Sunday, 9 March 2008

Book Review - "Modoc - The True Story of the Greatest Elephant That Ever Lived"

Minutes ago, I just finished this book - "Modoc - The True Story of the Greatest Elephant That Ever Lived". I still have tears stinging my eyes. I started reading it this morning, and haven't stopped reading it (with brief breaks) all day. Anyone who is an animal lover of any kind should read this book. The story is true, yet the author Ralph Helfer (who personally knew Modoc) wrote it in a way that makes you feel like it's a novel. To quote him in a note at the beginning of the book - "The story of Modoc is true. When writers attempt to write a story based on the truth, they must first take all that they themselves have seen and know it to be a fact. Next comes research and documented proof which may-or may not-be true. And, finally there is "hearsay"-that which people tell you is factual. All this is put in a bowl, mashed and ground, and spread onto the pages in as close a semblance as possible. Then a little (poetic) political license is taken. Therefore, the story of Modoc is true-at least as far as I know. It's the best I could do." The story is epic really. Amazing that one animal could have done so much and had so much love, and had such an adventure - spanning 70 years and 3 continents. Saving people's lives, and escaping death numerous times. Modoc's story also enhanced my disgust for people who abuse animals in any way. (I seriously believe these people ought to suffer torturous deaths) More than anything else, the book is a story of a relationship between an elephant and her boy. Born on the same day, in the same hour on the same German farm; and best friends until the day they died. Following Bram and Modoc's journey is an exciting ride let me tell you. Totally worth spending an entire Saturday reading. Anyone who has ever had a bond with an animal will love this story and will cry as much as I did. Read it!!!!!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I just finished reading Modoc, too, Becky. For the second time. The first was in 2004. I chose to read it the first time because of the description in the Chinaberry catalogue (wonderful place to buy children's books, and it's sister company, Isabella, is as wonderful...the descriptions of the books are almost as delightful as the books themselves). Modoc is a novel, a true story and a spiritual directive. I'm quite sure I'll read it again, and I'll be just as delighted that time, too.