But in a good way!
You see, last summer I devoured Karen Joy Fowler's We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, only to reluctantly return it to the library after renewing it twice. I knew I would have to get my own copy someday (in itself telling as I rarely reread books), so was delighted when I won a signed copy from the ALDF book club a few weeks ago. Since I don't enjoy writing book reviews (and would prefer not to give away the storyline) I won't do one here, but if you MUST read a review first, you can read the excellent one (beware of spoiler!) posted at Our Hen House.
What I will say though is that reading this book left me severely conflicted -- race through it as quickly as I can because I can't wait to find out what happens next, or savour it slowly and delay finishing so that the pleasure lasts as long as possible? Usually what happens in this case is that I'll race along for three-quarters of the book, and then slow down to a crawl that can last for weeks on end.
What I will also say is that I found this book gripping, riveting, and suspenseful. And while this book made me angry at times (as it will anyone who cares about animals), what I wasn't as prepared for was feeling so bereft, drained, and utterly sad. Like many readers I cried at the end, although wept might be a better word, which surprised me a little as I'm generally not much of a crier or weeper. (If anything, frustration is more likely to get my tear-ducts going.) I also enjoyed the real-life case histories thrown in, and the scientific details woven throughout.
This book is also good for anyone who hasn't given much thought to animal use, but who might be scared off by books more overtly vegan. The author herself, sadly, isn't vegan, but don't let that stop you from reading or recommending this compelling tale. After all, it isn't other vegans we have to convince.
About Washoe [cross-fostered chimp 1965-2007], Roger Fouts has said, she taught him that in the phrase human being, the word being is much more important than the word human. p158