Dinah's Reviews > City of the Beasts

City of the Beasts by Isabel Allende
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May 18, 12

Read in August, 2001

There are subtle, very well done environmental books in the world. Even 'Magic Kingdom for sale ... SOLD!' has an environmental message courtesy of the River King. This book, however, demonstrates some of the classic pitfalls novels focused on environmental awareness make over and over again. The factoids about endangered species and rainforests are out of place and rattled off in pages of forced dialogue. These statistics pock mark the understanding of the characters and even interrupt action scenes.

Environmental books, like this one, forget that the adventure comes first. Any heated opinions by the author must be suppressed for the sake of the story. After all, your characters are not you. Let them be who they are. Furthermore, the reader is smarter than you think. Let them learn your message from experiencing first hand why your moral is important. Show, don't tell (as all critics will say). "Just a Dream" by Chris Allsburg does this wonderfully.
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