A good narrator can make a bad book more interesting. Bad narration can make an iffy book unbearable. This one falls into the latter category.
I kept listening because I was intrigued by the ape story and wanted to see it through to the end. I was never pulled in by the human story and was annoyed by all female (human and ape) dialogue. The narrator must feel that all women sound pouty or bored whenever they speak.
I was very anxious to listen to Ape House after Water for Elephants, one of my favorite books. To me, Water for Elephants had a near classic style that was enhanced by the author's attention to character development and detail of the period. Not so with Ape House, which is set in today's world. Ape House reads like the script from an ABC Mini-Series, a genre that I personally dislike.
The characters are near cartoon-like in their predictability and lack of depth. It has them all, seemingly borrowed from recent paperbacks: a greedy and corrupt scientist; a good-hearted, protective female lead scientist with a wisecracking assistant; a journalist striving for the truth in the face of insurmountable obstacles; the hard but kind, warm-hearted Russian prostitute; but most of all the almost human group of apes who are exploited by the cruel, ambitious, pornographer. And it all ends with everyone getting what he deserves, good and bad.
I know the author can do better, and would encourage her to redirect her efforts into books that don't seem to pander to the lowest type of readership. Maybe this will be popular, and may become a movie or mini-series and make Sara a lot of money. I hope with all that money she can again concentrate on more quality work that I know she can do.
The book is great fun. The reader was serviceable but detracted from the story. His tone of voice is more suitable for a fairy tale or young adult book. The story carried me through. Wonderful description of animals. Some funny and pointed commentary on contemporary culture.
Because I so enjoyed "Water for Elephants" I was looking forward to this book, and the premise seemed fascinating. But "Ape House" is weak and forgettable.