11/40: A Beautiful Truth (by Colin McAdam)


A Beautiful Truth

by Colin McAdam

Published by SOHO Press, September 17, 2013

WHO: Louee, a chimpanzee…

WHAT: is adopted by a childless couple…

WHERE: in Vermont…

WHEN: in the early 1970s…

WHY: as a sort of surrogate son.

HOW: The couple anthropomorphize the primate and inadvertently inculcate a dual nature within Louee.

+ Stylistically, A Beautiful Truth is interesting in its use of and reference to language: Dialogue is stripped of quotes and; Pronouns are not necessarily tethered to the subject in the topic sentence of a paragraph. The reader needs to linger a little over each sentence to catch the current of mood that will take him/her to the next point.

+ The novel raises some intriguing questions about the nature of primates and the fine line that may exist between humans and apes. The whole of the novel is cut with chapters from various chimps’ points of view, which are written in short truncated sentences; and while the humans’ chapters are more fully developed, the sentence structures themselves are not complex. The near stream of consciousness from both the human and the apes emphasizes the similarities between the primates.

+ Humans tend to project human meaning into other orders of animals, and Judy and Walt (the adopting couple) are no different. However, the actions described by the very words that emphasize commonalities,  throw into sharp relief the wild nature of non-human animals. Clever bit, that!

The reader needs to work a little to negotiate and hopscotch the atolls of mood and thought as presented as a result of the writing style, making the novel as a whole semantically challenging. 

OTHER: I received a paperback ARC of A Beautiful Truth (by Colin McAdam) from a publishing industry professional and friend. The ARC was unsolicited but highly recommended by my friend. I receive no monies, goods or services in exchange for reviewing the product and/or mentioning any of the persons or companies that are or may be implied in this post. 

I have challenged myself to read forty books this summer. Many books will be backlist titles as I’m trying to clear the stacks; but I have no doubt that new releases will make their way in too! 😉


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s