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The woman and the ape peter hoeg

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The Woman and the Ape is the story of a unique and unforgettable couple—Madelene and Erasmus. Madelene—a sleeping beauty drowsing gently in an alcoholic stupor—is the beautiful and disillusioned wife of Adam Burden, a distinguished behavior scientist. Erasmus—the unlikely prince—is a pound ape. Erasmus is brought to the Burdens' London home after escaping from animal smugglers. In him Adam Burden believes he has discovered a hitherto unknown mammal, a highly intelligent anthropoid ape, the closest thing yet to a human being. If he is right, Erasmus will become the jewel of Burden's new zoo.

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The Woman and the Ape

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The Woman and the Ape is the story of a unique and unforgettable couple—Madelene and Erasmus. Madelene—a sleeping beauty drowsing gently in an alcoholic stupor—is the beautiful and disillusioned wife of Adam Burden, a distinguished behavior scientist.

Erasmus—the unlikely prince—is a pound ape. Erasmus is brought to the Burdens' London home after escaping from animal smugglers. In him Adam Burden believes he has discovered a hitherto unknown mammal, a highly intelligent anthropoid ape, the closest thing yet to a human being. If he is right, Erasmus will become the jewel of Burden's new zoo.

But Madelene decides to save Erasmus, investing in her efforts all the single-mindedness she until now has reserved for drinking. The two fall in love—a love affair as emotionally and erotically charged as any female-male relationship could ever be.

But Erasmus has come to England with a purpose, and eventually the couple must face the world they have sought to flee. A fable for our time, The Woman and the Ape poses searching questions about the nature of love, freedom, and humanity.

An ape was approaching London. It sat on a bench in the open cockpit of a sailboat, on the lee side, all hunched up with its eyes closed and a blanket around its shoulders. Even in that position it made the man sitting across from it seem smaller than he actually was. The man was currently going by the name of Bally, and there were just two things in this life he still had any time for: the moment when he arrived in a big city and the moment he left it.

That was why he now got to his feet, crossed to the rail and stood there, looking out toward the city, and in so doing made the first and last mistake of the voyage. His absentmindedness transmitted itself to his crew. The helmsman switched over to autopilot, the deckhand worked his way aft from the foredeck, both gravitating toward the rail. For the first time in five days the three men stood idle, lost in the sight of the electric lights of suburbia, like fireflies dancing past the boat and fading away astern.

The wind had risen during the night. The Thames was now overlaid with fluted bands of white foam, and the boat, besides having the wind dead aft and a billowing mainsail, also had a large foresail hoisted.

Carrying this much sail was verging on recklessness, but Bally had been hoping to make it in while it was still dark. He was not going to manage it, he could see that now. There was a change in the air, with the first light of this spring morning spreading like a gray pelt across the buildings. Reminded of the ape, Bally turned around. It had opened its eyes and leaned forward. One hand rested on the little switch on the dashboard for adjusting the autopilot. Bally had always brought the animals with whom he sailed up on deck because it lessened the risk of their dying of seasickness, and this approach had never brought him anything but good results.

They had been attached to lifelines, wrapped in blankets and given half a milligram of an effective neuroleptic per pound of body weight twice daily. Well secured and with no clear idea of their surroundings, they had dozed the voyage away. This procedure would now, he thought to himself with the speed at which thought is occasionally possible within a space of time too short to allow for any physical reaction, apparently have to be altered.

It pitched awkwardly on the choppy waters. Then it jibed. Many years before this, Bally had discovered that life consisted of a series of repetitions, each less savory than its predecessor—an overall distastefulness in which man himself was but one more repetition.

He was also well aware that the reason he had, throughout his life, sought such close contact with animals had something to do with the fact that amid this general and automatic loathing there was a kick to be gotten out of having power over machines of a lower order than oneself. This notion of the lifelessness of all things was now being challenged.

For this he had no words—for this, at that point, no one had any words. But it was in a way the opposite of automatic. All the three men had time to register was a slight list and a crack like a gunshot as the boom snapped two steel shrouds on the port side. Then they were swept into the Thames.

With a groan of overtaxed bearings the autopilot adjusted to the new tack and corrected course accordingly. At its own speed of twelve knots plus two knots from the incoming tide, the boat carried on toward London, now with the ape as its sole passenger. Fifteen minutes later the first call to The Ark went out over the shortwave radio.

This and the two subsequent calls went unanswered, and after that they ceased. But behind the smoked glass of an observation window in a low tower near Deptford Ferry Road a member of the River Police put down a microphone and lifted a pair of binoculars. Here, during the summer months, breakfast is served on an open-air terrace between the Thames and St.

