Mister Monkey (audiobook)

A Novel

9.3 hrs • 8 CDs• 1 MP3 CD • Unabridged
Target Audience: Adult
Release Date: 10/18/16
Library CD Library Edition CD titles are packaged in an attractive, full-sized, durable vinyl case with full color art. Cloth Sleeves keep compact discs protected and in numerical order. 
- 10/18/16 9781441719836
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MP3 CD MP3-CDs: Come in a durable vinyl case similar to a dvd case. An index of contents and tracking information are included within the Mp3-CD format. MP3's can be played on any compatible CD player 
- 10/18/16 9781441719843
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A Los Angeles Times Pick of Best Audiobooks of 2016

Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award

A BookPage Top Pick in Fiction for November 2016

Longlisted for the 2017 Carnegie Medal for Literature

The acclaimed New York Times bestselling author weaves an ingenious, darkly humorous, and brilliantly observant story that follows the exploits and intrigue of a constellation of characters affiliated with an off-off-off-off Broadway children’s musical.

Mister Monkey—a screwball children’s musical about a playfully larcenous pet chimpanzee—is the kind of family favorite that survives far past its prime. Margot, who plays the chimp’s lawyer, knows the production is dreadful and bemoans the failure of her acting career. She’s settled into the drudgery of playing a humiliating part—until the day she receives a mysterious letter from an anonymous admirer—and later, in the middle of a performance, has a shocking encounter with Adam, the twelve-year-old who plays the title role.

Francine Prose’s effervescent comedy is told from the viewpoints of wildly unreliable, seemingly disparate characters whose lives become deeply connected as the madcap narrative unfolds. There is Adam, whose looming adolescence informs his interpretation of his role; Edward, a young audience member who is candidly unimpressed with the play; Ray, the author of the novel on which the musical is based, who witnesses one of the most awkward first dates in literature; and even the eponymous Mister Monkey, the Monkey God himself.

With her trademark wit and verve, Prose delves into humanity’s most profound mysteries: art, ambition, childhood, aging, and love. Startling and captivating, Mister Monkey is a breathtaking novel from a writer at the height of her craft.

Review Quotes

“Voice talents Nan McNamara and Kirby Heyborne seamlessly find the sweet spot between satirical and sympathetic in this richly observed tale…Whether it’s Heyborne giving voice to a five-year-old boy’s fear of switching schools or McNamara reflecting a ‘serious’ actress’ mortification at finding herself onstage in a multicolored clown wig—the book is consistently funny and heartbreaking throughout. An achingly gentle, smart, and satisfying listening experience. Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.”


“[A] madcap, razor-sharp comedy.”


“A sophisticated satire, a gently spiritual celebration of life, a dark and thoroughly grim depiction of despair, a screwball comedy, a screwball tragedy…It’s gorgeous and bright and fun and multifaceted.”

New York Times Book Review (front cover review)

“Masterful…a lovely tribute to the transformative value of imagination.”

Washington Post

“In this strong, humane, and funny novel, Prose has treated us to an enthralling entertainment both on and off stage.”

Boston Globe

“Beautifully crafted, incisively written…[with] Prose’s ability to let us see into the heart of each character, to render each so vulnerably human, so achingly real in just a few short paragraphs.”

Minneapolis Star-Tribune

“[Francine Prose] is the Meryl Streep of literary fiction, convincingly shifting between multiple voices and points of view—not just from book to book but within a single work.”


“In a novel that’s both hilarious and keenly observant, Francine Prose traces the results of this off-Broadway disaster through the voices of stage workers, audience members, and the cast, including Mister Monkey himself.”


“Exceptionally keen, artistic, funny, empathic, and intricate dance of longing and coincidence.”

Booklist (starred review)

“Wickedly funny and sharply observant, in the author’s vintage manner, with a warmth that softens the satire just enough.”

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)