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Publisher's Summary

From best-selling and award-winning author T.C. Boyle, a lively, thought-provoking novel that asks us what it would be like if we could really talk to the animals.

When animal behaviorist Guy Schermerhorn demonstrates on a TV game show that he has taught Sam, his juvenile chimp, to speak in sign language, Aimee Villard, an undergraduate at Guy's university, is so taken with the performance that she applies to become his assistant. A romantic and intellectual attachment soon morphs into an interspecies love triangle that pushes hard at the boundaries of consciousness and the question of what we know and how we know it. 

What if it were possible to speak to the members of another species - to converse with them, not just give commands or coach them, but to really have an exchange of ideas and a meeting of minds? Did apes have God? Did they have souls? Did they know about death and redemption? About prayer? The economy, rockets, space? Did they miss the jungle? Did they even know what the jungle was? Did they dream? Make wishes? Hope for the future?

These are some the questions T.C. Boyle asks in his wide-ranging and hilarious new novel Talk to Me, exploring what it means to be human, to communicate with another, and to truly know another person - or animal....

©2021 T. C. Boyle (P)2021 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about Talk to Me

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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classic TC Boyle

I've read most of Boyle's books so as soon as this came out, I read it! Excellent story about love between species.

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Themes Better Covered Elsewhere

Perfectly adequate non-fiction books frequently suffer from comparison to better books on the same subject. That is less frequent in fiction, but I think it is the case here. For fiction that addresses the capacity of humans and apes to relate to each other, and to be transformed by the relationship, Karen Joy Fowler's "We are all Completely Beside Ourselves" is a much more nuanced novel. For themes of women living in a world of problematic men who mix love, self-interest, and control, you won't beat Katie Kitamura's "Intimacies". A well-performed audiobook, "Talk to Me" will get you down the highway but lacks the insightful depth of the other two.

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Big disappointment

Normally I’m a fan of Boyle. Can’t figure out why this book is so bad. Could not even finish it