The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore
Brian says it’s good
NOT LONG AGO I received in the mail a package from my friend Brian Hurley, also known as the Fiction Advocate, containing a copy of the newly released and highly acclaimed “The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore.”
The New York Times calls it “an absolute pleasure.” I haven’t gotten around to it yet, but Brian had some nice thoughts that he shared over at Hipster Book Club:
First-time novelist Benjamin Hale has Talent with a capital T. And he’s written a book worth such an officious, capital B that readers might sometimes wonder if there’s anything good on TV instead.
The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore is the fictional autobiography of a chimpanzee who learns to speak like a human and wants to “evolve” into a man. Bruno (a name given to him in the lab—Behavioral Rearing into Ultroneous Noumenal Ontogenesis) is a classic outsider looking in, striving to belong in society. For him, “society” is the entire human species. Bruno’s mythic act of self-creation—he molds a new consciousness from the clay of human language—raises big Questions, capital Q, for Hale to consider. What is language? What makes us human? The main conceit is not that a chimp could learn to speak but that a speaking chimp would pour forth, fluently, in the all-too-familiar style of a middlebrow literary novel, like the hairy love child of John Irving and Sara Gruen.
Read more from Brian at Fiction Advocate.