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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23 Responses to “The Elephant Keeper”

  1. 1 BermudaOnion April 17, 2012 at 10:05 pm

    Oh, too bad it didn’t have more depth.

  2. 3 Amused By Books (@amusedbybooks) April 17, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    This is me stopping by to say I’ve been a bad blogging buddy. Your card absolutely made my day on what was a totally bad week! If you could email me your address I’ll send you a card back and respond to all of your great questions! Hope you are having a great week!

  3. 5 Kailana April 18, 2012 at 10:41 am

    That’s too bad you didn’t like this more…

    I bought pretty cards and I am determined that I am going to actually write you a letter back… I’m terrible at this! Maybe if I get in the swing of things…

  4. 7 reviewsbylola April 18, 2012 at 11:14 am

    That’s too bad this one didn’t really work for you because I love the elephant aspect! Makes me think of Rosie from Water for Elephants!

  5. 9 rhapsodyinbooks April 18, 2012 at 11:25 am

    I think I would like reading about the care of elephants also. I don’t need depth; sometimes I just need lighter stuff anyway! Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

    • 10 Care April 18, 2012 at 12:50 pm

      That’s the problem – it’s not really ‘light’ – it has a fair share of violence and sadness. But it’s the characters that lacked the depth.

  6. 11 Jenners April 18, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    Your “what’s it about” line just gave me a chuckle!

  7. 13 Ree Donnelly April 18, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    I loved reading about the elephants. I was very happy with the story, but I must agree that the characters lacked depth. I did enjoy the book, but also was confused with the ending. Then, it is clearly stated that it is a work of fiction! ??? crazy ending! Disappointed with this ending, but a nice read. I’m not sorry I read it! ^_^

  8. 15 Bookfool, aka Nancy April 18, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    Tiddlypom (’cause I like elephants but I’m not sure I’d read about them).

  9. 19 Vasilly April 22, 2012 at 1:34 pm

    It sounds like a cute story but I need depth. Tulips?! They’re growing so fast. I’m still waiting for my snail flower to sprout. :-(

  10. 21 Sheila (Book Journey) April 22, 2012 at 7:56 pm

    LOve the tulips! Bummer about the book!

    • 22 Care April 23, 2012 at 8:44 am

      I love tulips. And we are finally getting rain! I’m sure some of my flowers are getting beat up – it’s blowing and gusting and nasty out right now.

  1. 1 Cranford « Care's Online Book Club Trackback on May 23, 2012 at 1:56 am

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I prefer pi.


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