Review: Jeremy & Amy – Jeremy Keeling

jeremyandamyIf there is one thing I want to say about this book it is read it. I don’t think I have ever read a memoir in one sitting but I genuinely could not put this down. I even read it while eating my dinner!

This is a story of Jeremy Keeling – a man who co-founded Monkey World in the UK. Many people have probably seen an episode of Monkey Life or Monkey Business, which has been airing on British TV for a number of years now on various channels (Animal Planet, Channel 5 and now Sky!) and this book is his story of how the monkey sanctuary was founded and the uphill struggle it was. It’s a story of love, human nature and, not only is it a personal story it also gives a look in to how conservation has changed in the last 30-40 years.

We follow Jeremy from his early years, growing up on his family zoo where it was commonplace for the puma to have a room in the house and a bear in the outhouse! The story meanders through the pitfalls of his life, the periods he was living out of his car and working odd jobs to the point where he met Jim Cronin; a kindred spirit. From here we read about the birth of Monkey World. From Monkey World we follow the story in to present day, through the devastating loss of Jim and the incredible rescue of 88 capuchin monkeys from Chile in 2008.

At times this is heartbreaking, others it is laugh out loud. The stealer of the show is, of course Amy. Amy the orang-utan which Jeremy himself hand reared. If she could speak I think she would have some incredible stories to tell. He saved Amy and, one day, Amy saved him. It’s just incredible the bond that he has, not just with her, but with all of the other apes and monkeys he encounters daily.

I read this in one sitting. I lost an afternoon because I just could not put this down. It may not be a masterpiece but what I have taken out of this book, it made me laugh and it made me cry. For that reason alone it deserves a 5/5 from me.

5 thoughts on “Review: Jeremy & Amy – Jeremy Keeling

  1. I love this book. I bought a copy years ago at Monkey World and managed to get Jeremy to sign it. He was soooooo nice. Okay I have to go read this again now, its been ages since I last read it.

    • Ahh! Exciting. I went to monkey world on holiday a few weeks ago and want to go back again already! My mum isn’t hard to persuade but it’s my dad that does the driving! Embarrassingly I actually purchased this book for my mum, I didn’t see it while I was at Monkey World, and read it before she even got home from work to see it!

      Next time I go I will definitely have it in my bag – just in case!

      • Ahh cool. Its really great to see all the work they do. Hope you get to meet him.

        Did you ever watch the tv series made at Monkey World? I loved those shows.

      • Yeah! I’ve actually been binge watching on sky on Sunday’s! My mum is the one that got me hooked on it back when it first aired – she loved watching it. She has also put in a request for me to sponsor an orangutan for her birthday so that’s that sorted! Their adoption packs are pretty good value, the one free entry makes up for the 300 mile round trip!

      • Oh cool. Have to admit I thought it had been cancelled after the third season. I have a whole load of Monkey Life to go watch now!

        Aww thats so cute. And yeah, getting free entry really makes the adoption good value for money.

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