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The Elephant Whisperer Audiobook

The Elephant Whisperer: My Life with the Herd in the African Wild

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Publisher's Summary

Audie Award Winner, Biography/Memoir, 2014

When South African conservationist Lawrence Anthony was asked to accept a herd of "rogue" wild elephants on his Thula Thula game reserve in Zululand, his common sense told him to refuse. But he was the herd's last chance of survival: they would be killed if he wouldn't take them. In order to save their lives, Anthony took them in. In the years that followed he became a part of their family. And as he battled to create a bond with the elephants, he came to realize that they had a great deal to teach him about life, loyalty, and freedom.

The Elephant Whisperer is a heartwarming, exciting, funny, and sometimes sad account of Anthony's experiences with these huge yet sympathetic creatures. Set against the background of life on an African game reserve, with unforgettable characters and exotic wildlife, it is a delightful book that will appeal to animal lovers and adventurous souls everywhere.

©2009, 2012 Lawrence Anthony and Graham Spence (P)2012 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"An inspiring, multifaceted account, Anthony's book offers fascinating insights into the lives of wild elephants in the broader context of Zulu culture in post-Apartheid South Africa." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.7 (4265 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Pavel 03-15-14
    Pavel 03-15-14 Member Since 2013

    P.K.

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    "An awesome story!"
    What did you love best about The Elephant Whisperer?

    Everything is great- the story line, the narrator's voice and his performance, the spirit of Zulu land.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Learning about these magnificent animals and their way of life, their habits, sensitivity and way of communicating with us.


    Which character – as performed by Simon Vance – was your favorite?

    All of them.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It made me do both.


    Any additional comments?

    I knew by all the previews that it would be a great book. However, it surpassed my expectations.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sher from Provo Utah 06-17-13
    Sher from Provo Utah 06-17-13 Member Since 2015

    Tired teacher. That is, REtired teacher.

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    "Love the elephants"

    Such an insight into one of the most intelligent animals in the world. I loved learning about this misfit herd, and what Lawrence Anthony was able to do to save them. Just amazing.

    16 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karen North Easton, MA, United States 03-07-14
    Karen North Easton, MA, United States 03-07-14
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    "Loved this book!"
    What made the experience of listening to The Elephant Whisperer the most enjoyable?

    It was so very heartwarming to journey with the herd of elephants and was
    so moved by the connections they made with humans.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I really liked the two main characters, David and Lawrence. They were so gentle with
    all animals. I wish everyone was like them.


    Which character – as performed by Simon Vance – was your favorite?

    Lawrence


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    a journey with elephants


    Any additional comments?

    warms your soul

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jan 09-13-14
    Jan 09-13-14 Member Since 2011

    Tangential, eclectic, avid listener... favorite book is the one currently in ear.

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    "Expected a $3.99 filler book - got new favorite!"

    Beautiful writing, beautiful narration and beautiful story. It made me want to go to the Thula Thula Game Preserve in Zululand, South Africa and pay homage. Both young and old will enjoy watching as Lawrence forms friendship bonds with a breeding herd of creative, determined and traumatized wild elephants... and then learns to "hear" and understand them. Got loads of yard work done... cause I didn't want to stop listening. Already added "The Last Rhinos" to my wish list. I want more :).

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth 05-11-14
    Elizabeth 05-11-14 Member Since 2007
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    "outstanding"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    From the opening of this book, you could understand that you were going to have your assumptions about the natural world fundamentally changed. I am so thankful to Mr. Anthony for sharing and Simon Vance for his excellent delivery.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Descriptions of elephant community life


    What does Simon Vance bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He tells the story with conviction.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I couldn't stop listening. It held me from start to finish.


    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gotta Tellya Knoxville, TN 03-27-14
    Gotta Tellya Knoxville, TN 03-27-14 Member Since 2013

    KEC

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    "Possibly the best story I have ever read."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Oh yes! The story is heart-warming and at times heart-wrenching. And it is all true. Everyone who cares about nature and our place in it should read or listen to this book. And the narration is spot-on perfect.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Mr. Lawrence's dedication to and love for the wild animals of Africa.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Nana, the matriarch elephant, saving Mr. Lawrence from attack by one of her herd's members.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    So many! Can't choose just one. I cried when one of the reserves' rhinos was poached. I cried when Mr. Lawrence's faithful dog died. I wish my life had been such that I could have worked alongside him to help protect those wonderful fellow creatures. Instead, I keep myself educated on the state of species preservation, and contribute as much as I can to the cause.


    Any additional comments?

    If you don't get this audiobook, you will be depriving yourself of an incomparable experience.

