Monkey Wars
by Kurti, Richard

A U.S. release of a dark fable told from the viewpoints of warring monkeys reflects themes of power and politics in the aftermath of a brutal massacre that leads to shocking revelations and morally questionable choices for a privileged langur monkey. Simultaneous eBook.

After studying philosophy and English at King's College, Cambridge, England, RICHARD KURTI worked at the BBC as a TV sound recordist. This led to a career as a freelance director and then as a full-time screenwriter. Richard's film writing includes fourteen commissions for studios in the United States and the United Kingdom. His writing for television includes BBC adaptations ofKidnapped and Sherlock Holmes and has earned widespread industry recognition. He lives in Essex.

From the Hardcover edition.

British screenwriter Kurti offers an imaginative fable about the nature of power and the responsibility of the individual. In Kolkata, rhesus monkeys have been suddenly and brutally evicted from the prime real estate of a large and peaceful cemetery by langur monkeys. Many rhesus are brutally massacred, and the survivors are forced to live in slums. Kurti focuses on two plot elements: a Romeo-Juliet relationship between rhesus Papina and langur Mico, and Mico's rise to power under the crafty leader, Tyrell. Short chapters with plenty of action contribute to the cinematic feel. For the most part, Kurti skillfully maintains our suspension of disbelief in a world of hyperintelligent monkeys who speak remarkably refined English. It's a lengthy read, despite the fast pace, and judicious editing could have tightened a lagging middle section. A fascinating epilogue describes Kurti's family history in Nazi Germany and explains his motivation in using monkeys as protagonists. Striking cover art shows the red-black face of a monkey, whose eyes reflect skulls. The open-ended conclusion suggests a sequel. Copyright 2014 Booklist Reviews.

A real-life conflict between rival monkey species in Kolkata becomes a dark, violent fable of totalitarianism and resistance.Mico is a very young monkey when humans entice his langur troop into chasing the disruptive rhesus out of the city; even so, he knows that this victory is more gruesome than glorious. When the young rhesus Papina sneaks back to discover her father's fate, the two forge an instantaneous bond. Soon, clever, imaginative Mico ascends the langur hierarchy while secretly feeding information to Papina and the other rhesus refugees. As Tyrell, the new langur dictator, grows ever more ambitious, bloodthirsty and paranoid, Mico finds it increasingly difficult to juggle his loyalty to his tribe and his duty to his conscience. With its pomp, pageantry and brutally effective terror tactics, its ghettos and genocide, the langur tyranny deliberately evokes the Nazi regime. As a Hitler analog, Tyrell's frothing villainy overshadows his charisma, but the allure of power —even for the most conscientious—is portrayed with frightening effectiveness. The straightforward prose has a disconcerting tendency to switch viewpoint midscene, yet it also ratchets up the suspense and dread with unrelenting urgency, compelling readers to keep the pages turning. Graphic and implacably grim, the tale does not shy away from the toll oppression exacts from victims, perpetrators, collaborators and bystanders alike. Powerful and disturbing. (Animal fantasy. 14 & up) Copyright Kirkus 2014 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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