Me Cheeta: The Autobiography

by Cheeta | Biographies & Memoirs |
ISBN: 9780007278633 Global Overview for this book
Registered by Nell-Lu of Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom on 11/12/2007
Buy from one of these Booksellers: | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Amazon IT |
This book is in a Controlled Release! This book is in a Controlled Release!
17 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by Nell-Lu from Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom on Monday, November 12, 2007
Longlisted for the 2008 Guardian First Book award. This is my review copy from being on one of the readers' panels.

The story of Cheeta the chimp, Johnny Weissmuller’s co-star in the Tarzan films of the 1930s and 40, this book relies on the inability of the dead to sue for libel. It’s a clever idea: Cheeta is both Hollywood insider and detached observer.

The first chapter, "Inimitable Rex", had me laughing out loud. An episode involving a monkey puzzle tree and Rex Harrison is inventive, funny and well-told. But, the joke quickly wears thin. One of the central conceits is a pretence of ignorance whereby Cheeta professes to believe that cages are designed for his benefit, to shelter him from danger, and so on. This becomes tiresome, as do the scurrilous, but curiously same-y, anecdotes.

Cheeta’s reunion with a dying Weissmuller is a high point - thematically linking this book with several of the other Guardian longlisted books via a preoccupation with the father-son relationship – but overall this is no more than a mildly entertaining read. There are a few laughs to be had in the index. An ongoing joke about the affairs of Lupe Velez (the third Mrs Johnny Weissmuller) is exaggerated for comic effect and a missing chapter ("removed on legal advice") is catalogued. It’s the first time I’ve I enjoyed an index more than the book.

I'm going to pass this on to The Lost Book project: a book about an animal co-star seems relevant to a web series where the main character has a canine companion. Aileen's dog is certainly not kept in a cage, though!

Journal Entry 2 by TheLostBook from Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom on Thursday, January 15, 2009
Okay, this is to go out on a bookray - with any luck it will cause a few laughs wherever it goes. Although Nell-Lu didn't adore the book, quite a lot of reviewers did: Carole Cadwalladr in the Observer, Veronica Horwell in the Guardian, Lynne Truss in the Times, Anne Billson in the Telegraph, and even Ella Hickson in the Scotsman.

PM at any time, with your shipping preferences, to join the bookray. The book is a standard-sized (320pp) hardback, it weighs about 675g (24 oz).

Vekiki, UK (Int)
Supertalya, South Korea (Int)
Wandering-B, Hong Kong (Int)
Bug2004, USA (USA)
cbostler, USA (USA)
NMReader, USA (USA)
Oldbroad, USA (Int)
ApoloniaX, Germany (Europe, int surface mail)
iiwi, The Netherlands (Int)
franaloe, The Netherlands (EU)
Cross-patch, UK (UK preferred/Int if needed)
Lizzy-stardust, UK (Int)
chich, France (Int)
Bookray complete!

Update 28 July 2009: Me Cheeta longlisted for the Man Booker prize 2009!

Released 15 yrs ago (2/6/2009 UTC) at By mail / post / courier, By Mail/Post/Courier -- Controlled Releases



Me Cheeta is travelling to London to start this book ray. Happy reading!

Journal Entry 4 by Vekiki from -- Somewhere in London 🤷‍♀️ , Greater London United Kingdom on Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Recieved last night - finally! Many apologies for this delay, which was because this book was delivered to my boyfriend's work address, and he has been off the last to weeks with man-flu.

Started this book last night so shouldnt be long before its off travelling again

Edit to add: I love the postcards! I'm going pass a couple on to friends of mine who may be interested in the Lost Book project and send the rest on with the book so that others can help spread the word

Journal Entry 5 by Vekiki from -- Somewhere in London 🤷‍♀️ , Greater London United Kingdom on Saturday, March 7, 2009
Ive tried to get into this book a few times now, but it just isnt holding my attention. I dont like the persona of Cheeta at all... maybe this improves as the book progresses, but he just seems an arrogant git in the first couple of chapters, which doesnt induce me to want to hear the rest of his story!!

Sorry i havent enjoyed this more, hopefully others will. Will post on at some point this week

Journal Entry 6 by Vekiki from -- Somewhere in London 🤷‍♀️ , Greater London United Kingdom on Thursday, March 19, 2009
Finally Posted out yesterday... this book had managed to slip past me when i did my post office run a couple of weeks ago so many apologies for delay in posting

Journal Entry 7 by Supertalya on Monday, March 30, 2009
Looks really interesting!

