The Elephant Keeper

Thoughts  The Elephant Keeper by Christopher Nicholson, William Morrow An Imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers 2009, 298 pages

WHY I read this:  Selected for April’s Book Club Choice. WHERE did I get it?  Library; in hardback.

FIRST SENTENCE:  It was six days ago that Lord Bidborough, accompanied by another gentleman, came to the Elephant House and, after making the usual inquiries about my charge, who was, at that moment, quietly eating hay, asked whether it was true that, as he had heard, I was able to read.

WHAT’s it ABOUT: This is a story set in mid-1700s England of how a caretaker for an elephant took care of his elephant.

WHAT I LIKED: I enjoyed learning about the elephant Jenny. She was cool. It was a fast read.

WHAT I didn’t: I felt the story lacked depth.

DEPTH – (2) complexity and profundity of thought : the book has unexpected depth.• extensive and detailed study or knowledge : third-year courses typically go into more depth. •  intensity of emotion, usually considered as a laudable quality : a man of compassion and depth of feeling. •  intensity of color : the wine shows good depth of color.

I was a bit confused at the epilogue where the author discusses looking at elephant bones from the 1700s that are maintained in some archive in London and his wondering how Jenny may have died. Was this a fictionalized story extrapolated from found facts somewhere? I missed something.

RATING: Two slices of pie.  ( TWO STARS = “It was OK.”)

OTHER REVIEWS:   Check Fyrefly’s Book Blog Search for a few. Or by clicking on the book cover up at the top of this post.

For Vasilly, MORE tulips! 


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