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eBook Jamrach's Menagerie ePub

eBook Jamrach's Menagerie ePub

by Carol Birch

  • ISBN: 0857863835
  • Category: Genre Fiction
  • Subcategory: Literature
  • Author: Carol Birch
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Canongate Books; Export edition (September 1, 2011)
  • Pages: 352
  • ePub book: 1235 kb
  • Fb2 book: 1285 kb
  • Other: lit lrf mobi doc
  • Rating: 4.4
  • Votes: 681

Description

Carol Birch's new novel moves smoothly from Wapping to whaling.

Carol Birch's new novel moves smoothly from Wapping to whaling. It's easy to get distracted while you're reading Carol Birch's 11th novel, and distraction is part of its point: in 19th-century Wapping, there are enough strange sights, pervasive smells and sounds and curious characters to keep most novelists – and readers – going strong for three times the number of pages that there are here.

Other author's books: Orphans of the Carnival.

Jamrach's Menagerie book. Carol Birch could have paddled across the Atlantic Ocean in a canoe faster than her award-winning books have come to America

Jamrach's Menagerie book. A thrilling and powerful novel about a young boy lured to sea. Carol Birch could have paddled across the Atlantic Ocean in a canoe faster than her award-winning books have come to America. The accomplished British author is already 60 years old and on her 11th novel (!), but we’re just finally getting a look at what she’s been up to. (Please, ma’am, I want some more. Jamrach’s Menagerie is a moving, fantastically exciting sea tale that takes you back to those great 19th-century stories that first convinced you there is no frigate like a book.

Jamrach's Menagerie is a book full of wonder. Carol Birch has written quite an extraordinary book with an astonishing attention to detail

Jamrach's Menagerie is a book full of wonder. At its heart, a simple adventure story. Carol Birch has written quite an extraordinary book with an astonishing attention to detail. The reader gets a keen sense of dirty old London in the 19th century and the incredible description of whale hunting certainly rivals Moby Dick. It always amazes me how writers can describe in such excruciating detail things they've certainly never experienced!

Jamrach's Menagerie is a 2011 novel by Carol Birch. The novel has been referred to as historical fiction, since it features certain real life characters, such as naturalist Charles Jamrach.

Jamrach's Menagerie is a 2011 novel by Carol Birch. The novel was short-listed for the 2011 Man Booker Prize

Carol Birch could have paddled across the Atlantic Ocean in a canoe faster than her award-winning books have come to America

Carol Birch could have paddled across the Atlantic Ocean in a canoe faster than her award-winning books have come to America. Jamrach’s Menagerie is a moving, fantastically exciting sea tale that takes you back to those great 19th-century stories that first convinced you there is no frigate like a book

In Carol Birch’s historical novel, a young boy is lured on a. .The British writer Carol Birch similarly borrows elements of Dickens’s London for Jamrach’s Menagerie, her 11th novel and her first to be published in the United States.

In Carol Birch’s historical novel, a young boy is lured on a sea voyage to hunt for a Komodo dragon in the East Indies. Birch’s narrator, Jaffy Brown, begins life as a scrappy slum urchin of unknown fathering; he might have played knucklebones with Pip and Oliver Twist.

He didn’t last long, did he? What was he? A butterfly thing. A great wave came and took him away. A tiger ate him. Only his head remains, lying on the stones. liffe Highway, a hungry ghost, roaring its tale for al who wil hear. I know why the sailors sing so beautiful y on their boats out in the river, why my raw senses wept when I listened in my Bermondsey cot. I found out when I was fifteen. Tim was a bigwig now.

Carol Birch’s storytelling excels as soon as she’s at sea. Both the whaling hunts and the capture of a (presumably) komodo dragon are set pieces as compelling as they’re convincing.

Young Jaffy Brown never expects to escape the slums of Victorian London. Then, aged eight, a chance encounter with Mr Jamrach changes Jaffy's stars. And before he knows it, he finds himself at the docks waving goodbye to his beloved Ishbel and boarding a ship bound for the Indian Ocean. With his friend Tim at his side, Jaffy's journey will push faith, love and friendship to their utmost limits.

Comments

Androwyn Androwyn
It was very beautifully written and certainly engaging. I appreciated the adventure and I appreciated how it really got into the psychology of the characters towards the end. I felt like the author had a good grasp on human behavior.

