by Matt Ruff
$20.00 List Price
“Bad monkey” is a childish euphemism a policeman might use to protect the sensitivity of an adolescent girl, Jane Charlotte, whose younger brother, Phil, was abducted while Jane was supposed to be watching him. Little does the policeman know that Jane is a “bad seed” who has sacrificed her brother, not to the “Bad Monkeys,” which is, in fact, a secret group that fights evil, but to an opposing secret group called the “Troop.” And, one suspects, little does the author know that the title suggests from the beginning the juvenile quality of his book, its combination of fairy-tale morality, contrived secretkeeping, Mission: Impossible plotting, and cool techno-gadgets.
And yet Bad Monkeys is the best of Matt Ruff’s four novels. The first, Fool on the Hill (1988), was written in college about a college that has a Greek
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