A baboon with "an unsettling mastery of human speech" is the chief protagonist in Mr. Thundermug, the first book by author Cornelius Medvei.
With just over 100 pages, the novella takes place in a small English city, where the lead character's odd appearance goes largely unnoticed. The idea for a story about a talking baboon sprang from a dream that one of Medvei's friends described to him. In it, baboons moved into a construction site on a residential street.
Medvei thought the scenario was intriguing, though he did not know much about baboons at the time. When one baboon somehow learns to speak, it brings some trouble to him and his family.
Michele Norris talks with Medvei.