Ape House Sara Gruen paperback

Ape House paperback cover


Ape House hardback edition

From the bestselling author of Water for Elephants comes another immensely engaging novel, about the fascinating world of bonobos …

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 TV show, Ape House, featuring the missing apes, debuts under mysterious circumstances and immediately becomes the biggest – and unlikeliest – phenomenon in the history of modern media.

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.

bonobo, Water for Elephants, Sara Gruen

A bonobo ape flips through Sara’s previous book, Water For Elephants. Photo courtesy of Vanessa Woods.

Ape House is gripping, emotionally exhilarating and, by a large margin, the best novel I’ve read in the past 12 months.  Or perhaps 24. . . . A twisting pacy plot . . . vivid page-turner . . . mining the same literary vein as Jodi Picoult and T C Boyle who strong, conflicted characters and ethically charged plots deliver brilliant but challenging fiction.

The Independent

Don’t miss your bus top reading this week’s talking point book . . . it’s a funny, provocative lampoon of pop culture.


Sara Gruen has the double gift of writing colourful page-turners and researching off-beat subjects with broad appeal. . . . She is driven by a vision of humanity seen through the lens of what we do to animals.

Financial Times
Funny, provoking and moving.  Once I started reading this, I really didn’t want to stop.
Ruth Ng

Propulsive… Gruen writes with the commercial breathlessness of a cozier Dan Brown.

Entertainment Weekly

The biggest accomplishment of Ape House is that it brings bonobos to life. The writing is effortless, as though Gruen sat down and wrote the book in one breezy afternoon.

Vanessa Woods, New Scientist
SuperbThe Sun

If  you love animals like I do – it’s a must read.

Ellen de Generes (Ape House film rights have been optioned to ELLEN DEGENERES and her production company, Crazy Monkey!)


About Sara:

Sara Gruen lives in Western North Carolina with her family, four cats, two dogs, two horses and a goat.


Sara at the Great Ape Trust, below:



2 responses to “APE HOUSE – Sara Gruen”

  1. Jennifer Hay says:

    I read Ape House on holiday and loved this book, you wanted to be a part of saving and working with these fabulous animals. You laughed, cried and cheered reading it.

    Definitely a keeper.

  2. Marianne says:

    I have just finished Ape House, and thought it was a wonderful read. I wanted to be there with Isabel, to help stop her pain with regard the Bonobos, and help in her quest for justice, I so did not want it to end!

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