21 August 2012

Endangered; Eliot Schrefer

EndangeredEndangered by Eliot Schrefer
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This is, I'm sure, going to be a minority review; already there seems to be much love for this book.

Here's why it didn't work for me: it felt like a non-fiction book about Congo and saving the bonobos that the author realized wouldn't sell, so he dressed it up as fiction. It's too filled with facts and too deliberately tugging on our heartstrings for me to get into the fiction. Yes, Congo is a dysfunctional country (the capital has only two paved roads, we learn), and yes, the bonobo are our closest "relative" (we share 98% of our DNA with them). Had the book cited its sources, students could use it in a report or research paper.

As I said, I recognize that many people will overlook the writing and the true non-fiction nature of the book in favor of the sentimental, oh-we-have-to-do-somethingness of the message.

ARC provided by publisher.

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