Well, it wasn't as interesting as it was strange. I am glad I got a chance to read it but I don't think I would have ever picked it up myself

I have wandering-b's addy here somewhere. I will send it out within the next week.

Journal Entry 8 by Supertalya at bookcrosser, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases on Friday, May 1, 2009

Released 15 yrs ago (5/1/2009 UTC) at bookcrosser, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases



Enjoy this one!

Journal Entry 9 by wandering-B from Tai Po, Tai Po Hong Kong on Monday, May 11, 2009
And this fun book arrived in the post today as well. I have a few in front of it but hope not to stall it for too long. THanks to Nell-Lu for sending it out as a ring and Supertalya for sending it to me.

Journal Entry 10 by wandering-B from Tai Po, Tai Po Hong Kong on Wednesday, June 17, 2009
OK, maybe second time is the charm for the JE. I found this book rather humorous - it's not like a REAL autobiography - it's a one-sided reflection of a career, a tell-all, and a nice gossip about Hollywood greats. Oh, wait, I guess that makes it about as "real" as some of the other biographies I have read. I agree with others - do not miss the index - it's enjoyable.

As an aside, my mother was relating to me just last week about a collection of old movies she had purchased on DVD and she mentioned Johnny Weissmuller and she said - I guess you have never heard of him. She was surprised when I told her yes, I HAD indeed heard of him and as a matter of fact I was reading Cheeta's biography. I think she just scratched her head over my reading selections.

Headed to the post office tomorrow, 18 June. Thanks again for sharing.

Journal Entry 11 by Bug2004 from Omaha, Nebraska USA on Sunday, July 5, 2009
Re'cvd on Friday along w/ a cute little bookmark and postcard...thanks Wandering B! :)

Have several in front of this one, but promise to continue the ray when I'm done. Thanks for sharing!

Journal Entry 12 by Bug2004 from Omaha, Nebraska USA on Monday, September 21, 2009
I only got half way through this one, but am kind of bored, so since I've held it far too long, I will send it on it's way this week. Thanks for sharing.

Journal Entry 13 by cbostler from Sandy, Utah USA on Saturday, October 10, 2009
I received ME CHEETA in the mail this afternoon. The timing is perfect. I'm on vacation from work and have no other books on the bedside table. I'll begin reading right away.

Journal Entry 14 by cbostler from Sandy, Utah USA on Sunday, October 11, 2009
Dear Cheeta,
I'm a senior citizen- one who watched your adventures with Tarzan during Saturday afternoon matinees. You were my favorite character! I was pleased to hear that you had written an autobiography, and looked forward to reading ME CHEETA as a part of a ring on BookCrossing.

The highlights of the book are the photographs. What great memories they invoked. I used the index and browsed through some sections that sounded interesting. (Trigger, Red Skelton, and your thoughts on ape-actors.)

Overall, I am disappointed in your book, Cheeta. You have a great story to tell, but unfortunately, you assumed that which too many authors today assume; that a book needs to be base or crude to be entertaining. After reading numerous offensive passages, I decided ME CHEETA is not for me. I'm not spending any more time with your book, and I wouldn't recommend it to others.

I am thrilled to hear that you have taken up painting. Your artwork is intriguing! Best wishes in your endeavors as an artist.

Journal Entry 15 by cbostler at Albuquerque, New Mexico USA on Sunday, October 11, 2009

Released 14 yrs ago (10/11/2009 UTC) at Albuquerque, New Mexico USA



ME CHEETA is traveling in a bookring. It is being sent to the next particpant, NMReader.

Journal Entry 16 by NMReader from Herndon, Virginia USA on Friday, November 6, 2009
I am looking forward to reading this book

Journal Entry 17 by NMReader from Herndon, Virginia USA on Tuesday, January 26, 2010
I am in the midst of moving and unfortunately this book and several others were packed with my personal books vs my BC books. I will find and get on its way as quickly as I can.

Journal Entry 18 by NMReader from Herndon, Virginia USA on Friday, February 12, 2010
I was very disappointed in this book. The premise had so much promise but little of it was realized.

I read the whole book. I kept expecting for it to get more humourous or for the author to make a point that hadn't already been made.

