I don't know quite what to say about this book. I struggled deciding between 4 and 5 stars. I enjoyed it but was thoroughly exhausted at the end.The basic premise of the book is that Bruno is a chimpanzee who, over the course of his life, learns language and to speak and comes to think of himself as human. The writing is amazing. I was shocked to find that this is from a first-time author. I found myself using the dictionary feature of my Nook quite often. Actually, the book (and therefore the narrator, Bruno) were quite verbose. At some points I found myself spacing out and had to re-read paragraphs because there was just so much. This, however, is integral to the book. Because it is written from Bruno's point of view, the big words and lengthy descriptions only serve to reinforce Bruno's evolution from chimp to human. The plot was interesting although disturbing at several points. Bruno's life with Lydia was especially disturbing. I would actually love to read this story again only written from Lydia's point of view. What the hell was she thinking??This book is about so many things. At it's core it explores what it really means to be human but it also touches quite a bit on philosophy and humor and religion and theater and so many other things. It was exhausting mentally. I don't think my brain has had such a workout in years. There were parts of this book that I struggled to get through. The middle moved a little slow for me. Despite this, I give it 5 stars. It's just too good not to.