Whistling for the Elephants Paperback
There are two basic types of animal in Nature's Kingdom. The first, like lions and turtles, produce many offspring and simply hope that some will survive. The second, like elephants and people, produce one or two at long intervals and make great efforts to rear them. My mother belonged in a class of her own. She produced two at short intervals and made no effort to rear them whatsoever. Thus Dorothy, aged ten, finds herself making her own way in Sassaspaneck, New York in 1968. Her English father, who never talks above a whisper due to a youthful injury with a cricket ball, has tucked her and her mother away where the potential for embarrassment can be limited. All the other children in town have gone to camp, so Dorothy must provide her own entertainment. She comes across a small, faded zoo on the outskirts of town, and as she begins to get to know the eccentric group of women who live there she begins to discover a world way beyond the one she has glimpsed so far.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 304 pages
- Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
- Publication Date: 07/03/2002
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780751532869
Showing 1 - 4 of 4 reviews.
Review by eleanor_eader
Review by Libbeth
I am writing this quick review two years after reading this book, as a library book, so I don't have it to refer to, but I do remember with great fondness the description of the first encounter with the elephants and also the elephants and the swimming pool.
Review by pussreboots
There are a few glaring errors that have twice stopped me reading in mid sentence. First is the Pledge of Allegiance which is misquoted. The second is the mentioning of the Brady Bunch being on in early summer of 1968. It didn't start airing until September of the next year. There are also some instances of Britishisms being spoken by American characters. None of these things would bother me if the story wasn't priding itself on getting the details right. I enjoyed the book up until the last twenty pages. I don't particularly like the ending. It felt rushed and forced. I especially didn't like what happened to Perry but then I'm a mother of a kid his age.I wish the the author hadn't stated that it was 1968. If she had been vaguer about when exactly the book takes place, it would have been better. There are some pop culture references that she gets wrong that could have slid if it didn't have to be the summer of 1968.
Review by nebula21
This is a charming book that is amusing in parts however the story is just not compelling. Toksvig created good characters that were very well written, but I found myself just trying to get through the book rather than enjoying the read.