We were delighted to learn that Me Cheeta (Fourth Estate) has been long listed for this year's Man Booker prize. Esquire readers might recall we ran a story in April last year (above) to mark the news that Tarzan's fabled chimp chum was releasing his "autobiography".
The series of pictures showed the now 78-year-old primate (said to be the oldest in the world) at home in Palm Springs, where he lives with his grandson Jeeter. The legendary tree swinger, who made 12 Tarzan films and was once addicted to beer and cigars, now spends his dotage painting, playing the piano and showing off memorabilia from his long Hollywood career in.
In Me Cheeta, the hirsute, former hell-raiser admits to a threesome with Marlene Dietrich, says that the “universally despised, impotent, alcoholic” Rex Harrison once tried to kill him and slams Maureen O’Sullivan, who played Jane opposite Johnny Weismuller, as “a harmless old trout”.
The fictional novel disguised as autobiography was "ghost written" by James Lever. Me Cheeta was one of 13 books to make it on to the Booker long list, alongside Brooklyn, the brilliant novel by Esquire contributing editor Colm Toibin. The long list was selected from an initial entry of 132 books that contained new works by seven former winners. To see the list in full, click here