Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Me, Cheeta by James Lever

What Lever achieves with this novel is a total buy-in to the concept of a famous Hollywood chimpanzee writing an autobiography, and this is also the point of endearment in a story that shows a character who is shallow, erascible, sarcastic, egotistical and deluded. There's a surprisingly sentimental passage towards the end of the book that totally took me by surprise, which was a wonderful example of Cheeta's humanity and his ability to love.

The 'golden era' of Hollywood is not something I'm familiar with, so many of the slanderous jokes about Hollywood's leading ladies and men (containing a humourous play on the notion of Alphas throughout the book) simply passed me by. I'm not really into satire, and as the founding premise of this book, it was never going to be one of my favourites.

In summary (because there's not much else I can say about it) the parody of the autobiography is pulled of with such bravado and conviction that it gets a thumbs up, but the satirical view of the 'halcyon days' of Hollywood is rather thin and wearing, and gets an almost inevitable thumbs down.

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