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Monkey in the Middle: A Novel

Josh Pryor

9 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0786711736 / ISBN 13: 9780786711734
Published by Carroll & Graf, 2003
Condition: Near Fine Hardcover
From Trilby & Co. Books (San Jose, CA, U.S.A.)

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Inscribed and SIGNED by Josh Pryor on the reverse of the front endpaper. The volume is remaindered on the top edges; the unclipped dustjacket is lightly crinkled at the spine ends ands top rear corner. The jacket is now in mylar. Bookseller Inventory # 1101180272

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Monkey in the Middle: A Novel

Publisher: Carroll & Graf

Publication Date: 2003

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Near Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine

Signed: Signed

Edition: First Edition.

About this title


A wild and intriguing read, Josh Pryor’s Monkey in the Middle calls to mind the futuristic satire of Kurt Vonnegut, the edgy neo-noir of Jonathan Lethem, and the maniacal narrative charge of Chuck Palahniuk. Set at the cusp of the future on the seedier sides of Los Angeles, Monkey in the Middle is a suspenseful and hilarious tale of reckless genetic engineering, post-traumatic stress disorder, and tainted love. Besmirched by his participation in the botched Operation Slay Dracula—an elaborate mission to assassinate Saddam Hussein—down-and-out Gulf War veteran Dutch Flowers returns to L.A. with a bad case of “compassion fatigue”—and acute paranoia. After scraping by for years as a small-time private investigator, he lands a lucrative job with a mysterious genetics research corporation investigating the murder of a lab chimp at their Sapiens Trial Facility, or STF, a sort of hybridized ecosystem—Brave New World meets the Biosphere. The assignment leads him into a labyrinth of dark streets, strange clues, and ominous characters. Meanwhile, his marriage is falling apart, and Saddam Hussein has dispatched a cross-dressing assassin nicknamed Mr. Wonderful to put him out of his misery.

From Publishers Weekly:

Ambitious and intermittently funny, this debut satire sends up both detective and sci-fi genres with its story of simian mayhem. Dutch Flowers is a sad sack investigator charged with solving a murder at the Acteon Corporation, a Los Angeles biotech firm. Acteon breeds and studies genetically enhanced chimpanzees. One of its subjects, 99, has apparently been murdered by a fellow ape, and Dutch's job is to figure out which of the other chimps is the perp. Dutch himself is a former CIA assassin whose mission went spectacularly-and famously-wrong during the Gulf War. Now Dutch is being hounded by an Iraqi extortionist, which is why he decides to accept the assignment. Pryor's premise is a winner, spawning some hilarious deadpan observations ("I managed to establish the whereabouts of 35 chimps during the time period in which 99's murder had taken place") as well as inspired sequences, including a flashback in which Dutch and fellow CIA assassins interrupt a cohort of Saddam's prostitutes on their way to work, only to find that the women are more resourceful than the U.S.'s best black ops. But for every lean, hard-bitten comment, there's a counterpart bloated by too much exposition or studied hipness ("The bungled bid for the life of the dictator the American motorist loved to hate would make the fall of Saigon look like the wrap party for a B-movie"). One can only hope for more consistent work from the talented Pryor in the future.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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