James Hamilton-Paterson – Stuck Monkey

James Hamilton-Paterson discusses the hard truth about our everyday habits and their contribution to climate change.

People hunting monkeys in the jungle once devised a simple yet effective trap: When the creature found a banana in a large jar with a narrow neck, it would plunge its paw in to retrieve it. But it couldn’t let go. And unless the monkey released the banana, it was stuck.

Casting an acerbic and forensic eye over our inability to ‘let go’ and give up the things we love, paralysed by our modern lifestyles and consumer habits – even when we know they will kill us, he addresses everything from gardening and sports to the growth of ecotourism and our attachment – or compulsive dependence – to mobile phones. Using examples such as our pets and their hidden carbon paw-prints, James demonstrates how difficult, yet essential it is to change the way we live if we are to head-off an environmental catastrophe that will end us all.

Ferociously unflinching and intelligent, this book will make you think twice about the ‘innocent’ habits we often take for granted.

Chaired by Sheilagh Matheson

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Booking Information

  • Priority Booking for Festival Friends opens at 08.00 on Thursday 2nd of March. Tickets go on general sale from Saturday 4th March.
  • Please note that a handling charge of 50p per ticket applies to bookings made in person or over the phone. No handling charges apply to online bookings.
  • Hearing loops are available.  Carers qualify for free ‘essential companion’ tickets. Wheelchair spaces are limited. In all cases, please call the Box Office on 01434 652477 to book (booking fees will not apply).
  • Tickets cannot be refunded but can be exchanged for other Book Festival events.

Booking for this event has now closed.


Hexham Library, Queen's Hall Art Centre
Hexham Library, Queen's Hall Art Centre, Beaumont Street, Hexham, NE46 3LS


23 Apr 2023


11:30 am - 12:30 pm

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