Extended Audio Sample

Download Ape House: A Novel Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Ape House: A Novel Audiobook, by Sara Gruen Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (14,353 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Sara Gruen Narrator: Paul Boehmer, Paul Boehmer Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2010 ISBN: 9780739368558
Regular Price: $20.00 Add to Cart
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $17.95$5.95$5.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

Sam, Bonzi, Lola, Mbongo, Jelani, and Makena are no ordinary apes. These bonobos, like others of their species, are capable of reason and carrying on deep relationships—but unlike most bonobos, they also know American Sign Language.

Isabel Duncan, a scientist at the Great Ape Language Lab, doesn’t understand people, but animals she gets—especially the bonobos. Isabel feels more comfortable in their world than she’s ever felt among humans…until she meets John Thigpen, a very married reporter who braves the ever-present animal rights protesters outside the lab to see what’s really going on inside.

When an explosion rocks the lab, severely injuring Isabel and “liberating” the apes, John’s human interest piece turns into the story of a lifetime, one he’ll risk his career and his marriage to follow. Then a reality television show featuring the missing apes debuts under mysterious circumstances, and it immediately becomes the biggest—and unlikeliest—phenomenon in the history of modern media. Millions of fans are glued to their screens watching the apes order greasy take-out, have generous amounts of sex, and sign for Isabel to come get them. Now, to save her family of apes from this parody of human life, Isabel must connect with her own kind, including John, a green-haired vegan, and a retired porn star with her own agenda.

Ape House delivers great entertainment, but it also opens the animal world to us in ways few novels have done, securing Sara Gruen’s place as a master storyteller who allows us to see ourselves as we never have before.

Download and start listening now!

BK_RAND_002371

Quotes & Awards

  • “Animal lovers, gather ‘round...[Ape House] is much better [than Water for Elephants]—funny because of some weird characters and circumstances that make life difficult for our intrepid reporter, and at the same time, compelling because those apes put to shame our beloved Homo sapiens.”

    Newark Star Ledger

  • “Gruen is clearly enjoying herself here. It is fun…the conceit of a household of language-endowed apes as the ne plus ultra of reality TV—leering humans greedy for profits and naughty thrills…apes who are at once innocent and more compassionate and dignified than the producers and the viewers—is terrific: an incisive piece of social commentary.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Gruen has a knack for pacing and for creating distinctive animal characters. Scenes involving the bonobos are winsome without being sappy, and the reader comes to share Isabel’s concern for the animals.”

    Boston Globe

  • “Gruen’s astute, wildly entertaining tale of interspecies connection is a novel of verve and conscience.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Has the dramatic tension of a crime thriller…Twists and turns, lies, and treachery abound in this funny, clever, and perceptive story.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • Consider reality TV, meth labs, over-the-top animal-rights activists, Botox, tabloids and Internet diatribes, and you, too, might come to the conclusion: People should be more like animals. Sara Gruen’s entertaining, enlightening new novel will certainly leave you thinking so. Miami Herald 
  • Propulsive...Gruen writes with the commercial breathlessness of a cozier Dan Brown. Entertainment Weekly  
  • Gruen delivers a tale that’s full of heart, hope, and compelling questions about who we really are. Redbook
  • Animal lovers, gather ‘round...[Ape House] is much better [than Water for Elephants]—funny because of some weird characters and circumstances that make life difficult for our intrepid reporter, and at the same time, compelling because those apes put to shame our beloved Homo sapiens. Newark Star Ledger 
  • Part expose, part thriller, part gothic romance and part comedy and farce...Gruen is a master at the popular novel plot. Asheville Citizen Times
  • Gruen is clearly enjoying herself here. It is fun...the conceit of a household of language-­endowed apes as the ne plus ultra of reality TV — leering humans greedy for profits and naughty thrills...apes who are at once innocent and more compassionate and dignified than the producers and the viewers — is terrific: an incisive piece of social commentary. New York Times Book Review
  • [Ape House] hums along with a pop-culture plot full of slick profiteers, sleazy pornographers, idiotic reality TV and gossip rags — with botox and ape sex thrown in for entertaining reading. Des Moines Register
  • Gruen has a knack for pacing and for creating distinctive animal characters. Scenes involving the bonobos are winsome without being sappy, and the reader comes to share Isabel’s concern for the animals. Boston Globe 
  • Gruen’s astute, wildly entertaining tale of interspecies connection is a novel of verve and conscience. Booklist (Starred review)
  • Has the dramatic tension of a crime thriller...Twists and turns, lies, and treachery abound in this funny, clever, and perceptive story. Library Journal (Starred review)
  • Sara Gruen knows things—she knows them in her mind and in her heart. And, out of what she knows, she has created a true thriller that is addictive from its opening sentence. Devour it to find out what happens next, but also to learn remarkable and moving things about life on this planet. Very, very few novels can change the way you look at the world around you. This one does. Robert Goolrick, author of A Reliable Wife
     
