Cover image for Monkey wars
Title:
Monkey wars
Author:
Kurti, Richard, author.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First American edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Delacorte Press, 2015.

©2013
Physical Description:
409 pages ; 22 cm
Summary:
When rhesus monkeys are brutally massacred on the streets of Kolkata by a troop of power hungry langur monkeys, a young langur soldier's life is changed forever.
General Note:
Originally published in the United Kingdom by Walker in 2013.
Language:
English
Reading Level:
920 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG+ 7.0 16.0 170989.
ISBN:
9780385744416

9780375991653
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

"Strikingly original" is how Anthony Horowitz, author of the Alex Rider series, describes Monkey Wars .

"Kurti draws from history to deliver a powerful allegory . . . [and] keeps this effective, memorable tale rooted in reality." -- Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

Sustain the weak. Destroy the strong. A dark fable in the vein of Animal Farm, Watership Down, and The Wave, this action-packed page-turner is told entirely from the monkeys' points of view and shines a light on the politics of power, the rise of tyrants, and the personal dilemmas that must be faced when your life is on the line.

When rhesus monkeys are brutally massacred on the dusty streets of Kolkata by a troop of power-hungry langur monkeys, Mico, a privileged langur, becomes entangled in the secrets at the heart of his troop's leadership and is shocked at what he discovers. He feels compelled to help the few surviving rhesus, especially Papina, a young female he befriends, even though doing so goes against everything he's been taught. As more blood is spilled, Mico realizes that choosing between right and wrong won't be easy. Includes a note from the author, as well as interesting monkey species facts.


Additional praise for MONKEY WARS

"The allure of power--even for the most conscientious--is portrayed with frightening effectiveness. Powerful."-- Kirkus Reviews

"An imaginative fable about the nature of power and the responsibility of the individual. With plenty of action . . . a fascinating epilogue . . . [and] striking cover art." -- Booklist

"Following in the tradition of George Orwell's Animal Farm and William Golding's Lord of the Flies, war and politics shape the lives of several monkey troops. An interesting premise that will provide readers with an introduction to fascism and political corruption." -- School Library Journal


Author Notes

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 of Kidnapped and Sherlock Holmes and has earned widespread industry recognition. He lives in Essex.


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

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.--Carton, Debbie Copyright 2014 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

Screenwriter Kurti draws from history to deliver a powerful allegory in the style of Watership Down or Animal Farm. Set in Kolkata, this dark fable sees warring tribes of monkeys struggle for dominance: aggressive langurs, led by the fearsome Lord Gospodar, launch a campaign to destroy the peaceful rhesus monkeys, seizing their territory and driving the survivors into cramped ghettoes. Soon, Gospodar is murdered and replaced by the charismatic and cunning Tyrell, who dreams of conquering the entire city, exterminating his foes, and driving out the humans themselves. Caught up in all of this are rhesus Papina and langur Mico, whose friendship defies boundaries, offering a hope for peace or an opportunity for betrayal. The parallels to WWII and Hitler's rise to power become increasingly blatant as the story progresses, with Tyrell holding his own Night of the Long Knives, for instance, but the novel is no less effective and unnerving for it. Kurti takes creative license with his monkeys' capabilities and anthropomorphic qualities, but otherwise keeps this effective, memorable tale rooted in reality. Ages 12-up. Agent: Hilary Delamere, the Agency. (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


School Library Journal Review

Gr 7 Up-In this debut novel following in the tradition of George Orwell's Animal Farm and William Golding's Lord of the Flies, war and politics shape the lives of several monkey troops. Rhesus monkeys in Kolkata have reportedly turned violent against humans, who then use langur monkeys to keep the rhesus population under control. The langurs drive out a troop of peaceful rhesus monkeys who had been living in a cemetery, establishing it as their power base. Mico, a brilliant but physically unassuming langur, becomes entangled in the political machinations of Tyrell, the brainpower behind the langur takeover, and also falls in love with Papina, a rhesus whose father was killed in that early cemetery battle. As the langurs grow in power, Mico discovers the ruthlessness at the heart of their regime and decides to ingratiate himself toTyrell in order to take him down from the inside. The novel is told in third person, but from varying perspectives. Kurti attempts to create a parable for human tyranny, violence, and complicity. He depicts the primates as almost-human characters with tails and a fruit-based diet. Many of their actions are entirely implausible, and the characters' inner thoughts and monologues generally lean toward overexplained melodrama. An interesting premise that will provide readers with an introduction to fascism and political corruption, but does so without subtlety or complexity.-Kyle Lukoff, Corlears School, New York City (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.