Whistling for the Elephants

by Sandi Toksvig | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 075153286x Global Overview for this book
Registered by STP-921375 on 2/6/2006
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15 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by STP-921375 on Monday, February 06, 2006
A strange and enjoyable tale.

"An eccentric cast of characters, human and animal, features in this first novel for adults by comic actress Toksvig. When eleven-year-old tomboy Dorothy Kane moves with her upper-class English parents to the small town of Sassaspaneck, New York, the result is bewilderment on every side. The Kanes are a family of "partial communicators", physically remote and emotionally vague: "I suppose a lot of people have never seen their father naked; I had never seen mine without a tie." Confronted with a 1960s America shaken by a war in Vietnam, by campaigns for civil rights and women's liberation, Dorothy's parents retreat into crisis, leaving her to pick her own, troubled way through the last, crucial summer of her childhood.

She receives help and inspiration from an unlikely source: a trio of women who live on the edge of town in a dilapidated zoo. Gradually she uncovers details of the zoo's flamboyant and tragic history, its origins in passion and extravagant wealth, the secrets and betrayals surrounding its decline. It is a history that touches the lives of all the people of Sassaspaneck. With Dorothy's help, old wounds are healed and new bonds forged, as the women of the town are drawn into a struggle to save the zoo from property developers--and to provide a new home for Artemesia, a tightrope-walking African elephant."

Journal Entry 2 by STP-921375 on Tuesday, February 07, 2006
I am sending this out on a UK bookray. Please try and read it within a month. I hope you all enjoy it!

LindyB28
PatchworkPerson
wilksie
Rivercassini
nocton4
coolboxuk
Caroline080
LittleMoo

Journal Entry 3 by LindyB28 from Acocks Green, West Midlands United Kingdom on Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Thanks Pennywhistler; I'm looking forward to reading this after one or two other books on Mt 2B.

Journal Entry 4 by LindyB28 from Acocks Green, West Midlands United Kingdom on Sunday, February 26, 2006
This is a lovely book: a well crafted combination of realism with 'feminist fantasy' (to borrow the words of the New Stateman review). The coming of age first person narrative of Dorothy's summer in upstate New York is combined with the tales of a rich cast of townspeople, whose stories each become as important as Dorothy's own.
I'm about to PM Pennywhistler and PatchworkPerson to see whether there's time for my mum (Suesknees) to read this before it moves on.

Journal Entry 5 by SuesKnees from Solihull, West Midlands United Kingdom on Sunday, April 16, 2006
Some poignant moments, and a bit of a page turner but I didn't find all of the characters to be believable.

Will PM Patchwork Person for her address.

Journal Entry 6 by PatchworkPerson from Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire United Kingdom on Friday, April 28, 2006
Arrived safely yesterday. Thank you suesknees. I do have 2 rings in front of this but they shouldn't take me long.

Journal Entry 7 by PatchworkPerson from Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire United Kingdom on Wednesday, May 31, 2006
An odd yet enjoyable book with lots of unusual characters & comment on various issues in 60's USA such as black people & the place of women in society.
The townspeople Dorothy meets all have stories & secrets. Perhaps I missed it, but I'd like to know why Dorothy's dysfunctional family ended up settling in Sassaspaneck. It's not the sort of place I imagine an ex miltary, stiff upper lipped, Foreign Office chappie to settle.

Off to Wilksie next

Journal Entry 8 by wilksie from Sheffield, South Yorkshire United Kingdom on Saturday, June 03, 2006
Arrived this morning, thank you PatchworkPerson :-)
I just have to finish my current read and I'll start this.
Looking forward to it.

Journal Entry 9 by wilksie from Sheffield, South Yorkshire United Kingdom on Saturday, June 17, 2006
There were many things I liked about this. It had a promising beginning. I liked the style it was written in, I liked the descriptions of Dorothy and her family and was enjoying the first parts of the book. My main quibble would be that eccentric characters are interesting if they are being compared with more ‘normal’ people but in this book every character is eccentric and/or weird and that just gets to be too much. I’m afraid it meant I lost interest towards the end.

Sending on to Rivercassini as soon as I get an address.

Journal Entry 10 by Rivercassini from London, Greater London United Kingdom on Saturday, June 24, 2006
Safely received. Thanks for sharing. I'm looking forward to reading this - I'm hoping Sandi Toksvig style will shine through in same way that it does on the radio.

Journal Entry 11 by Rivercassini at Royal Mail in By Post, a postal release -- Controlled Releases on Saturday, August 05, 2006

Released 13 yrs ago (8/5/2006 UTC) at Royal Mail in By Post, a postal release -- Controlled Releases

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Sent on to Nocton4 this morning, via Royal Mail.

Journal Entry 12 by nocton4 from Lincoln, Lincolnshire United Kingdom on Saturday, August 19, 2006
Arrived safe & sound.
Thanks all round.
Denise xx

Journal Entry 13 by nocton4 from Lincoln, Lincolnshire United Kingdom on Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Okay I admit defeat ... I have had this book far too long ... my reading of late has been rubbish to say the least ... so moving it on.
Thanks for sharing round and huge apoligses for not playing properely.

