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Bad Monkeys
by Matt Ruff

Overview -

Jane Charlotte has been arrested for murder.

She tells police that she is a member of a secret organization devoted to fighting evil; her division is called the Department for the Final Disposition of Irredeemable Persons--"Bad Monkeys" for short.  Read more...


 
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More About Bad Monkeys by Matt Ruff
 
 
 
Overview

Jane Charlotte has been arrested for murder.

She tells police that she is a member of a secret organization devoted to fighting evil; her division is called the Department for the Final Disposition of Irredeemable Persons--"Bad Monkeys" for short.

This confession earns Jane a trip to the jail's psychiatric wing, where a doctor attempts to determine whether she is lying, crazy--or playing a different game altogether. What follows is one of the most clever and gripping novels you'll ever read.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780061240416
  • ISBN-10: 0061240419
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publish Date: August 2007
  • Page Count: 230


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Science Fiction - General
Books > Fiction > Thrillers - General

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 40.
  • Review Date: 2007-06-11
  • Reviewer: Staff

In this clever SF thriller from Ruff (Fool on the Hill), almost everyone is a bad monkey of some kind, but only Jane Charlotte is a self-confessed member of “The Department for the Final Disposition of Irredeemable Persons.” Or is she? In a series of sessions with a psychotherapist in the Las Vegas County Jail “nut wing,” Jane tells the story of her early life in San Francisco and her assimilation into the “Bad Monkeys,” an organization devoted to fighting evil. Crazy or sane, Jane is still a murderer, whether she used a weapon like the NC gun, which kills someone using Natural Causes, or more prosaic weaponry. Still, nothing is quite what it seems as Jane's initial story of tracking a serial killer janitor comes under scrutiny and the initial facts about her brother, Phil, get turned on their head. At times the twists are enough to give the reader whiplash. Ruff's expert characterization of Jane and agile manipulation of layers of reality ground the novel and make it more than just a Philip K. Dick rip-off. (July 24)

 
BookPage Reviews

More fun than a barrel of monkeys

Jane Charlotte has been arrested for murder, and she's being examined by a police psychiatrist to discover whether she is fit for trial—or fit for a straitjacket. There are a few wrinkles, however, that need to be ironed out. She might not be Jane Charlotte. She might not have killed anyone. She might not be in jail.

Right from page one, you're already halfway down the rabbit hole in Matt Ruff's latest novel, Bad Monkeys. Ruff, the author of the critically lauded Set This House in Order, Fool on the Hill and Sewer, Gas & Electric: The Public Works Trilogy, ladles a dollop of William S. Burroughs into an Ian Fleming base in such a mesmerizing way it will have you scratching your head and doubling back to make sure you scooped up every psychedelic-laden morsel.

A shadowy, non-governmental, but very powerful agency (think Impossible Missions Force here) called "the organization" engaged the services of a young Jane Charlotte to capture or extinguish miscreants whom they call "Bad Monkeys." Jane's particular subdivision—and you can bet they don't have business cards—is The Department for the Final Disposition of Irredeemable Persons.

In the words of Hunter S. Thompson, "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro," and Jane Charlotte recounts to the police psychiatrist the curious turn of events that led her to be picked for her work as a high-minded (and highly irregular) vigilante. Along the way, she encounters agents of The Troop (think SMERSH, T.H.R.U.S.H. or the DMV), evildoers whose sole aim it is to thwart the organization and introduce wickedness into the world. Trouble is, her long-lost brother just might be The Troop's criminal mastermind, and Jane Charlotte may have to lure him out—or take him out.

Told mostly in flashback, the plot twists like capellini in a bubbling cauldron, and the complex sequence of events both demands—and rewards—your rapt attention.

Thane Tierney had a complete "Man from U.N.C.L.E." rig when he was a kid.

 
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