Not Bad for an Ape
by Admiral Fartmore
Book Assigner’s Note (Dewey Booklover): In addition to being a television personality and totally legit author, Snooki is technically a professional wrestler. She appeared on WWE on two separate occasions, which earned her a prestigious Slammy in 2011 (accepted via satellite).
What kind of story appears in your mind when you hear the title Gorilla Beach? For me, it suggests a classic adventure to unknown lands, a tale of mystery and ambition. Something like the ill-fated 1995 film Congo, which wove a tragic narrative including individual greed, man’s hubris, betrayal, Tim Curry as a “Romanian”, and of course, gorillas drinking martinis / gorillas getting shot with lasers. So when I was handed Gorilla Beach by Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, I was expecting something along the lines of this:
But my dream would not be realized.
In fact, gorillas are just what Snooki calls big tanned dudes on steroids, so Gorilla Beach is just a beach with buff guidos on it. And this is just a book about two guidettes on a mission to bang them. Simple concept, but I understand if you are still confused. One thing I learned in this process is that Snooki uses a lot of unique terms like “gorilla” to describe things, such as calling her vagina a “kookah,” calling sex “smush,” and so on. I also learned that this lexicon was basically the only thing that she contributed to this book, as she openly admitted to using an anonymous co-author.
Actually, sorry. That’s not true. She did a great job of posing for the cover:
No gorillas were harmed in the making of this book cover
And so in reality this is a book about some Jersey Shore gals doing the kind of stuff Jersey Shore fans want to hear about them doing: partying, makin’ sassy poop and peepee jokes, checking out hot guys, being hot, making out in public, and so on. What’s the plot, you ask? Uhh, it’s summer vacation, dumbass: two hot chicks, Gia and Bella, hook up with a nerd and spend a couple weeks winning big at a casino while meeting a cast of crazy characters along the way. Things get hairy and they lose it all – the friends and the money! – but eventually they make amends with everyone, opening a bar together and proving that the loyalty of good friends is all ya really need. And the nerdy character even learns to be less nerdy!
The main thing I’m going to focus on is the fact that this book wasn’t written by Snooki. When you know this, it makes it kind of awkward to read lines like “My tan is mad hawt … I heart my juicy badonk … My boobs are total boybait.” It’s someone trying to write like Snooki or like a guido, so what you end up with is an even-more cartoon version of what is already a pretty cartoon lifestyle. It can’t help but feel like some kind of literary bronze-face. Everything is absurd, it’s almost parody. Almost. Just take a look at some of the chapter titles:
That’s the first 15 of 54 total chapters.
The only way I can really describe this book is gross. It’s just constant descriptions about how hot, moist, moldy, and smelly everything is. And tons of poop jokes. So much poop.
When I look at this, all I can think is “who actually wrote this thing?” Since the author is anonymous, it could be anyone. I tried contacting the publisher to get a name – no response. I tried tweeting at Saturn-award-winning-actor Brent Spiner to see if he’d written it – no response. There’s a complete media blackout on whoever actually wrote this book. But if neither Simon and Schuster Publishing or Saturn-award-winning-actor Brent Spiner were going to tell me who wrote this, then I’d have to figure this damn thing out for myself.
The story has a real space odyssey-like vibe to it, filled with nonsense side characters and events that add flavour but don’t really drive the story. For example, early on we meet the manager of a country western bar who also happens to be afraid of seeing his own shit. As introduced by his mother, “my boy has issues. He doesn’t like to see his poops. Even when he was a baby, he’d cry hysterically as soon as his diaper was full.” (WHAT?)
These distracting events and characters lend nothing to the tepid plot. It’s just a bunch of crazy filler to provide more magic than the story alone holds. Like something out of a George Lucas cinematic re-release, these kinds of zany freaks are shoehorned in to make the guido-verse feel more like a living and breathing place than the narrative provides. And so after ruling out Saturn-award-winning actor Brent Spiner, the next suspect on my list of potential authors was Saturn-award-winning writer and director George Lucas.