The Pool is said to be the only spot at which the Thames is blue. It is here that the royal yachts anchor. From here legations to London sail out to have lunch on their national training ships.

Here, one September day in , , people watched the famous race between the two tea clippers the Taeping and the Ariel. Something of the expectancy of that earlier time was now aroused on the Yacht Club terrace at the sight of The Ark.

Everyone there recognized the boat as an Ocean 71, built at Poole, a speedy but nevertheless classic English ketch. And by its casual approach and rash spread of canvas they could tell that this was a skipper of the old school, a traditionalist, heading into port under sail alone. A few minutes later, over the gilded dolphins on the bow, they caught a glimpse of the man himself, wearing neither oilskins nor sunglasses, not even a cap.

Just a sober gray overcoat. A hush fell over the terrace; everyone knew what was going to happen next because they had heard how the real pros did it, dropping anchor at the last minute, every inch of canvas brought down with a clatter and the boat gliding smoothly and neatly around the chain and into the quayside.

As The Ark came through the open sluice gates, they prepared to applaud, a few already had their hands in the air, but by then it was too late. With an apocalyptic screech of splintering wood the ketch plowed into the outermost of the moored yachts, sliced it in half and sparked off a domino-style chain reaction along the serried ranks of mahogany and rosewood hulls. None of the breakfasters came to their senses quickly enough to see how the gray overcoat leapt from the cockpit and across a foundering hull and then disappeared—swiftly, if haltingly—around the side of a building.

But two others did. In the sluice-gate control room a lockkeeper employed by Taylor Woodrow, the company that owns and runs St. And on the east side of the dock Johnny broke into a run. What Johnny was running toward was a truck parked on the side of the dock facing the Wapping industrial park.

Instead, on the door hung a sign showing the silhouette of a dog and some words in very small lettering. This sign was not there for decoration. Johnny had bought him when he was starting to lose and was, therefore, about to be put down, and it had taken a year to wean him off the life of a sports star on a strict diet and with a drastically increased lung capacity and stroke volume and make him both his watchdog and his best and only friend.

Johnny had two names, the second of which was every bit as important as if not more so than his given name. On the dashboard in front of him was his radio transmitter, and now, while starting the car with one hand, with the other he tuned in the receiver to MHz—the Metropolitan Police wave band—in time to catch the tail end of the first vague description of the man in the gray overcoat and the order to seal off the harbor area. In the three years he had been working for Bally he had never seen him make one mistake.

In bewilderment his thoughts flitted back and forth between the road, The Ark, the River Police, the crash, the immediate future and the limping fugitive in the gray overcoat. Johnny had spent the past ten years of his life endeavoring to make himself invulnerable and he had almost succeeded.

He had his work, with the van, and his home, again the van. He was mobile and dependent on no one. At his back he had Samson and via his radio transmitter he was in touch with ethereal friends throughout the civilized world. And yet here he sat behind the wheel, shaking. Because there was one chink in his armor that he had never succeeded in covering up: Johnny gambled on animals.

His was an anonymous, an almost invisible, weakness in a world where everything is a gamble. Johnny did not play to win. He always placed the lowest possible bet and with a peculiar blindness in this betting, never knowing who the favorites might be and never giving or taking a tip. He gambled because of something he could not quite put his finger on but which had to do with being near the animals when they exploded into life. Behind him in the trailer section hooked up to his sleeping quarters, he had for Bally carried a Javanese rhinoceros with skin as cracked and hard as iron but a strangely gentle and querulous nature.

He had carried two okapis; carried a saltwater crocodile measuring thirty feet in length in a crate that jutted out fifteen feet behind the truck. He had carried fifteen poisonous Amazonian frogs, blinking and perfect, like fifteen tiny cobalt-blue gems. He had carried eight rare giant angelfish in two thirteen-hundred-gallon aquariums. A half-grown elephant.

Two Himalayan snow leopards with tails longer than their bodies. He had carried South American black saki monkeys and emperor tamarins. And on one unforgettable occasion, a family of tarsiers with two young ones which had swiveled their heads around degrees and stared up at him from their box with their great eyes as though begging him to drive carefully.

He had not let them down, not them or any other creature. He had transported them with infinite tenderness and patience. He had adjusted the heating for them, fed and watered them, separated them if they fought.

And the journey itself, which he knew to be a dreadful experience for the animals—hours and hours of disorienting darkness in a mobile prison—had been smooth as a caress.

During those hours on the road in the truck, with some powerful or wondrous but always fragile creature in the back, gliding over the bumps in the asphalt, Johnny had felt almost happy. Now it was over, he felt quite sure that something irrevocable had occurred, that he would never again drive a consignment for Bally.

