Posted by: bluelion | November 1, 2016

Let’s read… and fall in love with elephants

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Lawrence Anthony – Graham Spence: The Elephant Whisperer (Sidgwick & Jackson, 2009)

A few years ago I hadn’t understood why everyone had been so obsessed with dolphins, then I read The Day of the Dolphin by Robert Merle. By the time I had a chance to meet and touch a dolphin, I was deeply moved and humbled by the encounter.

This book was recommended to me by a few readers and has great ratings on Hungarian goodreads, but I was still a bit wary because I had my phase of animal mania in primary school and don’t consider myself an animal enthusiast now, though I do like them (the animals). This time, I didn’t understand why everyone was so obsessed with elephants. And then I have read The Elephant Whisperer. I honestly don’t remember the last time a book touched my heart so deeply. It is very well written, extremely exciting, powerful and emotional. A work of fiction couldn’t have been more engaging.

[Spoiler alert! Don’t continue if you haven’t read the book and want to! You should.]

First, I couldn’t see why Lawrence Anthony was fighting so hard for this herd but he reached me, too, on the way. Sometimes I still felt it was exhausting, fighting a new problem every minute but now I knew it was worth it. It was astonishing to learn about the intelligence, empathy and extraordinary ways of communications of these creatures. I loved the moving moments, too. They were very welcome intervals among the dangers and challenges the team had to face. I soon began to refer to reading to book as going to see my elephants. Still I thought I will escape when I was ‘only’ saddened by the death of the baby elephant. But these things always come in threes, right? With Max, I couldn’t stop my tears and the death of Mnumzane broke my heart into a million pieces. I think they will stay with me long after I finished the book.

The ending seemed to be a bit hasty, quickly mentioning events that make up an entire other book (maybe I should read that, too). I will also miss the extraordinary humans of this story. They prove that there are real life characters showing courage, loyalty and love; characters that seem to be so idealistic in fiction (and often criticized for that). This great book restored my faith in humanity and opened my heart again to animals. No, I won’t say they are better than humans. But I did gather the caterpillar from the pavement and put it back among the leaves the other day.

You can join them at their non-profit organization: http://www.earthorganization.org/

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Responses

  1. […] The Elephant Whisperer! It is not even fiction, maybe that’s why it is so perfect. I’m not an animal enthusiast but I do like them (the animals). I honestly don’t remember the last time a book touched my heart so deeply. It is very well written, extremely exciting, powerful and emotional. A work of fiction couldn’t have been more engaging. […]

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  2. […] Lawrence Anthony – Graham Spence: The Elephant Whisperer […]

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