The title of this book, leads you t believe that inside, you will read about many exciting encounters with African rhinos. Unfortunately, that's not tThe title of this book, leads you t believe that inside, you will read about many exciting encounters with African rhinos. Unfortunately, that's not the case. I would have promoted this book thus: "What would you do if you suddenly became filthy rich and no longer had to work?"
But even so, you would be disappointed. Ed Warner, a geologist and the author, decided to indulge himself through wildlife conservation on an international scale, including working with several Rhino conservation groups. (This still sounds like a basis for a really interesting book.) What a wealth of experiences Ed must have had! Such stories he should be able to tell!
Except that, Ed is an awful story teller. He talks mostly about himself, and every single person whom he encounters, and does a very poor job of sharing his adventures. I don't think any of his anecdotes are longer than 1, or occasionally 2, short paragraphs. Here's an example :
"Jackie jumped at the chance to help him dart an injured wild dog the next day. When they opened the front door of his Jeep (now repaired) to get on their way, his underwear fell out. It was downhill from there. He was never able to dart the dog. He couldn’t shoot straight. Stephanie and Peter left the next day. Jackie had us rolling on the floor with her retelling of how they approached the dog pack with Peter firing darts just about anywhere but in the direction of the target dog."
Instead of sharing with *us* the funny story, he tells us that his wife (Jackie) told him a funny story. And boy did he laugh about it! I only wish he had shared the actual story with us, so that we could have laughed too.
Ed does his best writing when he talks about the things in which he is most knowledgeable: geology and botany. Several times he waxes on very eloquently about the African terrain, in terms of rock formations, geologic history, and occasionally in terms of flora. He is also a world-class name dropper. Unfortunately the names he drops mean nothing to the average reader, since they are mostly just his friends and colleagues in the conservation world. (You might actually wonder if people paid him to mention their names.)
Unfortunately all of that does NOT give you a very interesting book. I almost abandoned the book about a third of the way in, but felt obligated to push on. About halfway through, there is a pretty exciting (short) recounting of a wildfire, and after that things picked up to a small degree. He was at least talking about rhinos, occasionally.
The bottom line, this book isn't worth your time, unless you are one of the people whose name Ed drops.
I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review....more
I enjoyed this YA dog book a lot. It takes place in in a Washington state port town during WWII 1944. I am so not the target audience for this book, bI enjoyed this YA dog book a lot. It takes place in in a Washington state port town during WWII 1944. I am so not the target audience for this book, but it struck several chords for me. It harkened back to some of my favorite animal stories I read when I *was* the the right age. I liked the kids, I liked the dogs, I like the main boy, I liked his famiuly. I liked the way the 11 year old treated his family and commumity with respect. The author was very good about pushing nastalgia buttons as well; she used brand names (PF Flyers, Unguentine), radio program names, movie titles, etc. to evoke this long gone era. Kids today will probably be flabbergasted at the everyday freedoms and responsibilities that preteens had then.
But mostly it's a good story, and I enjoyed reading it,...more
What a fun story! It's a mystery told entirely from the perspective of Bowser, the dog. In the first chapeter, Bowser is adopted from a shelter by 11What a fun story! It's a mystery told entirely from the perspective of Bowser, the dog. In the first chapeter, Bowser is adopted from a shelter by 11 year old Birdie Gaux. What follows is Bowser's retelling of events of the next week or so as he settles into his new life. The story is totally delightful. A Chet & Bernoe mystery for the YA set.
I LOVEd Woof! and can't wait to read more of Birdie & Bowsers adventures in the Louisiana bayou....more
Black Fawn: The story of a 10 year old orphan who is sent out to a farm to help an elderly couple with the work. TThis volume is made up of 5 novelas:
Black Fawn: The story of a 10 year old orphan who is sent out to a farm to help an elderly couple with the work. The story takes place over 3 years and we see them become a real family. I loved this story, with it's sense of another time and another place.
