Jodi's Reviews > The Elephant Keeper

The Elephant Keeper by Christopher  Nicholson
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's review
Aug 07, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: books-about-england
Recommended for: everyone

I am not sure how I feel about this book. At times I really loved the story and couldn't put the book down and at other times, it seemed a little silly and far-fetched. I loved the basic story of how a "strange" animal came to England off a ship from India in the late 1700s and how a young boy immediately fell in love with it. Hearing Tom's story and how he grew to love and care for the elephant he names Jenny, was enjoyable to read but then the book switches and Jenny starts "talking" to him. I am an animal lover and care for my dog but at times it seemed that Tom was too devoted to his elephant and on the edge of "losing it." I really didn't like the scene with Tom and Lizzie (at least who he dreams as Lizzie) in London. How can he mistake the girl he loved so much in such a way? Was he too blinded by the elephant? I also found the ending unsatisfying - in one way it reminds me of the way "Life of Pi" ended with there being one fantastical ending and then one more likely ending and the reader has to decide which to believe. In "Pi" I chose the fantastical ending because there was enough evidence to support and cause the belief. However, in this book suddenly Tom is 150 years in the future seeing Jenny's bones in a museum. I am sure it is a dream sequence, but what is the point of the strange sudden jump in time? Just didn't get that The "realistic" ending would have been just fine and kind of spoiled by the weird dream.

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