The Man I Became



An Impressively Entertaining Tale About The Frailty Of Human Civilisation By The Leading Flemish Writer Peter Verhelst, Now For The First Time In English Warning This Story Is Narrated By A Gorilla He Is Plucked From The Jungle He Learns To Chat And Passes The Ultimate Test A Cocktail Party Eventually He Is Moved To An Amusement Park, Where He Acts In A Play About The History Of Civilisation But As The Gorilla Becomes Increasingly Aware Of Human Frailties, He Must Choose Between His Instincts And His Training, Between Principles And Self Preservation Why Peirene Chose To Publish This Book This Is Peirene S First Book Narrated By An Ape Animal Fables Are Usually Not My Thing It Needed Belgian Deadpan Humour To Convince Me Otherwise Mixing Huxley S Brave New Worldwith Orwell S Animal Farm, The Fast Paced Plot Leaves Behind Images That Play In Your Mind Long After You Have Closed The Book Meike Ziervogel Simple, But Wonderful And Impassioned De Standaard A Heart Warming Novella In Bleak Times HumoThe Man I Became

Peter Verhelst is een Vlaamse dichter en schrijver.

[PDF] The Man I Became  By Peter Verhelst – E17streets4all.co.uk
  • Kindle Edition
  • 120 pages
  • The Man I Became
  • Peter Verhelst
  • English
  • 08 January 2018

10 thoughts on “The Man I Became

  1. says:

    The latest book from Peirene Press is narrated by a gorilla That s no secret it s an explicit warning given in the blurb Yet the narrator doesn t remain a gorilla The clue is in the title in The Man I Became, the eleventh novel by Belgian Flemish author Peter Verhelst translated from the Dutch by David Colmer , various species are captured and forcibly humanized Our narrator whose name we never know remembers his happy life in Africa We caught termites by pushing long twigs, as flexible as blades of grass, into their mounds and then licking the twigs clean We hung from branches one handed to show off our muscles We felt like princes and princesses We were young and beautiful and our bliss was never going to end.But soon his fellows start disappearing, and eventually the riders come for him too He s captured and marched across the desert to the sea to be shipped to the New World The gorillas training begins soon after they arrive.We learned to walk upright Faster Taller said the human Then we learned how to shave We learned a new language word by word We learned to eat from a bowl and then with knife and fork We learned to powder our skin to make it lighter.At this point I started to get a bit nervous about the book s racial connotations Especially as the gorillas in transition become sexual objects, I wondered what Verhelst could be attempting to say about the notions of the noble savage and the purification of the race.The creatures progress is carefully d...

  2. says:

    A fascinating quick read about a gorilla plucked from the jungle and taught to be a man I am little perplexed because it was a quick read, yet I feel that I haven t quite processed the book yet What is the distinction between a human b...

  3. says:

    I received a review copy of this title from the publisher.I don t normally read Dystopian, Orwellian type novels with talking Gorillas But since this book is published by Peirene Press I decided to give it a try anyway and I am glad I did The narrator tells us that he was living a happy life in the wild until one day members of his family start disappearing from their idyllic home He then finds himself drugged and dragged out of his natural habitat against his will He, along with his family, are chained together and forced on an arduous journey during which they are given just enough food and water to survive Some of them die along the way and the living are forced to march on and leave their loved ones behind. I found this to be the most heart wrenching and sad part of the book Their fear was palpable and it was difficult to read about these innocent animals as they are taken out of their natural surroundings, and forced on a journey towards the unknown.After a long ride on a ship in cramped quarters, the animals reach what they call The New World They are given clothes, taught how to clean and groom themselves and are given speech lessons They practice walking upright, which is very uncomfortable to them and they practice carrying on polite conversations It is clear that their captors are trying to turn them into something as close to human as possible After a period of time the animals are given a test to see how far their human training has come the...

  4. says:

    Highly original part allegory of migration, part surreal, dystopian fantasy Some powerful, imaginative set pieces here The intro reads like an account of the slave trade the accelerated evolution a kind of Planet of the Apes meets Ballardian SF Hats off to the publisher Periene for this concept too The blurb speaks of the series aspiratio...

  5. says:

    The Man I Became by Belgian writer Peter Verhelst Translated from Dutch by David Colmer Peirene Press Logline Contemporary European Literature Thought provoking, well designed, short I loved the notice on the back page of this novella Warning this story is narrated by a gorilla I m a sucker for any monkey business from King Kong, to the PG Tips advertisements This small and rich volume is a satirical take on man s inhumanity to man and ape containing the tragic elements of Kong, along with the comic slapstick of the PG Tips ads The narrator let s call him Gus he isn t given a name , is abducted, along with various healthy members of his and other gorilla families from their home jungle and taken to be trained to work as a human in a theme park like Disneyland called Dreamland The abduction has unpleasant overtures of the slave trade, with the gorilla families tied and towed in line to the back of a horse s tail As long as everyone kept in step it was fine, but the moment someone stumbled or hesitated, the horse felt a stabbing pain in its tail and let fly with its sharp hooves In Dreamland, things do become very dreamlike as Gus is put through a regime that strips away his animalistic nature, culminating in attendance at a grotesque cocktail party where he smiles politely, drinks wine and engages in small talk of this, that and the other The naming of Dreamland is an unsubtle punt towards t...

  6. says:

    Periene s mission is to provide books that can be read in one sitting, and I often love this short burst of literature, but in this case I wanted It does have that parable feel without me quite not knowing what the parable was The beginning felt like a tale of slavery, later on perhaps it is a message on messing with nature, or is it about the superficial nature of humans The overriding theme is evolution, a reminder of our beginnings I don t know, maybe it s all of the above, but that s a lot to fit into 121 pages.I did enjoy reading it though The prose is easy to read but at times unnerving Teaching the gorillas human etiquette highlights how ridiculous some things are It becomes quite surreal when we meet the other animals, it seems almost believable to try and force the evolution of apes, but taking giraffes and lions to a dinner party The performance of the savannah is quite disturbing really Here are ...

  7. says:

    So I usually don t like Dutch literature because most of it seems a bit pretentious to me admittedly, I don t read a lot of Dutch literature, so I might be wrong Let s just say it doesn t appeal to me This book I had to read for a class It didn t sell well, while it got very good reviews I started reading it and it completely blew me away Totally not expecting this It s well written and built up No names or places are mentioned, except the dream world The first person narrative makes sure that the reader slowly realises what is actually going on, and boy, was it different than what I originally thought The blur kinda gives it away though, but I hadn t read it before starting to read Tip if you want to read this, don t read the blur I would definitely re...

  8. says:

    Ik was erg teleurgesteld toen ik aan dit boek begon Omdat ik eerder al Tongkat , Zwellend Fruit en De Allerlaatste Caracara had gelezen, verwachtte ik heel veel van dit boek Jammer genoeg werden deze verwachtingen niet ingevuld Ik hou normaal gezien erg van Peter Verhelst zijn boeken omdat ze zo po tisch en lichamelijk bij gebrek aan een betere beschrijving zijn Maar dit was niet het geval in Gechiede...

  9. says:

    If the apes are our cousins, is it fair to leave them languishing in the jungle or should we give them the same benefits of civilisation as we enjoy ourselves What is civilisation anyway, and how far should we follow our dreams In this short new novel narrated by...

  10. says:

    Very interesting as the main character is an ape Reminded me of Orwell s Animal Farm but set in present time.

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