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  • Writer's pictureRoo I Macleod

To Bonobo or not to Bonobo, was that the question?

The Theory of Bastards by Audrey Schulman is an intriguing read that ensnares your attention with the most wonderful portrayal of the sexually promiscuous Bonobo monkey. I love monkeys. All monkeys, but Bonobo monkeys capture your heart. And I’m sure it’s symbolic, right, but I loved reading about Frankie, the main girl scientist in this story, trying to work out what was going on with the sexual practises of the monkey.

In the background, stuff is happening that suggests it’s not just about monkeys and their sex life, right? There is talk of viruses, blackouts and dust storms. Frankie has issues with pain and has had her reproductive organ removed. And there’s a deaf animal keeper and that’s profound too, because Bonobo’s can sign. Signing language is how the scientists and the keepers communicate.

And then there’s the dust storm and the world gets cut off while they try to keep the animals alive. But when the dust settles a whole new world awaits because they’re cut off. No internet. No rescue. The world has gone dead and they must leave the zoo to find water and food.

What happens next is more Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. And you follow them as they raid and scavenge and attempt to reach a warmer clime.

This is a wonderful, heart-warming book. And its about monkeys and they steal the show. And so they should.

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