I had vaguely heard of this book, then surprisingly received it as a gift. It's not what I expected, and is beyond what I could have imagined. Only a few of the protraits could be considered cute or endearing - most are penetrating, a few are frightening. In thumbing through the pages, there's no doubt I'm face to face with other soulful, conscious beings. This book is definitely the safest way to look a great ape in the eyes, and provides a far more intimate opportunity to gaze into and scrutinize the dimentions of a face than we generally have even with other human beings. Without a doubt, the best gift of this book was in watching my reactions rise to each portrait, delving into my own fears and attractions. Each face made me ponder what is human, what is alien, and what is the faint line between? I've been an ape fan for years, I need no convincing of our shared worth. But this is the first time I've recognized how foridable in soul, purpose, and spirit apes actually are. This book is an excellent reality check for anyone who wonders about their place under the sun.