George Lucas, rumored co-author of Gorilla Beach.
Now, to be fair, the cropophobic-country-western-bar-owner, Fredo, does turn out to be a fairly significant character, but the fact that he’s scared of his own shit really has nothing to do with anything. It’s just a distracting gag that clogs up the story (there are also 3 clogged toilet gags in the book). But turds ain’t the only thing he’s scared of, the poor fella:
That’s right. He’s a “femalephobe.”
But enough about Fredo. He’s just one man, and our guidettes pride themselves on encountering much more than just one man. There’s a whole host of zany characters in the Jersey Shore expanded universe, including: Captain Morgan – the police chief, Olga – the fortune teller, and Father Guido – the Italian Priest that runs Thursday-night bingo and-a talks-a like-a theeeeesss:
The characters’ names generally reflect their qualities, something George Lucas is known to incorporate into his writing. The beautiful protagonist is named Bella. Gia, the other protagonist, gets duped by a handsome guy named Ponzi. The dangerous casino boss is named Violenti. The Puerto-Rican rickshaw driver is named Juan. This is vintage Lucas in action.
And the plot does follow the format that put Lucas on the map: unassuming heroes leave their hometown, get wrapped up in something bigger than themselves, succeed over insurmountable odds, and ultimately find victory and return home with success alongside their friends. The Gia character also has a superpower (clairvoyance) that she has to learn to use responsibly. Hint: not cheating at casinos. There’s also strong themes of generational conflict and breaking out from under your parents yoke, as we see in Fredo’s final confrontation with his overbearing mother:
Add this all up, and I was nearly convinced that this was the work of George Lucas. But something struck me in the conclusion of the book. In the end, all the main characters open up a bar together called Venus, and they all contribute to the bar in their own unique way. Will, an artist they met, paints the walls of the club with “some tasteful orgy scenes.” Will’s friend Koko becomes the DJ (DJ Koko). Bella and Gia become the bartenders. They even hire Juan, the Puerto-Rican rickshaw driver, as a security guard. Except Juan is now described not as a “300 pound Puerto Rican,” but rather, as a “barrel chested Mexican.” Hmmmm?
Something doesn’t feel right here. Everything about this spray-tanned 0dyssey screams George Lucas: flat villains, dumb names, poo-poo jokes, and stilted dialogue. But George Lucas does not mix up his Puerto Ricans and his Mexicans. No, siree – that is one mistake you won’t find him making. So then who the hell wrote this thing? Well, I’ve got one last guess.
This book is loaded with self-reference and parody. The characters themselves like “The Jersey Shore.” Will, the artist, has a portrait of Snooki on his wall. So if one “author” includes a reference to her real world self, it stands to reason that the ghost writer might do the same. So then who or what in this book could provide us a hint as to the identity of the author? Could it be one of the idiotic side characters? Perhaps Father Guido? Maybe one of the brothers, Mario and Luigi? Captain Morgan? Ponzi? The Puerto-Mexican, Juan? And then it hit me – DJ Koko.
DJ Koko… Gorilla Beach…. Koko…. Gorilla…. Koko the Gorilla.
How could I have been so blind? It was that damn dirty ape all along. It explains everything – the poor diction, the lack of imagination, shit-flinging comedy, the confusion over different human backgrounds – this book was ghost written by Koko the Gorilla of the The San Francisco Zoo. It’s the only thing that makes sense, and I’m satisfied with that answer until Simon and Schuster Publishers are willing to prove me otherwise.
@sfzoo “Gorilla Beach,” a book by Snooki has an uncredited co-author. Can you confirm or deny if Koko the Gorilla served as ghost writer?
— P.O.S. Book Club (@POSBookClub) February 26, 2017
Humble as ever, Koko’s publicists have yet refused to comment on her involvement. But you know what? I say congratulations, Koko.
All in all, this book ain’t too bad for an ape.