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1 Work 295 Membros 21 Reviews

About the Author

Disambiguation Notice:

(eng) Cheeta is in fact not the real author of this "autobiography". For more info:

http://entertainment.timesonline.co.u... However, it will soon become apparent on reading even a few lines that 'Cheeta' is most definitely male.

Obras de Cheeta

Me Cheeta: The Autobiography (2008) 295 cópias


Conhecimento Comum

Nome padrão
Nome de batismo
Lever, James
Data de nascimento
20th Century
Local de nascimento
Bolton, Lancashire, England, UK
Pequena biografia
James Lever was born in Bolton and educated in Oxford. He spent his twenties writing an 800-page novel called ‘News Sport Weather’, whose subject was ‘everything’. It wasn’t any good, and nor was it published. He lives in London, where he has worked as a comedy-writer and performer, reviewer, ghost and editor. ‘Me Cheeta’ is his first novel.
Aviso de desambiguação
Cheeta is in fact not the real author of this "autobiography". For more info:


However, it will soon become apparent on reading even a few lines that 'Cheeta' is most definitely male.



This book was something of a word-of-mouth hit, a spoof autobiography by the chimp which played Cheeta in the Tarzan films of the Thirties, and was recommended to me by my husband. It sat on my to-read shelf for a long time, until I had a tired day when I needed something easy to read.
It had me laughing right from page 1. “Dearest humans, So, it’s the perfect day in Palm Springs, California, and here I am – actor, artist, African, American, ape and now author – flat out on the lounger by the pool, looking back over this autobiography of mine. Flipping through it more than reading it, to be honest…”
Okay, the laughs don’t come every page, and the section where Cheeta journeys from Africa to New York then Hollywood could perhaps have been shorter. But it made me laugh. The portrayal of some Hollywood stars is wicked, and there are very familiar names: Flynn, Niven, Dietrich, Rooney, Sanders, Chaplin, the Barrymores, and of course Johnny. Johnny Weissmuller.
At times, I forgot it was a spoof, so delicious were the laughs. “It would be true to say that I spent at least sixty-five per cent of 1935 masturbating in a cage. But, you know, a cage is a cage is a cage, as Gertrude Stein might have said.”
Read more of my book reviews at http://www.sandradanby.com/book-reviews-a-z/
… (mais)
Sandradan1 | outras 20 resenhas | Oct 30, 2015 |
A ridiculous idea, really - a wicked autobiography from a chimp at the heart of the Golden Age of Hollywood, replete with bitchy asides about so-and-so's sexual history. Despite the campy concept, it still manages to pack a sweet love story amongst the dark humour.
alexrichman | outras 20 resenhas | Jun 20, 2011 |
I had this book on hold for one and a half years and thanks to the TIOLI challenges picked it up again. I am very glad I finally finished it and don’t have to busy myself with it anymore ever. The review is so long because my disappointment was so big.

Me Cheeta is the pseudo-autobiography of the chimpanzee that starred in the Tarzan movies with Johnny Weissmuller (in reality there have been several animals playing the part of Cheeta). As a baby chimp in an African jungle Cheeta is stolen by hunters and then is lucky to make a Hollywood career instead of ending up in a zoo (or being eaten during the great depression). Along the way he meets all the then famous movie stars and now he shares his intimate knowledge of them with us. The whole thing sounds like an original and funny idea. It is obvious that the author, James Lever, did an incredible amount of research – both on the Hollywood of the 1930s and 40s and on the behavior and characteristics of the animals. His effort was rewarded with a nomination for the Man Booker Prize 2008 where the book was even shortlisted. I read about it in the Times (when it was still available online for free), and the review was convincing enough for me to buy the book. Obviously the book was so funny that reviewers couldn’t stop laughing when discussing it.

I didn’t laugh once. I got terribly annoyed after 50 pages and took my long break after 150 pages/ half of the book. This is not a bad book technically, but it’s a book like elevator music. You can enjoy it without thinking for a very short period of time before it gets on your nerves. Reading 5 pages of this book was okay, even entertained me. Reading 10 pages at once always was hard work. I don’t know how to say it, but there’s just no substance, this is all like a big empty bubble. We all know the Hollywood glamour is and has always been superficial. There are drugs, violence, sexual abuse, insanity… no unexpected and scandalous surprises here. But as James Lever can’t really have his information from any of his characters (they are all dead by now) I was asking myself how much of all that is fiction and what is real or at least gossip, just to decide I didn’t really care.

The last quarter of the book is mostly (except for two nice scenes) filled with useless and again completely unfunny babble about life in a sanctuary for chimpanzees. I admit I only skimmed over them, otherwise I’d thrown the book against a wall. You know those movie scenes where someone is fatally wounded but blabs on and on and on? It’s exactly like it, including the longest ficticious Oscar speech ever. I admire Lever for his patience when he was writing it.
Overall the book is much too wordy, Cheeta might be remembered as the most talkative animal in the history of pseudo-autobiographies. The one and only moving element is Cheeta’s attachment (‘love’) to Johnny Weissmuller and it’s quite sad reading about the time after Cheeta has been removed from a Tarzan set for misbehavior and is forever waiting in vain for his beloved Johnny to come and get him out of his cage and back into ‘the Dream’.

I’d very guardedly recommend this book to people who really know and like the Tarzan movies but don’t mind if the image of some stars gets shattered. Everyone else should better stay away from it.
… (mais)
1 vote
Deern | outras 20 resenhas | Dec 6, 2010 |
It's a good job this book was written by a monkey or the lawyers would be beating a path to the authors door!

This is a very sad, very funny book which gives an insight into the Hollywood scene of some years ago and a chance to step back and realise what a ridiculous species we are. I would love to know who wrote this and grassed-up so many 'stars'.
Heptonj | outras 20 resenhas | Nov 19, 2010 |



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