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Lucy | [Laurence Gonzales]

Lucy

Laurence Gonzales’s electrifying adventure opens in the jungles of the Congo. Jenny Lowe, a primatologist studying chimpanzees—the bonobos—is running for her life. A civil war has exploded and Jenny is trapped in its crosshairs...She runs to the camp of a fellow primatologist. The rebels have already been there. Everyone is dead except a young girl, the daughter of Jenny’s brutally murdered fellow scientist—and competitor.
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Publisher's Summary

Laurence Gonzales’s electrifying adventure opens in the jungles of the Congo. Jenny Lowe, a primatologist studying chimpanzees—the bonobos—is running for her life. A civil war has exploded and Jenny is trapped in its crosshairs.

She runs to the camp of a fellow primatologist, but the rebels have already been there. Everyone is dead except a young girl, the daughter of Jenny’s brutally murdered fellow scientist—and competitor.

Jenny and the child flee, Jenny grabbing the notebooks of the primatologist who’s been killed. She brings the girl to Chicago to await the discovery of her relatives. The girl is 15 and lovely—her name is Lucy.

Realizing that the child has no living relatives, Jenny begins to care for her as her own. When she reads the notebooks written by Lucy’s father, she discovers that the adorable, lovely, magical Lucy is the result of an experiment: she is part human, part ape—a hybrid human being.

Laurence Gonzales’s novel grabs you from its opening pages and you stay with it, mesmerized by the shy but fierce, wonderfully winning Lucy.

©2010 Laurence Gonzales (P)2010 Random House

What the Critics Say

“Masterful. . . utterly memorable.” (Kirkus)

“A fast-paced Crichtonesque thriller. . .” (Entertainment Weekly)

"An imaginative leap in a nail-biting story....Gonzales raises profound questions about identity, family, animal and human rights, and genetic engineering without compromising the ever-escalating suspense. Lucy is irresistible, her predicament wrenching, and Gonzales’ imaginative, sweet-natured, hard-charging, and deeply inquisitive thriller will be a catalyst for serious thought and debate." (Booklist)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.6 (46 )
5 star
 (10)
4 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
3.8 (17 )
5 star
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1 star
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Story
4.3 (18 )
5 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Nicole Santa Cruz, CA, United States 08-06-10
    Nicole Santa Cruz, CA, United States 08-06-10 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    30
    1
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    Overall
    "Wasted Potential :("

    The book's premise immediately fascinated me. The author has enough ideas/material for at least 3 books, yet he forces it into a single, cursory book. I was extremely disappointed by how little the scientific, philosophical, and ethical issues were discussed.

    The lack of character depth surprised me. The author frequently states that character X felt emotion Y, as opposed to allowing characters' actions to speak for themselves. For example, look at Lucy's first human friend, Amanda. Other than being a "teenager", Amanda's only other character trait is "having an alcoholic/absent, possibly abusive, mom". Ultimately, very little happens as conflicts seldom arise, and when they do, they are resolved a few paragraphs or a chapter later, creating no real suspense. I did enjoy the few character vignettes when they actually appeared.

    The narrator's point of view is all over the place: mostly Jenny, sometimes Lucy, and once a boardroom full of evil scientists. The omniscient perspective is jumbled, yet limited and topical. A better approach might be for Jenny to narrate a chapter, then Lucy to narrate the next one, reflecting on their shared experiences.

    If I had written this book, excepts from Professor Stone's (Lucy's father's) journals would have appeared liberally throughout the entire book, giving insights into Lucy's early life and her relationship with her father. This would have also kept the deceased Prof. Stone active/present in the story. Surely Jenny, researching primates, and Lucy, practicing writing, would also have kept journals at some point; excepts from these would give the characters depth, or at least provide a better place for the author to write "Jenny/Lucy felt loved/lonely/sad/scared/etc." Towards the end of the book, this happens somewhat, but is too late to save it.

    Audiobook quality was excellent; top notch, clear narration. Without the narrator, I would not have been able to finish the book. Look for other books narrated by Abby Craden.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angie Kansas City, MO, United States 01-04-11
    Angie Kansas City, MO, United States 01-04-11 Member Since 2005

    Immigration lawyer in Kansas City. I like Character driven dramas, fantasy (monsters, magic and witches oh my!) and coming of age stories. Favs include: The Book Thief, The Game of Throne series, Harry Potter Series, Dresden Files, Nightside series, anything by Neil Gaimen, 100 Years of Solitude.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    371
    ratings
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    588
    167
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    49
    3
    Overall
    "Unexceptional and boring"

    The beginning of this book interested me and I had high hopes but after about the first 1/3 of the book I totally lost interest. It seemed like the author was trying to throw too many plot twists into the mix and none of them really got developed into anything interesting. I almost didn't finish it I was so bored by it, but it was a selection for my book club so I felt obligated to see it through to the end.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cheryl Long Beach, CA, United States 07-20-14
    Cheryl Long Beach, CA, United States 07-20-14 Member Since 2004

    All mysteries all the time, that's what I read. I joined Audible when I started having a long commute. Now I listen everywhere!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    95
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    134
    34
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    2
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    Performance
    Story
    "QUITE a book!"
    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    I thought several times that I knew where the plot was going, then it took a twist. I was very happy with the ending, I didn't see it ahead of time, but it was quite satisfying.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JACK RENO, NEVADA, United States 08-17-10
    JACK RENO, NEVADA, United States 08-17-10 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    34
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    46
    44
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    2
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    Overall
    "Yes I would recommend."

    The book was good. I liked the narration. The theme was facinating. He ended the story just when it started to get really interesting. I wanted to know more about Lucy on her own. It can almost be classified as a young adult novel, which I often read and enjoy. Sadly the writer accurately shows how bias and unaccepting society really is.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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