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Zoo
Zoo
Fiction/General

Hardcover
ISBN: 0316097446
$27.99/U.S.
416 pages
Little, Brown and Company

Paperback
ISBN: 0446571792
$15.00/U.S.
416 pages
Grand Central Publishing

Total

For 36 years, James Patterson has written unputdownable, pulse-racing novels. Now, he has written a book that surpasses all of them. ZOO is the thriller he was born to write.

World

All over the world, brutal attacks are crippling entire cities. Jackson Oz, a young biologist, watches the escalating events with an increasing sense of dread. When he witnesses a coordinated lion ambush in Africa, the enormity of the violence to come becomes terrifyingly clear.

Destruction

With the help of ecologist Chloe Tousignant, Oz races to warn world leaders before it's too late. The attacks are growing in ferocity, cunning, and planning, and soon there will be no place left for humans to hide. With wildly inventive imagination and white-knuckle suspense that rivals Stephen King at his very best, James Patterson's ZOO is an epic, non-stop thrill-ride from "One of the best of the best." (TIME)

Zoo
Fiction/General

Hardcover
ISBN: 0316097446
$27.99/U.S.
416 pages
Little, Brown and Company

Paperback
ISBN: 0446571792
$15.00/U.S.
416 pages
Grand Central Publishing

Book One | THE BEGINNING OF THE END

Chapter 5

I KNEW THE TVs bothered him, so I took Attila by his hand—it was leathery and surprisingly soft, like a glove—and led him into the kitchen. Attila: five years, four feet, and a hundred pounds of chimpanzee.

For breakfast I gave him a mango, a stack of Fig Newtons (which he went ape over), and half a leftover turkey club. Today’s featured dessert was applesauce mixed with crushed-up vitamins and Zoloft.

That’s right, Zoloft.

Even apes need happy pills in our crazy world. Or maybe just the ones who live in New York City.

I brushed Attila’s teeth and brought him back to his room. Scattered across the newspaper-covered floor were Attila’s playthings: a sandbox, a toy chest filled with balls and dolls, an air hockey table, and an old pop-a-shot basketball machine. Actually, those last two were more my toys than his. But the Wii was definitely Attila’s. He could kick my ass at bowling.

I stood in the doorway and watched him play a little while. I’d fixed up the doorway to his room with a sturdy grate of steel wire, though he was getting older and I knew it wouldn’t be long before he found a way around it. I’d have to find another home for him soon. Attila’s favorite toy these days was an American Girl doll I’d recently bought him. She had braids and a gingham dress, very Little House on the Prairie. Attila rocked the big blond-haired doll back and forth and kissed her. Then he brought her over to me and held her up so I could kiss her, too. Attila panted, content, and took the doll back over to the beanbag chair in the corner and began to pretend to feed her.

The people who say their dogs are like children to them never lived with a chimp, believe you me. I shook my head and smiled at my little buddy. It was nice to see him quiet, calm, having fun. That certainly hadn’t been the case when we first met.

I found Attila two years before at the Willis Institute, a South Jersey bio-med shop where I’d been hired as a lab temp. I was cleaning up late on my second day when I opened a door, and there he was. The cutest damn threeyear-old ape you ever saw, lying there with his pink face pressed against the cold bars of his tiny cage.

He was staring at me miserably, his eyes red-rimmed, his nose running to beat the band. Most biomedical research with chimps works like this: they infect the chimp with some disease before giving it the new cure they wanted to test out. If the cure doesn’t work, then whatever; the chimp dies. Or they look for side effects and so on. Flipping through the paperwork attached to the cage, I saw that some intrepid human had been doing some type of weird olfactory research on him. Testing perfumes or something.

When this little ape—he wasn’t Attila yet; back then he was number 579—looked at me so searchingly, so sadly, with his big brown eyes, my sucker’s heart came up with a plan. A week after the job ended, I found myself heading south down I-95 again with the DO NOT COPY lab key I’d very absentmindedly forgotten to return. When I pulled out of the lab’s parking lot after midnight, Attila was lying down in the back of my beat-up Hyundai Sonata, covered in Papa John’s pizza boxes.

The first few weeks in my apartment he’d been wary, hypervigilant, hardly getting any sleep as he waited fearfully to see if I would hurt him. A vet friend of mine diagnosed him with post-traumatic stress disorder and wrote out a scrip for the Zoloft, which worked like a charm.

I know what you’re thinking. I’m either a left-wing animal rights loon or I watched one too many episodes of B.J. and the Bear as a kid. Or insane. Or an idiot. I usually don’t tell other scientists I have a chimp in my apartment. I never planned on being the twenty-first-century Man with the Yellow Hat. It just kind of happened. My original thought was to drop Attila off at an animal sanctuary in rural Louisiana that takes in retired research monkeys. And that is still my eventual plan. But for the time being, Attila lives with me.

Attila put the doll down and walked to the door of the terrace off his room, tapping on it to be let out onto the fenced-in outdoor space, where I’d set up a tire swing.

“Think fast, Attila! Pit attack!” I said, digging in for tickles.

Oo-oo-oo-oo ah-ah-ah heeaagh heeaagh hyeeeaaaaaghhhh!

I watched him knuckle-run over to the swing and jump on it with a scream of joy before I turned, shut the gate, and headed back to work.

Copyright © 2012 by James Patterson

Zoo
Fiction/General
Audiobook (Unabridged CD)
ISBN: 1607884631
$34.98/U.S.
Hachette Audio
Read by Jay Snyder

Jay Snyder has performed on Broadway and off Broadway, regional theater, television, film, and more recently has been working in the Voice Over industry. Having provided many voices for animation, video games, commercials, documentaries, and audio books, he has also greatly enjoyed directing audio for Hachette, Marvel, Disney, and ABC World News.

Zoo
Fiction/General

Hardcover
ISBN: 0316097446
$27.99/U.S.
416 pages
Little, Brown and Company

Paperback
ISBN: 0446571792
$15.00/U.S.
416 pages
Grand Central Publishing

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