This is one of my favorite audible books, ever. The author offers a balanced, well researched point of view, written with great style and affection for the subject. The reader is superb as well, showing feeling for the subject.
This is an interesting story of a zoo and it's inhabitants spanning several decades and continents. I wish I would have bought the hard copy and read it - it was a struggle to listen to this narrator for so many hours. His narration was monotone and sing-song (a contradiction, I know) - this made what could have been an excellent book barely acceptable. After the first 10 minutes I seriously considered contacting customer service to ask for my credit back. But I did persevere and the story was worth it in the end. It was heartbreaking at the end so be forewarned.
I am a lifelong lover of books. I got my degree in English & worked in the publishing business for many years. Now I work with wildlife.
As someone who works with wildlife, I have had mixed feelings about zoos for a long time, so I thought this book would appeal to me - and it did. There are many stories about animals, but it was also the stories about the people who work with them that made this interesting. I thought John Allen Nelson was a good narrator for this story.
The story of the elephants that were captured in the wild in Africa and brought to the zoo in Florida was fascinating. It really turned me off at first, but then these elephants would have been culled if they had stayed in Africa. Generally I don't feel that zoos should take animals from the wild, and I don't feel that elephants in particular should be in zoos at all. Still, if people can't see elephants, how do they know what it is we are trying to save? It is a tricky question.
My book club choose this book and I very much enjoyed it. Great story, non fiction so I learned a ton and really made me look at zoos in a whole new way. I highly recommend this listen!
as it was written in a biography style, it could easily be overlooked on a shelf. i think that the reader made the difference. it was interesting and entertaining
Still trudging through the Audible version--might or might not finish it. If I have to use the word "trudge," that's not a good sign.
The narrator's style had a repetitive rhythm to it that grew annoying. He also was too matter of fact. His style would suit a more dramatic book, such as a biography of Eliot Ness, or other nonfiction history, like tales from WWII. The narrator's predictable tone and dry delivery caused my attention to drift more than once. Subsequently I feel that I missed important facts, but there is no way I can slog through a re-listen. I might pick up a print copy for that purpose.
I doubt it.
The narrator wasn't the only disappointment in this Audible book. The author, in a scattered, non-linear fashion, tried to cover too many aspects of zoos, wildlife, habitat loss, animal sentience, administrative politics, and more. He held forth at length on each topic, to the point where it seemed that if one word would have sufficed, the author felt compelled to use ten. Between the irritating narration and the rambling story line, I started to lose interest in this book. That's particularly sad, as I just finished orientation as a volunteer at a zoo in a major U.S. city. I had hoped to gain a few insights through this book--and I have, but at the cost of wading through piles of verbiage that were not well presented.
I am a retired teacher who listens because she is vision impaired and can no longer read. I love history, a touch of fantasy, and mystery!
Much of my adult life has turned within the world of animal medicine and ecological and environmental issues have always been close to my heart. I am a bunny lover but also a realist who has labored inside the financial and heart rending constraints of rescue work. Even so, I found parts of this book brutal and more than I could bear. I want to believe that with enough caring people and enough sacrificial giving we can find ways to treat all animals with the dignity and bounty they deserve. This book wants me to accept that there is no solution but the heartless culling of thousands of our apex species because space and resources demanded by explosive human population growth demands it. I was still living in ignorance - blissful, hopeful ignorance. The subtitle for this book might as well have been, The death of Zoo dreams.
I'm still trying to get through it. I was captivated in the beginning with the story of the elephants in Africa, but the rest of the book is pretty much a snooze-fest.
This was a very exciting book, which explores the complicated relationship of zoos to conservation and the blurry grey areas of good and bad zoo keeping, and the problem of wild natural animals in civilized engineered human spaces. I really enjoyed the book and was pleased that it was very balanced in how zoos are good and bad.
Monsters of God By David Quamman
it was not annoying. Nothing worse than a narrator who has an annoying voice.
It had me from the beginning, when they were transporting a herd of elephants on a plane.I cried several times throughout the book.
This book answers many questions and raises some as well, as far as how humans deal with and preserve animals.