Bonobo Handshake

Bonobo Handshake

[a Memoir of Love and Adventure in the Congo]

Audiobook CD - 2010
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In 2005, Vanessa Woods joined her fiancé on a research trip to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, a country reeling from a brutal decade-long war. At a bonobo sanctuary in Congo's capital, many of whose inhabitants -- ape and human alike -- are refugees from unspeakable violence, the couple entered the world of this rare ape who shares 98.7 percent of our DNA. Yet, as Vanessa discovered, bonobos live in peaceful groups where females are in charge, war is nonexistent, and sex is as common and friendly as a handshake. A fascinating memoir of home and adventure, Bonobo Handshake traces Vanessa's self-discovery as she finds herself falling deeply in love with her husband, the apes, and her new surroundings while probing life's greatest question: What ultimately makes us human? Courageous and extraordinary, this true story of revelation and transformation in a fragile corner of Africa is about looking past the differences between animals and ourselves, and finding in them the same extraordinary courage and will to survive.
Publisher: [Old Saybrook, CT] : Tantor Audio, p2010.
ISBN: 9781400117451
1400117453
Branch Call Number: 599.88409675 WOODS
Characteristics: 7 sound discs (8 hr., 30 min.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in.

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JudithE
Mar 09, 2013

I feel quite mixed about this book. I loved hearing about the bonobos and about the non-invasive research that was done with them. The information about the Congo was harrowing and the badness went on and on and on, and I found it near intolerable to listen to. The author's husband just finished writing "The Genius of Dogs", also available here, and his reporting of some of the same bonobo material is strikingly different, presumably because he is keeping more research distance.

rosler Aug 05, 2011

This is a really beautiful, honest, heartfelt story. I learned a lot, appreciated the insights that are shared and enjoyed the story telling. The characters are great - especially the Bonobos. Some of the parts describing the atrocities of the wars in Congo were difficult for me but they are also a reality. This is definitely worth reading.

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