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How far would you go to save someone you love? And what if that someone was ... not exactly human?
Guy Schermerhorn, brilliant young professor of psychology and disciple of the pioneering Dr Moncrieff, is making a name for himself on the talk show circuit with an unusual protégé in tow: a chimp by the name of Sam. Sam lives in Guy’s apartment, wears diapers and neckties, devours pizza and Macdonalds – and, through Guy’s careful training, can communicate through sign language.
But living with Sam is wreaking havoc on Guy’s personal life, and when shy, meek undergraduate Aimee Villard volunteers to take on babysitting for him, he can’t believe his luck. Aimee and Sam have an immediate rapport, and before Guy knows it she’s moved in, proudly devoting herself to Sam’s care and Guy’s project.
Aimee has never known purpose and happiness like this; but when Guy’s funding is imperilled, and Sam is taken away by the sinister Moncrief, her world falls apart. Aimee discovers just how far she’ll go to, and just what she’ll risk, to be united with the chimp she’s come to love so much.
'You don’t feel cheated, reading Boyle – while the head knows there’s manipulation and artifice, the heart thumps' - Observer
'Boyle has a talent for describing events we may never experience with an arresting matter-of-factness. There is a thrill to this, and to not knowing where he will take us next' - Chris Power, Guardian
'A sort of Frank Zappa of American letters … Like the Beat writers before him, Boyle documents American life in the underbelly. Boyle is incapable of writing a boring sentence ... he is a master of the short story form' - Financial Times