  • I read Ape House in one joyous breath. Ever an advocate for animals, Gruen brings them to life with the passion of a novelist and the accuracy of a scientist. She has already done more for bonobos than I could do in a lifetime. The novel is immaculately researched and lovingly crafted. If people fall in love with our forgotten, fascinating, endangered relative, it will be because of Ape House. Vanessa Woods, author of Bonobo Handshake
  • “Propulsive…Gruen writes with the commercial breathlessness of a cozier Dan Brown.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “Gruen delivers a tale that’s full of heart, hope, and compelling questions about who we really are.”

    Redbook

  • Selected for the September 2010 Indie Next List
  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Robyn Warr | 2/12/2014

    " Great book. Made me want to learn sign language. Loved it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Donna Ippoliti | 2/10/2014

    " This story was so entertaining. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kristina | 2/6/2014

    " eh... this book was just okay for me. I picked it out because I had read and loved Water for Elephants. This book, however, was very different from that one and while there were some interesting parts, overall I wouldn't particularly recommend it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shari | 2/2/2014

    " I disliked the frame structure of Water for Elephants so I was pleasantly surprised to realize I was enjoying Ape House. The story got messy for me mid-way through and when I couldn't remember which character's last name was "Pinager," I got frustrated with the resolution and denouement of the novel as a whole. Amanda was irritating and not particularly believable, and I also find it unrealistic that Isabel Duncan wouldn't have seen the truth about Peter Benton from the moment he arrived at the lab. Guy Faulkes: utterly ridiculous. Meth lab sub-plot: pointless. Overall this wasnt a terrible book to listen to in the car but I wouldn't go out of my way to recommend it either. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 LeeAnn Heringer | 1/29/2014

    " This book isn't going to have the resonance of Water For Elephants which had the themes of the cruelty of man against animal and man against man, the cruelty of growing old, and how everyone has a breaking point. The themes here are the power of the tribe, the power of communication, and sex. It was a very enjoyable read, there was a lot here to chew on, but I'm not sure I didn't enjoy the Russian strippers and the meth dealer's dog more than the apes. And I don't think I was supposed to. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah Owens | 1/28/2014

    " Amazing book. Didn't even interest me at first, and only read it at a friend's insistence. Great choise, fast read, touching story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sara | 1/27/2014

    " Great book. Held my interest. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Janice | 1/22/2014

    " Listened to the audiobook of this. Reader was great and story was interesting if a little soap operaish in parts. Wish Amanda, John's wife, had been a stronger character. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Varda | 1/18/2014

    " I really wanted to like this more but due to my love of and compassion for captive primates (and all species), some of the humor and irony was not to my liking. On the other hand,the antics of the bonobos had me smiling a lot. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lynn Randall | 1/9/2014

    " Not as good as her other novel Water For Elephants, but an enjoyable quick read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Helgaklassen | 1/4/2014

    " entertaining, but not great literature. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jill Veenstra | 12/10/2013

    " Great book! Really interesting info about bonobo chimpanzees, with some side stories that kept things moving. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Victoria | 11/19/2013

    " Couldn't manage the tiny text. May try again with larger print. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Meghna | 10/24/2013

    " I loved Water for Elephants and I also enjoyed Ape House. Sara Gruen illustrates animal behavior in a such a captivating way. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lynne | 10/14/2013

