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August 22, 2008 / schulerbooks

Bad Monkeys: Out in Paperback… 2 Views

Check out two reviews of Bad Monkeys by two Schuler Booksellers


Bad Monkeys, Matt Ruff’s fourth novel is out in paperback. Ruff is the author of the critically acclaimed Set This House in Order, Fool on the Hill and Sewer Gas and Electric: The Public Works Trilogy.


Bad Monkeys focuses on a patient in a jail’s psychiatric wing, “Jane”, and her statements made to a doctor about a certain under-the-radar Department for the Final Disposition of Irredeemable Persons or, “Bad Monkeys”.


Ruff manages to hook you in from the very beginning of his psychological thriller with quick wit and an interesting twist on character development. His style takes what might have been a tired and cliché formula with predictable twists and changes it into a scene by scene panorama that builds the complexities and facets of his characters. Yeah, certain characters will remain flat but appropriately so, as complicating them would muddle down the streamlined narrative. By the end you’ll find yourself in the place of the doctor examining her wondering just what, if anything, “Jane” says is true. The story reads quickly, perfect for an afternoon or evening when you are looking for something different.


Jason, Grand Rapids.


Take 2

Working within the book industry, or even just being a voracious reader, one eventually reaches a point where most stories fall within familiar, recognizable plot lines. The elements within stories and the ways in which they are combined to make a unique piece create an infinite, inexhaustible source of variety that  keeps me reading, reading, reading, but there is very little that surprises anymore.  One glorious exception is the work of Matt Ruff, whose latest quirky novel, Bad Monkeys, is now out in paperback.

This bizarre sci-fi mystery thriller (deciding where to shelve this book is a nightmare) unfolds through the confession of one Jane Charlotte, under arrest for suspicion of murder. The titular Bad Monkeys is both the name of her division within an obscure, unnamed evil-fighting organization, and the code name for the type of people Jane is supposed to rid the world of – those irredeemable persons who are determined to do more harm than good in their lifetimes.  Ruff keeps the story twisting and turning ‘til the very end, so hold on to your armrests and be prepared not to leave your chair for the duration. You won’t want to.


—Whitney Spotts, Eastwood Towne Center



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