“Me Cheeta”

August 18, 2009 at 8:52 am | Posted in Fiction | 2 Comments

Me Cheeta is the first book I’ve read on the Booker long list this year.  It’s a mock Hollywood memoir, supposedly written by Cheeta, the chimp from the Tarzan movies.  When I first saw this book, before the Booker list was announced, I shrugged it off as gimmicky.  On reading it I found it to be not only a clever satire but a powerful and complex work.

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Me Cheeta is about the relationship between humans and animals.  It’s about what makes humans human, and whether we are really so different from animals after all.  It’s about the environment, the price of fame, and unrequited love.  It’s about some very fine things, but it’s also full of some of the snarkiest gossip imaginable.  All that’s left is to find out how much of it James Lever made up and how much is documentable from the golden age of Hollywood.


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  1. I’m pleased to hear that you enjoyed it – I’m not a fan of Hollywood memoirs, so didn’t really get the satire. I can see that it is a well written book though. I look forward to hearing what you think of the rest of the Booker list!

    • You should be pleased to learn that I’ve just received the first shipment of my UK Amazon books, “How to Paint a Dead Man” and “Wolf Hall.” I am hoping to have finished all but one of the long list by September 8 when the short list is announced, so I can guess who will be on it.

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