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Tamed and Untamed: Close Encounters of the Animal Kind

3.84  ·  Rating details ·  177 ratings  ·  25 reviews

Extraordinary new insights into the minds and lives of our fellow creatures from two of the world’s top animal authors, Elizabeth Marshall Thomas and Sy Montgomery.

A Mail on Sunday “Critic's Pick” Best Read of the Year

"In their writing and in their lives and in their remarkable friendship, Liz and Sy break down false barriers and carry us closer to our fellow creatures

Kindle Edition, 227 pages
Published September 18th 2017 by Chelsea Green Publishing (first published 2017)
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Showing 1-30
3.84  · 
Rating details
 ·  177 ratings  ·  25 reviews

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Aug 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 5-star, animals
I've read two of Sy Montgomery's books (The Good Good Pig and The Soul of an Octopus), so I couldn't wait to read this one. While this one is different in that it's a collection of essays by Montgomery and Elizabeth Marshall Thomas it does not disappoint. The book is divided into six categories: animals and people, birds, dogs and cats, wild animals, tiny animals, and animal abilities. The essays cover everything from animal intelligence, skills in the wild, how our pets view us, and more. A per ...more
This book is utterly delightful.

It consists of a series of essays, short 4 page tops ones, written by Sy Montgomery or Liz Thomas. The essays run the gamut from topics such as pet abandonment to how to properly react to a black bear on your property. There are amusing ones, like Liz's fascination with snails, Sy's delight at cephalopod mating rituals,or both of their deep appreciation of tardigrades. The essays are amusing, touching, and overall educational. If you don't learn something new f
Nov 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: saggi
Ringrazio la CE che ha portato in Italia questa meraviglia, spero che possa pubblicare altro delle autrici perché sono le mie due etologhe preferite, ma… il titolo e la cover non c'azzeccano nulla con i temi trattati!
Questa è una raccolta di brevi saggi su diversi argomenti, il comune denominatore di tutti i lavori sono, ovviamente gli animali. Che si tratti di animali selvatici, domestici, di insetti o invertebrati non importa, con precisione e con una passione sconfinata le autrici fanno emerg
Karen Tompert
Dec 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Did you know rats laugh when they are tickled? That chickens recognize and call people by name? That dogs learn best from older dogs the same way children learn from their parents? When will humans get over our arrogance and realize we are not that different from the rest of the animals on this planet. That we all think, however differently, that we all feel a full range of emotions? Will we stop treating the pets that love and depend on us as throwaways? Will we recognize that we are destroying ...more
Feb 05, 2018 rated it it was ok
This is not my favorite Montgomery book, though admittedly the only other one I've read is "The Soul of an Octopus." This reminded me of the Dick King-Smith books I used to love as a child. Short essays (like 3-5 pages) filled with anecdotes of the authors' interactions with animals. It was an enjoyable read, but not a fantastic one.
Nov 02, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-nature
The publisher's information for Tamed & Untamed suggested insights into animal-human interactions. Wrong! This book is a series of essays by Sy Montgomery and Elizabeth Marshall Thomas about their experiences and anthropomorphized interpretations of animal behavior. It was judgmental, preachy, and a bit too woo-woo for my taste. Wasted my money.
Apr 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I am currently reading this wonderful book, but have not finished yet. Although I have read none of Elizabeth Marshall Thomas' books, I've read Sy Montgomery's The Good Pig - and loved it. This book is filled with their observations about all kinds of animals. I'm discovering facts about animals that I never knew before and it's totally fascinating, such as the hummingbird is a tiny avian dinosaur, or the peregrine falcon is one of the fastest birds on earth. Did you know that hyraxes (or coneys ...more
Jen Ubelaker
Mar 19, 2019 rated it it was ok
Short essays on human-animal interactions. Wish it'd been more detailed.
Jul 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Next Sunday's Monadnock Summer Lyceum lecture will be given by local authors, Sy and Liz, so I wanted to read their book before hearing them.

