Warning: This story is narrated by a gorilla. He is plucked from the jungle. He learns to chat and passes the ultimate test: a cocktail party. Eventually he is moved to an amusement park, where he acts in a play about the history of civilisation. But as the gorilla becomes increasingly aware of human frailties, he must choose between his instincts and his training, between principles and self-preservation. ----- Why Peirene chose to publish this book: 'This is Peirene's first book narrated by an ape. Animal fables are usually not my thing. It needed Belgian deadpan humour to convince me otherwise. Mixing Huxley's Brave New World with Orwell's Animal Farm, the fast-paced plot leaves behind images that play in your mind long after you have closed the book.' Meike Ziervogel, Publisher
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Peter Verhelst, born in 1962, is a Belgian Flemish novelist, poet and playwright. He has written more than 20 books. His work has been praised for its powerful images, the sensuality and richness of its language and the author's unbridled imagination. His breakthrough came in 1999 with the novel Tonguecat, which won the Golden Owl Literature Prize and the Flemish State Prize for Literature. The Man I Became is his eleventh novel.Review:
'Again we can salute this enterprising publisher for chipping away at our insularity. A haunting, apocalyptic novella, supremely and deliberately difficult to pin down... We are in a fictional landscape where literalism is no help to us, and we are all the richer for it.' NICHOLAS LEZARD, THE GUARDIAN; 'A stunning exploration of man's inherent inhumanity... The first of Peirene's 2016 Fairy Tale: End of Innocence series, this exceptional opener packs a powerful punch as we follow the gorilla's rollercoaster journey from blissful naivete in his jungle home to the ruthless training that makes him 'human.' PAM NORFOLK, LANCASHIRE EVENING POST
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