Bad Monkeys

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Bad Monkeys (2007) is a psychological thriller novel by Matt Ruff.

Bad Monkeys
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Author Matt Ruff
Country United States
Language English
Genre Psychological thriller
Publisher Harper
Publication date
July 24, 2007
Pages 240 pages

Plot summary[edit]

The beginning of the book takes place in the mental disabilities wing of the Las Vegas Clark County Detention Center. A psychiatrist named Dr. Vale interviews Jane Charlotte, who is there for the murder of a man called Dixon. Jane claims that she works for a secret organization devoted to fighting evil and that she is the operative for the Department for the Final Disposition of Irredeemable Persons, which is also known as Bad Monkeys. She also claims that her job is to eliminate individuals who are guilty of heinous crimes, but might elude normal channels of justice. Jane tells her story to Dr. Vale about her life working with Bad Monkeys.


Ruff has stated that Bad Monkeys is his "Philip K. Dick novel"—and that, for this reason, the protagonist is named for Jane Charlotte Dick, Philip K. Dick's twin sister who died in infancy;[1] He also states that the book was inspired by having watched an episode of South Park and, shortly thereafter, having read David Simon's Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets.


A New York Times review said, "“Bad Monkeys,” allusions aside, is highly entertaining. It moves fast and keeps surprising you. There are also some exciting and hallucinatory action sequences that are so skillfully written I felt as if I was watching the first “Matrix” movie, which I unabashedly loved."[2] A Mostly Fiction review said, "This is the sort of book I would gladly read in one sit down session if I hadn’t had to suffer annoying interruptions such as work and sleep. Believe me, this book jumps right into the middle of a gripping story and doesn’t let up until the final page."[3]

Bad Monkeys received the 2008 Washington State Book Award for Fiction.

Film adaptation[edit]

On July 20, 2016, Universal Pictures bought the film rights to the novel with Margot Robbie attached to star as Jane Charlotte.[4]


  1. ^ Bad Monkeys — the origins of the story, by Matt Ruff, originally posted at Powell's Books, August 7, 2007, retrieved November 11, 2011
  2. ^ New York Times
  3. ^ Mostly Fiction
  4. ^ Hipes, Patrick (July 20, 2016). "Universal Options Matt Ruff Novel 'Bad Monkeys' With Margot Robbie To Star". Deadline. Retrieved July 21, 2016. 

External links[edit]