The Apes of Wrath

Edited by Richard Klaw. Tachyon (IPG, dist.), $15.95 trade paper (384p) ISBN 978-1-61696-085-8
This impressive anthology includes 18 short stories by authors ancient (Aesop) and recent (Karen Joy Fowler, Mary Robinette Kowal), as well as three original articles tracing apes in literature, comics, cinema, and theater. Poe’s familiar “Murders in the Rue Morgue” makes use of an orangutan as a necessary plot mechanism, as does James Blaylock’s hilarious tongue-in-cheek takeoff on Victorian fiction, “The Ape-Box Affair.” Most of the other stories explore moral and ethical questions around relationships between humans and other primates. Franz Kafka’s chilling “A Report to an Academy” and Gustave Flaubert’s unsettling “Quidquid Volueris,” both newly translated by Gio Clairval, denounce decadent Western culture. Hugh B. Cave’s rousing “The Cult of the White Ape” and Clark Ashton Smith’s “The Maze of Maâl Dweb” illustrate the Depression-era American public’s lust for escapist adventure, while Edgar Rice Burroughs’s “Tarzan’s First Love” reaches into murkier depths, exploring the sexual attraction-repulsion between species that makes Leigh Kennedy’s “Her Furry Face” and Pat Murphy’s “Rachel in Love” so painful and poignant. This is no gimmicky set of sideshows but a powerful exploration of the blurry line between animal and human. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 01/21/2013
Release date: 01/01/2013
Genre: Fiction
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