    " Not much to say- was good but not compelling. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shila Bechdol | 10/6/2013

    " Book about monkeys....what is there not to like? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Linda | 9/24/2013

    " Loved reading about the bonobos. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Evelyn | 6/12/2013

    " Because I really liked Water for Elephants, I thought I would enjoy this book too. And I did. Story is about a group of apes who are able to communicate through sign language, and the search for them when they are kidnapped. Good book, but not as good as Water for Elephants. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sharon | 4/3/2013

    " Really enjoyed this book. I have a great love of animals and hate the attitude of people toward them. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sharyn | 12/15/2012

    " I liked Water for Elephants, but thought this was better. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Brenda | 10/8/2012

    " This was certainly no Water For Elephants... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gloria Paul | 10/5/2012

    " Disappointing. Characters are goofy and shallow. Story is sappy and thin. Can't believe this is the same writer as Water For Elephants - what a letdown! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Itumeleng94 | 9/28/2012

    " I enjoyed this book. It was a quick read, perfect for summer. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jim | 8/10/2012

    " An OK book, but not a great read. Too much melodrama, too little about the bonobos, who are far and away the most interesting characters in the book. I developed no attachment to the human characters, by and large. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kimberly | 6/15/2012

    " The premise of this book was so interesting, that bonobos (a type of ape) can understand English and communicate back in ASL. I loved that this author actually experienced working with the apes and her book is based on that. Great intertwining story as well. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paula | 3/31/2012

    " This book was a little silly plot-wise, but it was so much fun to read about the bonobos! Definitely recommended. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anneke Penn | 1/25/2012

    " Read it in 2 days, entertaining, heart warming, and a happy ending!!!! Loved it all the way through:) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Crystal | 1/11/2012

    " I think I liked this more than "Water for Elephants". A neat story about bonobo monkeys. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennifer Barczak | 7/18/2011

    " This was a good book but there were a couple of parts that were really unnecessary-like the whole possible father to the green haired kid thing....stupid. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rachelle | 6/18/2011

    " Although I love Water for Elephants, wasn't sure about this book because I thought it would be 300 pages of apes and a scientist. Actually much more soap opera-y and interesting, though I do think the book flap does a poor job of describing what it's actually about. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julie | 5/25/2011

    " Enjoyed this novel thoroughly. Nice commentary on today's reality TV culture and what it means to be human. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michelle | 5/23/2011

    " Not as good as Water for Elephants. Good characters, but plot not tied together as closely as I would have liked. I felt like things didn't overlap enough. If you are interested in apes though, very interesting book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Karen | 5/22/2011

    " Too many story lines going on, and I don't think she did any one of them justice. It was an ok story, but nothing compared to Water for Elephants. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Fran | 5/21/2011

    " Interesting and now I know so much more - Bonobo monkeys! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tyson | 5/20/2011

    " This book was a little disjointed and didn't flow as nicely as it could have. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Crystal | 5/17/2011

    " I absolutely LOVE Sara Gruen! One of my favorite authors!! Cant wait to read her other two novels! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jamie | 5/17/2011

    " Wow! If this is just her first few books, I can NOT wait to see what else she has up her sleeves. Exceptionally written with very engaging characters. Better than her second, she is getting better every time. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rachel | 5/16/2011

    " Didn't hold a candle to Water for Elephants, and the first half of the book was just frustrating and depressing.

    That said, I'm glad I stuck with it. The second half was a fun read. "

Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations
About the Author
Author Sara Gruen

Sara Gruen is the author of the New York Times bestseller Water for Elephants and Riding Lessons. She lives with her husband and three children in a conservation community outside Chicago.

About the Narrators

Paul Boehmer is an American actor best known for his numerous appearances in the Star Trek universe. Paul is a 1992 Masters of Fine Arts graduate of the Professional Theater Training Program at the University of Delaware.

Paul Boehmer is an American actor best known for his numerous appearances in the Star Trek universe. Paul is a 1992 Masters of Fine Arts graduate of the Professional Theater Training Program at the University of Delaware.