaining as the drunken wife of a rich, well-bred, important zoologist gradually figures out that she's unhappy and her husband is a monster, and that he's torturing a mysterious, illegally smuggled ape in the name of science and his career. Once that episode is over, one is more or less waiting for the ending, which feels more cinematic and superficial than an "organic" resolution of the story and its ideas. The man/beast sex is surprisingly cold; the Edenic allegory is a bit forced; but the idea of a race of super-apes (more or less understood to be nothing but educated Danes with superhuman strength and body hair) is however quite appealing.
Perhaps it's a question of genre: as a novel, the text doesn't work, but as kind of short story, allegory, or fable it might have something to say. It's a quick read in any case. One sees here and there flickers of the brilliance of Smilla's Sense of Snow.
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Read information about the authorPeter Høeg was born in Copenhagen, Denmark. Before becoming a writer, he worked variously as a sailor, ballet dancer, and actor. He published his first novel, A History of Danish Dreams (1988), to positive reviews. However, it was Smilla’s Sense of Snow (1992), a million-copy best seller, that earned Høeg immediate and international literary celebrity. His books have been published in more than thirty countries.
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