That was why he was shaking. Behind him the dog gave a hacking cough and Johnny stretched back a hand to pat it reassuringly. Then he frowned. Dobermans have dense, short-haired coats. What he felt under his fingers was a shaggy rya rug. Ahead of him the lights at the intersection of Southwark Street and St.

The Woman And The Ape

The woman is Madelene, rich, beautiful and alcoholic; the ape, intelligent and illegally imported to London by Madelene's husband Burden. Burden has plans, so does Madelene, and so, as it happens, does the ape. Hoeg's voice". An utterly original mix of fantasy, fable, myth, and love story". For the latest books, recommendations, offers and more.

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He is best known for his novel, Miss Smilla's Feeling for Snow Before becoming a writer, he worked variously as a sailor, ballet dancer and actor in addition to fencing and mountaineering —experiences that he uses in his novels. He decided at that stage to protect his personal life. At the time of its publication, reception in Denmark was mixed at best, and the novel was generally disregarded as being either too complex or too postmodern. How could such a rollicking, generous, open book be greeted with so much gravity and severity, such closed minds and again: in my broad-minded old Denmark?

Peter Høeg

The Woman and the Ape is the story of a unique and unforgettable couple—Madelene and Erasmus. Madelene—a sleeping beauty drowsing gently in an alcoholic stupor—is the beautiful and disillusioned wife of Adam Burden, a distinguished behavior scientist. Erasmus—the unlikely prince—is a pound ape. Erasmus is brought to the Burdens' London home after escaping from animal smugglers. In him Adam Burden believes he has discovered a hitherto unknown mammal, a highly intelligent anthropoid ape, the closest thing yet to a human being. If he is right, Erasmus will become the jewel of Burden's new zoo. But Madelene decides to save Erasmus, investing in her efforts all the single-mindedness she until now has reserved for drinking. The two fall in love—a love affair as emotionally and erotically charged as any female-male relationship could ever be. But Erasmus has come to England with a purpose, and eventually the couple must face the world they have sought to flee. A fable for our time, The Woman and the Ape poses searching questions about the nature of love, freedom, and humanity.

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National Library of Australia. Search the catalogue for collection items held by the National Library of Australia. Due to the need to contain the spread of coronavirus COVID the Library building and reading rooms are closed to visitors until further notice. The health and safety of our community is of great importance to us and we look forward to staying connected with you online. Hoeg, Peter.

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The Woman and the Ape is the story of a unique and unforgettable couple--Madelene and Erasmus. Madelene is the wife of Adam Burden, a distinguished behavioral scientist. Erasmus--the unlikely prince--is a pound ape.

The Woman and the Ape

Published by Island Books Seller Rating:. About this Item: Island Books,

No-one likes to be called an animal, yet animals are what we inescapably are. And from poor frightened stuffy old Bishop Wilberforce on there have always been people who think that being an ape is worse, somehow, than being any animal at all. Yet apes we are, and apes we remain. Walking down the street one can see the resemblance — in the turn of a jaw, in grasping manipulative hands, in the hairy back of the man who simply must wear a singlet. A newborn baby, a particularly clumsy walk, can illuminate as lightning. The Woman and the Ape is full of such illumination.

The Woman and the Ape: A Novel

Interesting and satisfying. The characters never quite came to life for me emotionally but certainly engaged me mentally. Good story and ends well which is always really difficult to do. Part cautionary tale, part love story, and part adventure story. Set in London, it concerns a new species of ape, imported by the zoologist husband of a young Danish woman, Madelene Burden. In a way

Dec 4, - Richard Bernstein reviews book The Woman and the Ape, by Peter Hoeg; photo (S).

A lot of people have been waiting for Peter Hoeg's new novel, people who were captivated by the originality and wit of his ''Smilla's Sense of Snow,'' the surprise best seller of three years ago about a half-Eskimo woman from Copenhagen who solves the mystery of a small boy's death. Some of the spirit of that book has made its way into ''The Woman and the Ape,'' which also has a main female character of off-center allure. This new novel is similarly shrouded in a vague sense of mystery, and it is written with an epigrammatic grace that reveals Mr.

An Ape Showing Humans What Humanity Is

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Peter Hoeg

Please type in your email address in order to receive an email with instructions on how to reset your password. Award-winning author Peter Heg has captured a worldwide audience with his novels of compelling, solitary heroes and powerful landscapes. Smilla's Sense of Snow received international praise for its subtle emotional nuances and startling visions of the frozen northlands.

Interesting and satisfying. The characters never quite came to life for me emotionally but certainly engaged me mentally.

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