Monkey in the Middle by Josh Pryor
A Novel

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 3 Critic Reviews



A wild and intriguing read, Josh Pryor’s Monkey in the Middle calls to mind the futuristic satire of Kurt Vonnegut, the edgy neo-noir of Jonathan Lethem, and the maniacal narrative charge of Chuck Palahniuk. Set at the cusp of the future on the seedier sides of Los Angeles, Monkey in the Middle is a suspenseful and hilarious tale of reckless genetic engineering, post-traumatic stress disorder, and tainted love. Besmirched by his participation in the botched Operation Slay Dracula—an elaborate mission to assassinate Saddam Hussein—down-and-out Gulf War veteran Dutch Flowers returns to L.A. with a bad case of “compassion fatigue”—and acute paranoia. After scraping by for years as a small-time private investigator, he lands a lucrative job with a mysterious genetics research corporation investigating the murder of a lab chimp at their Sapiens Trial Facility, or STF, a sort of hybridized ecosystem—Brave New World meets the Biosphere. The assignment leads him into a labyrinth of dark streets, strange clues, and ominous characters. Meanwhile, his marriage is falling apart, and Saddam Hussein has dispatched a cross-dressing assassin nicknamed Mr. Wonderful to put him out of his misery.

About Josh Pryor

See more books from this Author
Pryor holds an MFA from San Francisco State University.
Published March 1, 2003 by Carroll & Graf. 288 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Monkey in the Middle

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

After laying waste to a multitude of Saddam look-alikes, he failed in his mission, and now all those who worked in “Dracula” have been killed off, one by one, by Saddam’s people back in the US, except for Flowers.

| Read Full Review of Monkey in the Middle: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

Pryor's premise is a winner, spawning some hilarious deadpan observations ("I managed to establish the whereabouts of 35 chimps during the time period in which 99's murder had taken place") as well as inspired sequences, including a flashback in which Dutch and fellow CIA assassins interrupt a co...

| Read Full Review of Monkey in the Middle: A Novel

Entertainment Weekly

Retired Army captain Dutch Flowers is a disgraced Gulf War hero hired to investigate a murder in a secret science facility.

Apr 11 2003 | Read Full Review of Monkey in the Middle: A Novel

Rate this book!

Add Review