Apes can be fun, but authors can be funny -- when they dip in and out of Darwin, when they're careless with grammar and syntax, when half of their book is quotations from other people's books, when they impugn Genesis in the misguided guise of profundity, when the jacket suggests a primer while the text is geared considerably higher -- and people say you can't tell a book by. . . . It's full of facts and some good stories, of chimps who smoke cigarettes and paint pictures and shake hands, and it clears up some popular misconceptions about gorillas. More misconceptions are bred, though, not about apes but in the thoughtless analogs to human life. Stay with Joy Adamson or Desmond Morris.