I will mail as soon as I can make it to the PO

Journal Entry 19 by NMReader at Herndon, Virginia USA on Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Released 14 yrs ago (2/16/2010 UTC) at Herndon, Virginia USA



I hope to drop at the PO on the way home from work

Delivery Confirmation Number: 0308 0660 0001 6599 9374

Journal Entry 20 by Oldbroad from Grapeview, Washington USA on Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Received the book today. Will read it and send it on soon.

Journal Entry 21 by Oldbroad from Grapeview, Washington USA on Monday, April 19, 2010
My apologies for keeping the book so long. I read it promptly but then it got buried in a stack of books on my desk and I forgot about it. Sorry!

The book has a clever premise and brought back old memories, but I think it would have been better in a shorter form, perhaps a short story or novella. The material is pretty thin to be stretched into a novel. Still, I enjoyed it and hope the next reader does, too.

I am PMing ApoloniaX for her address,

Journal Entry 22 by wingApoloniaXwing from Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin Germany on Friday, May 7, 2010
Received it in the mail today.
Thanks a lot for shipping international, Oldbroad!

Journal Entry 23 by wingApoloniaXwing from Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin Germany on Tuesday, May 11, 2010
This was a quick read… It didn’t take long and I started turning half-read pages… too gossipy, boring… And a childhood illusion being shattered: I really believed that Cheeta was a NICE chimpanzee! But it gets worse… I tried to find out a bit more on Cheeta’s life and this autobiography. After extensive research on the internet I had to face the truth: It’s a fake. Cheeta didn’t write it. Some guy called James Lever did (supposedly a human male adult).
And she didn’t even act in all those Tarzan movies!
See this article.
Or (short version from Wikipedia): Cheeta, a male chimpanzee born about 1960, formerly owned by Tony Gentry and now residing at the C.H.E.E.T.A. Primate Sanctuary (Creative Habitats and Enrichment for Endangered and Threatened Apes) in Palm Springs, California. Claimed by Gentry to have been born in 1932 or later in the 1930s and to have portrayed Cheeta in most of the Johnny Weismuller and Lex Barker Tarzan films, and for that reason long celebrated as the longest-lived chimpanzee. Both claims were debunked by journalist R. D. Rosen in 2008 in an article that settled the animal's true age and established that he had not appeared in any movies, let alone in the role of Cheeta.
But I admit it’s a clever idea to write a satire on Hollywood memoirs from a chimpanzee’s point of view. And it’s probably a nice read if you are interested in Hollywood gossip. I’m not.
Anyway, thanks for the ray!

Journal Entry 24 by wingApoloniaXwing at Bookring/Bookray, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- Canada on Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Released 14 yrs ago (5/12/2010 UTC) at Bookring/Bookray, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- Canada



Travelling to iiwi now.
ETA: I saved the chimp stamp especially for this ray ;-)

Journal Entry 25 by wingiiwiwing from Zeist, Utrecht Netherlands on Tuesday, May 18, 2010
I found this book under the doormat. Nope, no typo, that's just where I found it. Let's state that our postalservices are strange. Anyway, I did find it, so no harm done.

Thnx ApoloniaX for sending. I liked it that there was a chimp-stamp on the envelope. :) It turned out to be a stamp of Bernard Grzimek, with chimp as said, whose encyclopedia of animals (like 10 parts) I have in my bookcase.

Journal Entry 26 by wingiiwiwing at Utrecht, Utrecht Netherlands on Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Those were the golden days of cinema, when the companys were run by people actually called Goldwyn, Mayer and Warner (the two of them). It were the golden days of moviecompanies, not of the animals, who could easily be killed during te filming of this motion picture, or for the actors and actresses who were, in fact, as caged in Hollywood as the animals were.

I laughed out loud lots of times reading this book. On a whole I enjoyed it and the wole 1930-'40 cinema is interesting enough to keep me reading. The fun of Cheeta as a moviestar with her own completely egocentric memoirs, going to the elleged parties and hearing the gossips, but still reviewing them in her chimpway, never died. The last chapter is even moving, which seems hard with a chimp as a protagonist, but it really is.

I will contact franaloe.

Journal Entry 27 by franaloe at Texel, Oudeschild, Noord-Holland Netherlands on Sunday, June 20, 2010
It's here. Looking forward to this one! Thanks for sending and sharing.

Journal Entry 28 by franaloe at Texel, Oudeschild, Noord-Holland Netherlands on Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Sorry, this is no book for me. I do not like Cheeta. His character, his arrogance, his jokes, his behaviour, his thoughts. He might be doing good in Hollywood, but not here.

