by Vanessa Woods
This book is definitely not for the squeamish: the author describes horrific atrocities that took place in the Congo, devastating things to live through for humans and bonobos alike. Yet she describes it all in a rather detached, casual manner (with a fair sprinkling of expletives) that sometimes almost made me loose interest in reading. The profanity obviously bothered a reader before me, who marked up the library copy I had with a ballpoint pen, crossing out phrases they apparently found objectionable, and writing in other words in their place. Oh, and there are a number of descriptions of the bonobos engaging in sexual activity. That's another significant characteristic they have- they use sex to diffuse tension. Frequently. Although after carefully observing when, why, and between whom these acts occurred, the author came up with her own ideas for why the bonobos are so free with sex compared to other apes (even youngsters who had never observed adult behavior- being orphaned very abruptly- engaged in what looked like sexual behavior). Surprisingly, my fellow reader with the blue pen didn't mark out or comment on these passages!
Borrowed from the public library.
Rating: 3/5 278 pages, 2010
S. Krishna's Books
My Books My Life