This is a delightful book with short, 2-4 page, essays about different 'animals' from snails to lions. Though I have read books by both of these authors, there was only one essay that I remembered from reading another book, Soul of an Octopus and I didn't mind reading it again as it was the description of Squirt and Mr. Rain, two giant Pacific octopuses, me
Candice Landau
Aug 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was a very enjoyable book of observations and contemplations of the animals we live with, and who sometimes meander into our lives by way of a backyard garden. Two renowned naturalists and writers, Sy and Elizabeth have found a tasteful way to prompt compassion that crosses the species divide. There truly wasn't anything depressing about this book. It just made me want to learn more about the animals around me. What communications have I been missing all these years? A great read if you wan ...more
Kim Johnson
Apr 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
An informative and highly engaging book of essays that are divided into six sections, each describing a different area of animal life - and gives an excellent tip on how to bring a lost dog home by honing I Mom their sense of small. A veterinarian’s dog was lured home when the vet put all of his dirty laundry in his car, blasted the heater, and drove around his home with the windows open. His dog reappeared shortly. The book contains references to their other lengthier works such as The Good, Go ...more
Elyse P
Jan 03, 2019 rated it liked it
I decided to read this because Montgomery's new, critically acclaimed "How to Be A Good Creature: A Memoir in Thirteen Animals" was not available at the library. A series of short essays, the writing is uneven because they are split between Montgomery and author Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, and their styles are so different. Some essays are short and abrupt, while others go into a lot of detail. Most of the tidbits were pretty interesting and educational. But while I consider myself an animal love ...more
Oct 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I didn’t want this book to end! Each short chapter reveals fascinating information about specific species of animal, as well as engaging true anecdotes about the ones known by the authors. The two authors are friends and it’s easy to see why as their narratives overlap and interlock.

I learned some fascinating information about animals, learned about some animals I never knew existed, and finished reading with the desire to start again from the beginning and enjoy it even more.
Trevor Allen
Jun 28, 2018 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book, but not as much as the other Sy Montgomery books I’ve read. The essays are rather short and many don’t seem to have an ending. They just stop. With so many essays, many of the essays cover the same information that is presented in others. I read it from beginning to end, but a reader could just open it up and read from anywhere for a few minutes. All in all, a worthy read, but it seems cobbled together versus the well crafted narratives I am used to from Montgomery.
Dec 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Delightful series of brief essays by longtime best friends and nature writers Sy Montgomery and Elizabeth Marshall Thomas. Covers subjects from chickens to hyraxes to octopi. Much of the material is familiar but the writers' enthusiasm drawn from personal encounters with other animals makes these pieces fresh and inviting. Overall the book covers the similarities and differences between the behavior of humans and other animals.
Stacey Lunsford
May 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
A series of essays based on ones the authors wrote for a column in the Boston Globe about the science of animals. I love both authors and have read many of their books. They also happen to be best friends for over 30 years. Fascinating tidbits about everything from lions to octopodes to waterbears. If you like nature writing, this is a quick, fun read.
Apr 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book of short, short essays, all 2-4 minute reads. Essays loosely grouped together by types of animal (cats to tardigrades) or behavior such as dog ESP or intentional consumption of mind altering plants, then alternating between the two writers. Well researched but lightly written, many mentions of related books and studies.
Apr 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: biology-medicine
The entire time while reading this the main thought going through my head is "I would like to live with them for a while." They both live and interact with animals on a daily basis and it's so fascinating and I bet enjoyable.
Leahnes Villatoro
This is an awesome book! It made me think of animals in a very different way. I'm motivated to adjust my perception and interaction with different animals, from my pets, to the critters outside, to species I might never see. I will read it again in the future, and more of these authors writings!
Dec 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-adult
A collection of re-runs from Sy Montgomery (whose writing I usually adore) and Elizabeth Marshall Thomas (whose writing I usually don't adore). Mostly ok essays about animals the authors have encountered in their lives.
Laura Chase
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Loved the essays about the animal world by the different authors. Since the chapters/essays were fairly short I could easily read a couple over my lunch breaks at work.
Similar to Lewis Thomas or Annie Dillard, these essays approach the natural world with humility and conscientiousness.
Mar 19, 2018 rated it liked it
I prefer other books by Sy.
Nov 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
For some years, Sy Montgomery and Elizabeth Marshall Thomas wrote a column about animals for the Boston Globe. This collection of these columns is fun to read!
Heather Paulin
Jan 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great little short stories! Many interesting facts about the animal world!!
rated it it was amazing
Feb 23, 2019
Ac Chapa
rated it it was amazing
Aug 15, 2018
rated it really liked it
Apr 01, 2018
Siobhan Cortes
rated it it was amazing
Apr 06, 2018
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Part Indiana Jones, part Emily Dickinson, as the Boston Globe describes her, Sy Montgomery is an author, naturalist, documentary scriptwriter, and radio commentator who has traveled to some of the worlds most remote wildernesses for her work. She has worked in a pit crawling with 18,000 snakes in Manitoba, been hunted by a tiger in India, swum with pink dolphins in the Amazon, and been undressed b ...more