I have contacted the next on the list to send the book on.

edit 9 August: just received the address, will send book asap!

Journal Entry 29 by franaloe at Texel, Oudeschild, Noord-Holland Netherlands on Wednesday, August 11, 2010
I've sent the book off to NICNIC2 today.
I hope you better enjoy the life story of Cheeta than I did...

Journal Entry 30 by NICNIC2 at St Andrews, Scotland United Kingdom on Monday, August 16, 2010
Arrived safely - thanks :) Will start on this when i finish my current read

Journal Entry 31 by wingCross-patchwing at Leicester, Leicestershire United Kingdom on Thursday, February 24, 2011
Arrived today, thank you very much.

Journal Entry 32 by wingCross-patchwing at Leicester, Leicestershire United Kingdom on Friday, April 15, 2011
Sorry for the delay. I think I turned out to like the idea of this book more than the book itself. I did have a giggle at times though, but it went on all too long.

Released 13 yrs ago (4/15/2011 UTC) at -- Controlled Release, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- United Kingdom


I hope you like it better than I did.

Journal Entry 34 by Lizzy-stardust at Salford, Greater Manchester United Kingdom on Monday, April 18, 2011
Got this in today's post. Really looking forward to reading it! Will start tomorrow, probably, weds. at the latest. Thanks Cross-patch!

Book received today, many thanks for passing it on Lizzy-stardust:)

I can't wait to start reading this, thanks for hosting this ray TheLostBook!

Unfortunately this book was quite a disappointment. I thought it would be original and funny but I found it quite boring and uninteresting and struggled to finish it:( A shame really, this was such a good idea! I did like the photographs very much so not all is bad:)

As I am the last participant for this ray I will release the book at the OBCZ I manage, hoping it will find a more appreciate reader!

Many thanks for sharing this with us TheLostBook! :)

Journal Entry 37 by chich at RABCK, A RABCK -- Controlled Releases on Sunday, December 11, 2011

Released 12 yrs ago (12/11/2011 UTC) at RABCK, A RABCK -- Controlled Releases


Here is that little piece of RABCKery I was telling you about Lynn, I hope you enjoy reading it!

Happy Holidays:)

Journal Entry 38 by winglmn60wing at Melbourne CBD, Victoria Australia on Thursday, December 15, 2011
Oh wow! What a wonderful pre-Christmas gift, chich! Thanks so much for this wishlist book... and look at all the previous readers! I see a few familiar names here too!!! Seasons greetings to you all.. and thanks again chich for your generosity! Onto the teetering heights of Mt TBR with this one!

Journal Entry 39 by winglmn60wing at Spotswood, Victoria Australia on Wednesday, January 31, 2018
Finally moved this one from 'To be read' to 'Read'.. well actually 'partially Read'!
I was intrigued by the concept of this and was really looking forward to reading this 'autobiography' - being a huge fan of the golden era of Hollywood.
Sadly I found that the high concept of this novel was let down by the execution. Like so many other readers above me - I struggled to stay engaged - and ended up giving in and tossing it aside after a couple of hundred pages. The main problem for me was that I found it hard to 'care' about Cheeta and his adventures. And there just wasn't enough humour to keep me going with it.
What a shame.. I reckon this book had great potential but just didn't live up to it.

I've passed it on to a friend who is a big Tarzan fan... hopefully she'll enjoy it more than I did!

Journal Entry 40 by winglmn60wing at Given To A Friend, Friend -- Controlled Releases on Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Released 6 yrs ago (1/31/2018 UTC) at Given To A Friend, Friend -- Controlled Releases


To the finder of this book:
Hello and congratulations! You have not only found yourself a good book, but a whole community of booklovers dedicated to sharing books with each other and the world at large. I hope you'll stick around a bit and get to know BookCrossing --maybe even make a journal entry on this book. You may choose to remain anonymous or to join (its free!) And if you do choose to join, I hope you'll consider using me, lmn60, as your referring member. Feel free to read and keep this book, or to pass it on to a friend or even set it out "in the wild" for someone else to find like you did. If you do choose to join and journal, then you can watch the book as it travels- You'll be alerted by email each time someone makes another journal entry. It's all confidential (you're known only by your screen name and no one is ever given your e-mail address), free, and spam-free. Happy reading!

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