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    KP Oakland, CA 07-16-16
    KP Oakland, CA 07-16-16 Member Since 2016

    There is no Frigate like a Book To take us Lands away Nor any Coursers like a Page Of prancing Poetry – Emily Dickinson

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A Surprise Hit!"

    What a surprise! I loved this book. I’m not usually a fan of animal stories. Usually they are too cutesy and just not my thing. This book, however, somehow got through this block of mine, and it rose above any cutesy-ness and was moving, well written, and eye opening.

    The first I’d read about the intelligence of elephants was indirectly in the novel, “Like Water for Elephants, “ which I loved. Here, the author learns first hand and in real life about the magnificent capabilities of elephants… both physical and mental, since he is in charge of a game reserve in Africa and agrees to take in a herd of angry elephants. To me, however, the most impressive part of the book was the ability of the author to “psychoanalyze” all types of animals on his reserve and in his life – from the elephants down to his bull-terrier dog, Max. His analyses are really interesting and raise the book up a notch or two. The author is an amazing man: an outdoorsman, a man’s man, and also a wonderful, kind, brave, and understanding human being. He managed to throw in a few tidbits about the important people in his life in just the right proportion to the rest of his story. For example, the anecdotes about how he met his wife and later how he came to marry his wife were interesting, funny, and just the right length so as not to detract from his main focus of the animal reserve and the elephants he adopted.

    I thought it was interesting that the whole idea of adopting the elephants was to keep them alive and keep them wild. Angry elephants are too dangerous and will most likely be killed, so he needed to work with this group for many months to quite them down but not to domesticate them. He had to strike a balance between working with them, in his own unique way, and leaving them alone. In the end, he succeeded and then writes about how he now doesn’t interact very much with these elephants since his main goal of getting them to accept their surroundings has been accomplished. Along the way, he changes his perceptions – and the readers’ – about the capabilities of elephants, and as he falls under their spell, so do we!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eric Schurr Boston, MA 07-01-15
    Eric Schurr Boston, MA 07-01-15 Member Since 2012
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    "One of the best books I've ever listened to!"

    This book is meaningful, moving, informative, funny, exciting, and so much more. I've listened to almost 50 audible books and this is without question one of the best (it may be THE best). I'd give it a 10 if the ratings went that high. It's very well-written and the narrator's voice is just perfect. I can't say enough about how great this book is. It's especially great if you like animals; there's a lot in here about how animals (elephants) live and love. I've been to Africa on a safari and have seen these incredible creatures up close. This book captures their intrigue and majesty. Listen to it -- you'll love it.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Debora and Larry Sammamish, WA, United States 03-19-14
    Debora and Larry Sammamish, WA, United States 03-19-14 Member Since 2017

    Reader - Writer - KnitterLove romance, mysteries, suspenseful stories with great characters. Especially enjoy series.

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    "An Elephant Never Forgets & I'll Never Forget This"
    What did you like best about this story?

    Wow, what a surprising story. I loved every minute of it. Not only is it a true story but it's told by a real storyteller. I learned a lot about elephants while laughing and crying with Lawrence Anthony. Anthony's passion for the wildlife of Africa shines through.


    Which character – as performed by Simon Vance – was your favorite?

    Simon Vance was terrific at bringing all the characters in Anthony's narrative to life -- especially the African natives.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The side story of rescuing the animals from the Baghdad Zoo!


    Any additional comments?

    After finishing this narrative, I immediately searched for more of Anthony's stories and was happy that another of his books has made its way to Audible (about the endangered White Rhino). I've got my fingers crossed his third book about the animals in the Baghdad Zoo makes its way to Audible.

    Anthony was a man of real integrity and I am so glad I read his book. I've recommended this book to so many people since listening to it. An elephant never forgets and I will never forget this story.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Krista San Antonio, Texas USA 03-17-14
    Krista San Antonio, Texas USA 03-17-14

    magicalfire

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    "Thoroughly enjoyable"
    If you could sum up The Elephant Whisperer in three words, what would they be?

    Animals are intelligent!


    What other book might you compare The Elephant Whisperer to and why?

    This book reminded me a bit of the Born Free story in subject, as well as the hurdles the author has to face.


    What does Simon Vance bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I thought his voices were wonderful.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    If you think elephants are not intelligent, sentient beings, you'll change your mind after reading this.


    Any additional comments?

    I couldn't stop listening. The author obviously has a deep respect for animals, from the stately elephants, all the way down to a little spider. The love and caring that is shown by the author needs to be more prevalent in this world. Well-written, well-read and had me hooked from the beginning.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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