Marking the debut of an unforgettable talent, this haunting novel rescues a tragedy from historical oblivion in a voice that engulfs the reader like a rapturous dream. In 1975 the largest captive herd of giraffes in the world was slaughtered in the zoo of a small Czechoslovakian town, a massacre that has never been explained. Exploring this mystery, Giraffe is a story, at...more
It is disturbing. It gave me nightmares so vivid that I swore off books for 2 weeks.
You should still read it. I have vivid dreams anyway, so it may not have just been the book.
Really, this is a bizarre little story that is neat to have hidden away in a corner of your brain.
novel gives the reader the same sustained euphoric feeling using a true story to lay the foundation this time. The story of the largest herd of Giraffes held in captivity in Czechoslovakia and their sudden death. True animal lovers will appreciate the wonderful opening and we are ...more
All the descriptive language was made up of elegant, simple lines. From the portrait in words of the giraffes to ...more
Ledgard tells this story through the narratives of several different characters. Many of them are interesting and relatable.
He devotes about a third of the book to the character, Emil. Unfortunately, I had a difficult time following Emil's thought process...like someone with ADD. That coupled with my need to warm up to the language that Ledgard uses made the first one hundred pages a bit of a struggle.
Also, I feel like Ledgard assumes his readers alre ...more
I would have li ...more
This actually happened and knowing that it makes it quite a depressing story to read. It's also told through the eyes of several characters (all real characters) including one of the giraffes, which I think is what drew me to it in the first place. I found the style of it a bit hard to read sometimes but all in all it was pr ...more
I initially was intrigued by this book for the very simple reason that the giraffe is my favorite animal. After discovering that the subject - the slaughter of the giraffe herd in the Czechoslovakian zoo in the 1970s - was true even though the book is fiction (that's not a spoiler - it's mentioned on the back cover of the book) I decided to give it a read; I don't ...more
Ledgard paints colorful pictures and has quite a command of the English language (and other languages too, it seems), but he takes side trips that are very distracting, apparently for ...more
Another book that left me with mixed feelings. This is a multi-point-of-view fictional narrative based on a real series of events that happened in Communist Czechoslovakia.
One of the problems I have in assessing this story is that it didn't read like a novel. It has some remarkable strengths. I loved the two main viewpoint characters: Emil, a charming scientist from a privileged background who is secretly anti-Communist; and Amina, a somnambulist factory worker who becomes very attached ...more