I read this for my book club; I’m the one who suggested this book. I’d wanted to read it for many years. I had thought that it was a novel whose mainI read this for my book club; I’m the one who suggested this book. I’d wanted to read it for many years. I had thought that it was a novel whose main character is an animal rights advocate. It’s not and for me that was a disappointment.
It’s mostly essays by other authors than the main author, referring back to Coetzee”s pieces: Amy Gutmann, Marjorie Garber, Peter Singer, Wendy Doniger, and Barbara Smuts. Except for Singer’s, which is a fiction piece, they’re basically non-fiction pieces.
The author’s portions are two fiction chapters/essays that make up one story. Short story? Novella? But not novel. They were written to be lectures. I’d say perhaps they’d be more interesting to listen to as lectures but I don’t think for me they would be any better than reading them as I did.
I found most of the book dry and even boring at times, and definitely not what I’d expected. Philosophizing via a fiction piece could be interesting. Maybe I’d have found it interesting in the 1970s or 1980s when I was starting to think about animal rights issues. Now, I mostly found most of it irritating. I like thinking about these issues, and discussing them, but how they were presented in this book is not my style, and usually not my current way of thinking either.
The writing is fine, and my amusement at the Singer piece and enjoyment of the Smuts piece, particularly when she is talking about her dog, make this book okay. So 2 stars it is.
Now I’ll have to read other reviews (and hope that my book club members like it better than I did) because I swear this book had high average ratings. Once again, could it be me, in this space and time?? Perhaps. If I’d known what it was before I started it, I might have enjoyed it more. Luckily, it’s short, and while the print is small, the contents are not as dense as I’d feared. It’s a quick read, just not a particularly fun one for me. Someone who read my library copy at some point (the book is old enough that it still has the attached slip where they used to stamp due dates) must have read it for school because there is a lot of underlining throughout the book. Kind of annoying, kind of interesting to see what someone else found important....more
I found this to be a very pleasant story. I’m not exactly sure why some people hate it and a lot of people unreservedly adore it but I did enjoy it, aI found this to be a very pleasant story. I’m not exactly sure why some people hate it and a lot of people unreservedly adore it but I did enjoy it, a lot.
I loved the little poems at the start of each chapter; they gave such a good feel for this mountain community and its people. I was completely charmed by this culture and its people.
There is a very inspiring main protagonist and most of the characters were interesting. I really liked Miri (the main character) and her spunk and her ingenuity, especially regarding how she was motivated to use her educational opportunities and how she figured out how to communicate with her fellow students and villagers.
I think this tale says a lot about feeling like an outsider vs. feeling a sense of belonging, and also about what is important in life.
I didn’t really like a particular reveal toward the end because it seemed just a bit like cheating to me, but by the end I guess the way the plot evolved made sense to me and the story from beginning to end felt very satisfying.
I’d say that readers can enjoy this book from ages 9 or 10 and all the way up. I have this under speculative fiction and there is a fantasy element, but it’s so subtle that this could almost be considered general fiction or a kind of realistic full length fairy tale (what with the prince and princesses and an unique way of communicating available to the mountain people.)...more
The author/illustrator traveled to the Amazon rain forest to research the illustrations for this book. The illustrations are gorgeous, very colorful aThe author/illustrator traveled to the Amazon rain forest to research the illustrations for this book. The illustrations are gorgeous, very colorful and educational as well. The story is a plea to leave the rainforest trees alone. Inside the front and back covers an illustrated map is included which shows the earth’s original and remaining rain forest areas.
It made me want to look at actual photos of the Amazon rainforest and to visit there, even though I loathe heat and humidity. And now I’d like to read, and especially look at the art work in, all the books by this author....more