Sunday, April 10, 2011

Modoc: a review

For our sisters book club, we are reading "Modoc: the greatest elephant in the world." Or some subtitle to that effect. Anyway, I have some thoughts I thought I'd share while it's fresh in my mind.

First of all, this really was an amazing elephant. Besides saving the lives of almost 30 shipwrecked people, helping people out of a burning circus tent (I kid you not), working as a teak elephant, being taken captive by communist soldiers, getting lost-and-then-found in true Black Beauty style, and dying just after her life-long trainer, she was also a movie star. I cried. I was so gladit was a happy ending.

All of that said, what fun is a review without some complaints?

My sister-in-law Victoria has taken to editing her books--sharpie-ing swear words, etc. I find this distracting, because I keep trying to figure out what badword works there. HOWEVER: I'm on her side in this one. She said she ripped out one whole page because it describes elephants breeding. This sentence is true in the same way "Playboy shows people having sex" is true. It does not tell the whole story. Do I want to hear the length of an elephant's EDITED or how he EDITED the female elephant? No, I do not. I don't find human porn appealing, so think how much less I want to read elephant porn. And honestly? Unnecessary to the story, which is a great sin. Elephant sex just for elephant sex? No, thank you.

Also, I have the same problem with almost all books of someone's whole life. You either skim everything or leave a lot out. Some things got skimmed in this book and others got left out. This is not the fault of the book, it's just what happens. But we get a really good story, which abruptly ends and five years go by in a sentence. I prefer books to go into detail about one event, but that's tough in a true story.

Sometimes I couldn't tell if something was a flashback, or was a vision, or was a dream, or we had skipped ahead...Maybe I shouldn't have tried to read it late at night. Additionally, I wanted more real information. Give me a map of where Modoc lived, in what country she was a teak elephant, what years she lived, and so on. I wanted to be able to tie the story to the real world more effectively.

Modoc. She was quite an elephant. Even though I have some issues with the , I sure can see why she was a worthy subject for one. I think I'll look her up when I made the Great Cross-Over.

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