My only problems were that 1) the title doesn't fit. And 2) it just seemed a bit disjointed in some ways. The transitions between different times in Jaffy's life weren't very smooth. There were some odd times when the narrative voice of older Jaffy would barge in and give bits of foreshadowing that I would have preferred not to know. There were a few little plot threads that didn't get resolved. But these are small things.

And yeah, it's pretty gruesome and graphic in terms of violence and suffering. Definitely not for the faint of heart. If you're one of those people who give books one star reviews for having swear words in it, don't read this book. It's not nearly as obscene as it could be given that many of the characters are sailors, but it has the swears. No graphic sexual content although sex is mentioned and characters go to brothels sometimes.
Samugor Samugor
If I were to rate just the writing in this novel, I would give it 5 stars - more if I could. This is the kind of writing that seems completely effortless, seamless in description. If I were just to rate the beginning of the novel, I would rate it 5 stars. The characters are beautifully drawn, the life of the protagonist in his early youth is compelling. In the second half of the book, the description of what he has to endure is very difficult to read, unrelenting for way too long for me. And the end, while resolving conflicts established earlier, no longer had my interest as I had emotionally distanced myself from the protagonist during his very dark days. I finished only as a perceived obligation to the the writer who wrote so magnificently.
Kazigrel Kazigrel
Jamrach's Menagerie is a book full of wonder. It is the tale of Jaffy, a poor English boy who first finds work for an exotic animal wholesaler and then takes to the sea on an expedition to find a dragon. At its heart, a simple adventure story. Yet Birch's masterful use of language and pacing make it so much more than this. The lyrical quality of her prose brings deep emotional resonance to each beautiful (and awful) thing that befalls the narrator and his shipmates. This is not a fantasy novel, the story takes place fully in our world, and yet there was some real magic in it. The kind of magic that comes with being truly and fully alive, knowing each moment might be your last, and seeing the world with a hallucinatory sharpness. Birch manages to convey all this through her very likeable, sympathetic, narrator, as well as his sailing companion Dan Rymer, one of my favorite new characters in fiction. This is a book I will definitely read again.
Thohelm Thohelm
It felt like a cross between Great Expectations and Moby Dick. And while the thought of that may strike fear and loathing into the heart of high score readers, it has much to recommend it. Birch combined the plucky narrator from Great Expectations with some of the more lyrical passages about life on the Ocean from the whale book. One of the most harrowing lost-at-sea narratives I have ever read. Highly recommend.
Yndanol Yndanol
First of I'll say that this beautifully written book would not be to everyone's liking. There is a long section of it, describing whalers trying you survive on two lifeboats after their ship sinks, that is quite difficult to read. But if you have the fortitude to read through it - and even savor the incredible way the author describes it- the book is nothing short of a work of art. The prize is magnificent, the characters nicely fleshed out, and the story compelling.
Dogrel Dogrel
From the moment Jaffy Brown is introduced, Carol Birch fills the pages of his life with an abundance of experiences, some lovely, some harrowing, but all of them conveyed in language so sensory that you see, smell, hear and touch his world. This is a book you live through, staying with it's narrator as he is mouthed by a Tiger, begins his working life in the menagerie owned by the Tiger's keeper, is befriended by Tim and his twin sister Ishbel, goes whaling, hunts a Komodo dragon and is shipwrecked. Laying out the plot as a bare list of events makes it seem almost fantastical, but Birch maintains the realism even as Jaf descends into a hallucinatory nightmare. While it is Birch's magical descriptions of place that made the action so plausible, it's her characters, in particular Jaffy, Tim and Dan Ryan, that ground this tale of friendship and loyalty and left me genuinely moved.
Survivors Survivors
Carol Birch has written quite an extraordinary book with an astonishing attention to detail. The reader gets a keen sense of dirty old London in the 19th century and the incredible description of whale hunting certainly rivals Moby Dick. It always amazes me how writers can describe in such excruciating detail things they've certainly never experienced! I would only agree with some of the other comments that the desperate situation on the sea once [SPOILER] the ship sinks goes on for far too long and is quite unpleasant to read. There's also a rather large detail left out at the end that I wonder about...But the writing is gorgeous and intense and I'm glad I read it.
I thought this book would get better but it didn't. The writing was lyrical at times but the violence especially against animals was very disturbing and unpleasant to read, even when the animals were not especially appealing. I would not recommend it. It was gross. I stopped reading it about two thirds through and have no interest about the ending.