Much love & autumn sunshine
Denise xx

Journal Entry 14 by carocharlton from Birmingham, West Midlands United Kingdom on Saturday, October 21, 2006
Received in the post today. Many thanks - I look forward to reading it!

Journal Entry 15 by carocharlton from Birmingham, West Midlands United Kingdom on Friday, November 10, 2006
I really enjoyed this book. Sandi Toksvig has a great imagination!

On its way to LittleMoo by post.

Journal Entry 16 by LittleMoo from Loughborough, Leicestershire United Kingdom on Monday, November 13, 2006
Arrived today - thanks! Look forward to reading this....

Journal Entry 17 by LittleMoo from Loughborough, Leicestershire United Kingdom on Friday, December 22, 2006
I really enjoyed this book and all it's strange but recognisable characters. As the last member in this Bookray I shall try to pass the book onto someone else who will appreciate it.

Journal Entry 18 by LittleMoo from Loughborough, Leicestershire United Kingdom on Saturday, April 14, 2007
On it's way to readingtrix as a RABCK - enjoy!

Journal Entry 19 by readingtrix from Cape Town, Western Cape South Africa on Monday, April 23, 2007
How exciting! Two bookcrossing books in my box today! Bookcrossers are just so kind - Thanks so much LittleMoo!!
This story looks so unusual and interesting - will get to it as soon as I can.

Journal Entry 20 by readingtrix from Cape Town, Western Cape South Africa on Saturday, May 26, 2007
This is an unusual story about families and animals. It did make me smile at times. This book has many journal entries so it will be fun it it could continue it's journey around the world. Please journal it if you are the one to find it.

Released 12 yrs ago (5/26/2007 UTC) at The Coffee Bean, Main Road, Rondebosch in Cape Town, Western Cape South Africa

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This book can be find on the table or in the box at the Coffee Bean, Rondebosch.

Journal Entry 22 by novicemember from Cape Town, Western Cape South Africa on Sunday, August 26, 2007
I picked up this book at my first bookcrossing meeting at the Coffee Bean in Rondebosch.

FUN FUN FUN!!!! I laughed so much while reading this book. The author tells of her experience as a child, growing up in a rich, mal-functioning family as an only child. Eventually, the family settles down in suburbia and lots of interesting and humorous interactions take place, centering around the town zoo. You don't get to know the characters that well, however, the author paints very clear pictures of what they are like. The humour endeared me to this book, I'm not sure whether elephants can really perform all the tricks described!

RELEASE NOTE: I released the book at the meeting again today


Journal Entry 23 by klaradyn from Praha, Praha Czech Republic on Monday, August 27, 2007
I took this home from yesterday's meetup. Looks interesting!

Journal Entry 24 by klaradyn from Praha, Praha Czech Republic on Friday, October 26, 2007
This was a light, enjoyable read but I did feel that the ending was too sudden.

On the way to yorkshire-lass, who won this as a RABCK.

Journal Entry 25 by wingyorkshire-lasswing from Maidstone, Kent United Kingdom on Saturday, November 03, 2007
The book arrived safely this morning,I can't believe how quickly it has got here from South Africa,thanks klaradyn.I will add it to my ever growing TBR pile and hopefully it will continue its journey when I have read it.

Journal Entry 26 by wingyorkshire-lasswing from Maidstone, Kent United Kingdom on Thursday, January 17, 2008
Parts of this book made me smile and there were a few laugh out loud moments. This is the third book by Sandi Toksvig that I've read and it was as enjoyable as the other two. I will try to make sure that it continues its BC journey soon!

Journal Entry 27 by wingyorkshire-lasswing from Maidstone, Kent United Kingdom on Sunday, March 09, 2008
This book is now on its way to PussInbooks as the winner of the Feb/Mar Smile Day RABCK. I hope you enjoy it PussInbooks.

Journal Entry 28 by PussInBooks from Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire United Kingdom on Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Thanks so much for this kind gift. It arrived along with 6 other books today - I'm overwhelmed by kindness! Can't wait to read.

Journal Entry 29 by PussInBooks from Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire United Kingdom on Tuesday, May 06, 2008
Hard to say what I thought about this - it started really promisingly but it descended too far into fantasy for my liking. I'm not one for magical realism and I just wasn't interested in the whole zoo/animals aspect of the story. The author seemed to be trying to mix 60s female consciousness-raising messages with kooky set pieces, and it just didn't work for me. Good writing but wasted on a all-too-obscure storyline. Read most of it then started skipping the end as I got bored. Never mind! Will pass it on and hope another soul likes it more.

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Released 11 yrs ago (5/7/2008 UTC) at Dunstable Town Centre in Dunstable, Bedfordshire United Kingdom

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Journal Entry 32 by Naomi200 from Hitchin, Hertfordshire United Kingdom on Wednesday, May 07, 2008
I found it on a bench by the church. I was just on my way to the local Rainbow group to do a talk on recycling so showed the girls the book as another way to recycle books!

Im off on my holiday to Spain next week so this will be my holiday read and should be able to leave it there!

Journal Entry 33 by Naomi200 from Hitchin, Hertfordshire United Kingdom on Saturday, May 24, 2008
Enjoyed the book as a holiday read.

Have past it on to a friend i met in Spain who was heading back to Ireland!

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