A Beautiful Truth

A Beautiful Truth

Book - 2013
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  A novel about the simple truths that transcend species, about the meaning of family, the lure of belonging, and the capacity for survival

Walt and Judy are deeply in love, but Judy longs for a child and finds that life is holding few surprises. Walt measures all beauty against that of Judy but doesn't want her eyes to get any sadder. They stay side by side and search for distractions, realizing they may never have a family. On a day when hope seems low, Walt finds an unexpected opportunity in the pages of Life magazine. Soon they are welcoming Looee, born in Sierra Leone, into their home in the hills of Vermont , where they come to regard him as their son.

Looee is a hurricane in clothes; the house is torn apart. Judy asks questions of herself and is judged by friends and strangers. But the three of them eventually find their rhythm and settle into their own version of love and life between four walls. Until the night their unique family is changed forever.

Hundreds of miles away, at the Girdish Institute in Florida , a group of chimpanzees has been studied for decades. There is proof that chimps have memories and solve problems, that they can learn language and need friends. They are political, altruistic; they get angry and forgive. Among them is Mr. Ghoul, who has grown up in a world of rivals, sex and unpredictable loss. As Looee and Mr. Ghoul 's distant but parallel paths through childhood, adolescence and early middle age converge, a new experience of family is formed.

Told simultaneously from the perspective of humans and chimpanzees, A Beautiful Truth is an inventive, thrillingly intelligent and heartfelt novel about parenthood, friendship, loneliness and strength, about the things we hold sacred as humans and the facts that link us inevitably to a nature we too often ignore.

Publisher: Toronto : Hamish Hamilton, c2013
ISBN: 9780670066360
Branch Call Number: MCA
Characteristics: 292 p. ;,24 cm

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r
ritarufus
Sep 18, 2017

Walt and Judy can't have kids and Walt sees an add for a chimpanzee. Its their story of raising Looee.
Looee is a hurricane in clothes; the house is torn apart. Judy asks questions of herself and is judged by friends and strangers. But the three of them eventually find their rhythm and settle into their own version of love and life between four walls. Until the night their unique family is changed forever.
Looee gets jealous over a neighbor and Judy and attacks them. Looee is sent to a lab and used for research with aids. It tells the story of looee adapting to other breeds and life in a cage. He is used to wearing cloths, having a remote for the TV, drinking beer etc.
A novel about the simple truths that transcend species, about the meaning of family, the lure of belonging, and the capacity for survival

u
uncommonreader
Sep 22, 2015

Perhaps it was the writing, or the idea of adults raising a chimp as a child, but I could not become interested in this book and could not finish it.

m
Mothercat
Jan 11, 2015

Hmmm ... Sorry, just couldn't get into this story - ended up returning it having read about a third of the story without it engaging me at all. Too many other good books around to waste any more time on it!

m
mclarjh
Oct 08, 2013

The greatest artistic accomplishment in this genre since the release of "Planet of the Apes"!

e
Estha
Sep 21, 2013

All the "right actions" that do wrong to the chimps will break your heart and question it. Very thought provoking novel. My own discomfort at the babying of Louee turned to fascination with Mr Ghoul's situation. Lots of ethical questions, the novel makes you feel loss, value family and culture, and question what it means to be human.

g
GLNovak
May 20, 2013

My first thought after I finished this book was "what was this about?" We are introduced to a childless couple, then to an experimental primate lab worker, then to some chimpanzees, then to a single chimpanzee, then here then there. I got a little confused but kept reading. I got a little nauseated but kept reading. I got bewildered at the author's point of it all but kept reading. I think I persevered hoping that I would find the beginning, middle and end of the narrative - but that never happened. The narrative was quite flat, emotionless, and the story kind of petered out. What was it all about? Biography? Is man only a primate? Are chimpanzees the same as man? Is experimentation wrong/right? Is exotic animal adoption wrong/right? Does experimentation affect both subjects and scientists? Perhaps this is the objective - to make our minds fly out all over the place. I was left feeling something was definitely missing in the execution of this story.

m
mdsvpl
May 02, 2013

Excellent Novel!
Particularly interesting to also hear from chimps' point of view!

smc01 May 02, 2013

I can't recall when I have been more disappointed in a novel. The premise seemed so interesting but was not well executed. Read The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary by Andrew Westoll instead.

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