The Lost Wagon: a very dated telling of a family traveling alone on the Oregon Trail. The very few images of American Indians and blacks are incredibly offensive. They ruined an otherwise intersting story.
rescue Dog of the High Pass tells a possible origin story for th Saint Bernard Dog. This story had the least depth and character development of the group. I like YA dog stories, and this just wasn't good.
Swamp Cat: An interesting, if dated read of a cat who joins up with a ypoung man who lives amongst the swamps of the Smokey Mountains(?) It was intersting enough to keep me reading.
We werr There at the Oklahoma Land Run: Started very unevenly, but it slowly got better. By the end twist-time, I expected something much worse than what actually happened.
All in all, I'm glad I didn't spend any money on this collection of public domain stories, and it's kind of curbed my need to reread any other JK stories....more
I'm finding the story of Judy, very hard to read. Part of it is due to a writing style, and part is due to the subject matter. As far as the author'sI'm finding the story of Judy, very hard to read. Part of it is due to a writing style, and part is due to the subject matter. As far as the author's writing style, I really don't care for his heavy-handed foreshadowing, if I can even use that term. What do you call it when the author ends almost every chapter with sentences like, "and things were just about to get worse, much worse for Judy and her friends" or "Soon, Judy would save everyone, several times over." It might be his style, but it gets tiresome very fast.
The first half of the book deals with Judy's early life up to the point where she and her shipmates become POWs. Aside from the style, this part of the story is pretty interesting. You have to remember that this is a true story, being cobbled together 70+ years after the fact, from interviews, not of people who were there, but of those people's family members who had been told the stories. That being said, I stil don't enjoy the way the author chose to tell Judy's story.
I'm just entering the POW portion of the sory, and I don't want to read about all of the abuse. I'm very tempted to jump ahead to just read that last few chapters. But, in the prologue we are told that the author found at least 2 sets of diaries that were kept during the POW days, so there is very concrete source material for some of that part of the story. I will try to grit my teeth and push on through. But if it gets to be too visceral, I may bail on this book. I shouldn't have so much anxiety abouit material I am reading for pleasure.
Finished reading about Judy today and there was no need to fear. The author keeps the details of the POW abuse to a very high overview level, and so I was able to plow through. Judy's story is truly amazing, and should be told. I'm glad I stuck with the book.
Disclaimer, I am reading this book through NetGalley.com, where you can read a book for free, if you review it....more
A good enough lightweight summer read. The action moves fast, but the characters are a little shallow. High in Trial is a middle book in a rather longA good enough lightweight summer read. The action moves fast, but the characters are a little shallow. High in Trial is a middle book in a rather long series, so the character development presumably occurs over several books. Perfect summer reading fare. I don't *need* to read any more in the series, but if another book came my way I'd give it a try....more
A worthy sequal to ?? this a great summer read, and a little unpredictable, a slightly darker storyline, but overwhelmingly bleak, and a non-traditionA worthy sequal to ?? this a great summer read, and a little unpredictable, a slightly darker storyline, but overwhelmingly bleak, and a non-traditional ending....more
This is the 4th in the series of books about Chet the dog, and his Private Investigator master, Bernie Little, of the Little Detective Agency. Told frThis is the 4th in the series of books about Chet the dog, and his Private Investigator master, Bernie Little, of the Little Detective Agency. Told from Chet's point of view, the stories are very entertaining and readable. Overall this book is even better then the last two, as Paterson...I mean Spencer Quinn, tones down a bit of Chet's musings on bits of previous cases (this was so over-used in the last book it became annoying). The main mystery in this installment, ostensibly, is about a young boy who has disappeared from summer camp. Straight "missing person" case...or is it? And it is in this one area that the book suffers its biggest misstep. As we've seen in recent years, when a child is missing the entire countryside goes into overdrive to find him. Not so much in this story, and the higher authorities are never brought in, something I found very, very hard to believe.
Aside from that, the story is tight and well-told. It seems now like every story has a section in the middle where Chet is separated from Bernie, so he can have his own mini-adventure. Mr. Quinn is having a hard time coming up with reasonable and different reasons that they might be apart. It was handled better this time.
All in all, I loved The Dog Who Knew Too Much....more