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Gus: The Life and Opinions of the Last Raffles' Banded Langur

Publisher: Epigram Books
  • Description
  • Praise
  • About the Author
  • Look inside the book

    Finalist for the 2023 Epigram Books Fiction Prize

    In this action-packed eco-novel, wild talking monkeys lead a revolution in a troubled Singapore. Gus, a precocious Raffles' banded langur, seeks to get home to Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, a Filipino nurse tries to heal her grief, and an auditor strives to be a clown. Their adventures take place along the Rail Corridor, among the shophouses of Blair Plain, and beneath the skyscrapers of downtown Singapore.

  • “An anarchic romp through a post-apocalyptic, post-human Singapore, this is Planet of the Apes meets The Walking Dead meets The Jungle Book, featuring the nuttiest of characters on jaw-droppingly bloody escapades. A truly one-of-a-kind work of speculative fiction.”
    Ng Yi-Sheng, multi-award-winning author of Lion City

    “This apocalyptic novel is about the unnervingly near future. What it tells is the riveting friendship between a talking langur and a human clown at the centre of a great revolution in Singapore and, for that matter, Nature. Jon Gresham’s chaotic Darwinian satire is funny and tragic and inserts a vast cast of attractive characters into memorable locales. An utter page-turner, Gus is the product of a magnificently troubling imagination that will scare its readers the next time they attempt a hiking trail.”
    Gwee Li Sui, poet, graphic artist and literary critic

    “A traumatised monkey launches into a quest for home with the help of bewildered humans, in this narrative that never lets up from the very first page. Breathless, unrelenting, but also hilarious and unexpectedly poignant, here is a surreal and wildly entertaining morality tale about what happens when the natural world fulfils its vengeance on modern life as we know it.”
    Cyril Wong, award-winning poet and author of This Side of Heaven

    “Gresham has written a thought-provoking and entertaining work that hurtles from escapade to escapade with humour and compassion. Activities like eating meat, visiting the zoo and reading news reports about the latest discoveries in the labs at Biopolis will probably leave one with some degree of disquiet after reading this book.”
    Yeo Wei Wei, author of These Foolish Things

    “A dive into a world at once familiar and unfamiliar. Singapore in the not-too-distant-future, where primates have taken over, leaders have fled, and those left behind are forced to navigate a chaotic anarchic world that has stopped listening to nature. Through the eyes of the country’s last Raffles’ banded langur, we see these characters grappling with love, loss and the fine line between ‘us’ and ‘them’. An engaging read that stretches the imagination while it interrogates where we stand when faced with the fearful unknown.”
    Pamela Ho, former journalist and co-author of Adventures of 2 Girls

    “An ecological dystopian romp, Gus is a warning about the delicate nature of the relationship between man and animal, and how fine the line of distinction can be as well. Gresham has written a zeitgeisty, absurdist tale that will entertain and make you think.”
    Lee Jing-Jing, author of How We Disappeared

  • Jon Gresham is the author of We Rose Up Slowly (2015). His writing has appeared in various publications, including Best Singaporean Short Stories 1 (2020) and The Best Asian Short Stories 2020. His story “The Visit” was shortlisted for the 2020 Short Fiction/Essex University Prize and included in Best New Singaporean Short Stories: Volume Five (2021). He also co-edited In This Desert, There Were Seeds (2019), an anthology of stories by West Australian and Singaporean writers.

    Jon helped run the Asia Creative Writing Programme, a collaboration between the School of Humanities at Nanyang Technological University and the National Arts Council of Singapore. He is a co-founder of Sing Lit Station, and established the Book A Writer workshop programme. He has lived in Singapore for over twenty years. Gus: The Life and Opinions of the Last Raffles’ Banded Langur is his first novel.

ISBN: 9789815105322
Cover Type: Paperback
Page Count: 440
Year Published: 2024
Size: 225mm x 152mm
Language: English