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At times very detailed and if one likes great detail, it will be appreciated. What I found fascinating is again the human spirit rising in the face of such horrow. War is hell and we continue to wage it. nI think this book would be an excellent book club selection.
The author's style, which read like a research paper at times, irritated me. I would have preferred that she just write in straight narrative form. But, even this irritation couldn't overcome the sheer force of the story. This book is about the zookeeper of the Warsaw Zoo (as told through the eyes of his wife, hence the title), during the Nazi occupation during WWII. The zoo was used as an underground stop to help more than 300 people (mostly Jews) escape the Nazis. It was fascinating to read ab ...more
Nov 18, 2010 Kathy rated it liked it · review of another edition
While the idea for the book was an interesting one, and there was much to satisfy that interest, it finally came down to a lack of clear voice for me in my disappointment in the telling of the story by Ackerman. The first part of the book, almost 100 pages, dragged and seemed to lack focus, as well as voice, but then the last 200 pages improved with continuity and clarity somewhat. The animal tidbits were intriguing, and I enjoyed learning about various animals and birds, but I thought that the ...more
Apr 13, 2009 Alanna rated it did not like it · review of another edition
I was really looking forward to reading this book and was so disappointed. I had a hard time getting into it and couldn't wait for it to end. I actually skipped thru some of it because it was boring. I would get to a part of the story that would be interesting and it would just end with the author going in a totally different and uninteresting direction. I would have liked to read more about the people who lived at the zoo, their survival, how they were able to go undetected by the Germans and w ...more
This book was a disappointment. It sounded so interesting. A true war story of the Warsaw Zoo. It had potential but it fell apart. It did not flow. It was choppy and sometimes it was hard to follow, time and place. The author, I think in order to educate the reader, went off on tangents that made it even more confusing. There were some really interesting parts of this book especially Polish heritage, the war, the “Ghetto”, the zoo and the animals and of course, Antonia, Jan and their family. I j ...more
Apr 17, 2008 Marlaina Connelly rated it really liked it · review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Recommended to Marlaina by: BHS book club
A lovely story about the Holocaust might seem like a grotesque oxymoron. But in The Zookeeper's Wife, Diane Ackerman proves otherwise. Here is a true story -- of human empathy and its opposite -- that is simultaneously grave and exuberant, wise and playful. Ackerman has a wonderful tale to tell, and she tells it wonderfully.