Book Reviews of Enslaved by Ducks : How One Man Went from Head of the Household to Bottom of the Pecking Order

Enslaved by Ducks : How One Man Went from Head of the Household to Bottom of the Pecking Order
Enslaved by Ducks How One Man Went from Head of the Household to Bottom of the Pecking Order
Author: Bob Tarte
ISBN-13: 9781565123519
ISBN-10: 1565123514
Publication Date: 1/1/2003
Pages: 320
Rating:
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 23

3.6 stars, based on 23 ratings
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Book Type: Hardcover
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

30 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed Enslaved by Ducks : How One Man Went from Head of the Household to Bottom of the Pecking Order on + 34 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 20
While the stories were funny at times, and especially familiar to those of us who find ourselves with an ever-expanding circle of animal companions, I thought this book was more sad than funny. The author obviously struggles with chronic depression, and his collection of animals seems less the result of love than of the inability to control the chaos of his life or set limits on his own behavior. I wanted very much to like the book, but I didn't.
reviewed Enslaved by Ducks : How One Man Went from Head of the Household to Bottom of the Pecking Order on
Helpful Score: 8
I expected this to be funnier than it actually was, although it had its moments. I did enjoy the tale of how the aninals (ducks, geese, turkey and myriad other birds -- oh, rabbits too) took over the house and turned Bob Tarte into a willing 'slave'. In many ways my cats have done that to me.
reviewed Enslaved by Ducks : How One Man Went from Head of the Household to Bottom of the Pecking Order on + 169 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
Enslaved by Ducks is the story of how the author Bob Tarte (a bonafide city slicker) gave in to his country girl wife, Linda when it came to getting a rabbit named Binky. Binky ends up being a terror on 4 legs for Bob. Bob ends up getting attached to Binky despite his relentless testing of Bob's temper. Bob ends up allowing Linda to expand their "herd". Pretty soon they have ducks, parrots and turkeys. Soon Bob realizes he's at the very bottom of the pecking order in his own home. He ends up sharing his dinner with parrots, nursing ducks back to health in his living room, building perches for turkeys and being used as a chew toy for a parrot.

I really enjoyed this book and I'm now reading the sequel to it called "Fowl Weather" by Bob Tarte.
reviewed Enslaved by Ducks : How One Man Went from Head of the Household to Bottom of the Pecking Order on + 165 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
This story often caused me to roll my eyes, thinking: "What? Are you crazy to get yet another pet?!?" Most of them are acquired thanks to the author's wife, who seems to be heavily into anthropomorphization of animals. The author appears somewhat more rational, questioning why he does not put up more of a fight. Besides the fact that both have a genuine love of animals, he is also somewhat depressed, and the book also recounts his struggle with doctors who would just like to increase his Zoloft doses.

The main and most amusing part of the book (I would not say it's a laugh-out-loud book) are the descriptions of the daily chores, and the idiosyncrasies of the various animals - most of which are of the bird variety.

In part this book reads like a summarized journal - the author gains valuable insights about his personality, and one also learns quite a bit about parrots, bunnies, and ducks (and geese, turkeys, doves, starlings, parakeets). The bit about how there is a definite turning point in a relationship with an animal, once it finally trusts you, was quite touching (and true, I've had that experience myself).

Overall, I liked this book - the second half more than the first.
reviewed Enslaved by Ducks : How One Man Went from Head of the Household to Bottom of the Pecking Order on + 163 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
This is by far one of the most entertaining books I have ever read. Anyone who loves animals will truly enjoy this book. You will laugh, cry, be angry and wonder at the patience of these amazing people who take in everything with feathers and fur. They care for them with love, kindness, tolerance for bad behavior for some ungrateful winged guests and just plain have fun with their critters. I loved this book and didn't want it to end. Fortunately, as we speak, the sequel, "Fowl Weather" is on its way to me for more laughter and enjoyment.
reviewed Enslaved by Ducks : How One Man Went from Head of the Household to Bottom of the Pecking Order on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Thoroughly sweet and enjoyable story about becoming completely controlled by the animals you rescue.
reviewed Enslaved by Ducks : How One Man Went from Head of the Household to Bottom of the Pecking Order on + 57 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
A fellow who wasn't a pet lover marries a lady who is a pet lover. They move to rural Michigan, and get a rabbit, then a canary. The menagerie grows to include ducks, geese, a parrot, a cat. The story is well-written with some humor on the author's part and some disbelief that they have so many pets and all that is involved in caring for the pets.
reviewed Enslaved by Ducks : How One Man Went from Head of the Household to Bottom of the Pecking Order on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
a delightful read that depicts the enchantment many of us find when we open our homes and hearts to the animal kingdom. Humor and reality - a good read
reviewed Enslaved by Ducks : How One Man Went from Head of the Household to Bottom of the Pecking Order on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Interesting here and there with some sparks of dry humor but not the laugh-out-loud read I expected from the book description. It got to be just too much.
reviewed Enslaved by Ducks : How One Man Went from Head of the Household to Bottom of the Pecking Order on + 519 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This is the story of how a man and his wife add a number of parrots, rabbits, ducks, geese, wild turkeys and starlings to their family. Fortunately the author is a freelance writer so apparently had enough time to care for all the animals. Many of the anecdotes are heart-warming, and will bring a smile to animal lovers. Other parts of the book are kind of depressing though, particularly those dealing with the author rather than focusing on the animals. He describes his experiences as his shrink tries to get his Zoloft dosage right, and I got the feeling that he and his wife should focus less on animals and more on each other. Still, this book is worth a read if you are interested in unusual pets.
reviewed Enslaved by Ducks : How One Man Went from Head of the Household to Bottom of the Pecking Order on + 111 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! Bob Tarte's animal-loving wife convinces him that they should have a pet rabbit. And oh, what a rabbit he was! And thus begins their path leading to a petting zoo of ducks, turkeys, geese, parrots, and other various pets on their acreage. Also at center point is Bob's battle with his depression, which he treats with such humor that he provides real insight into how depression can cloud the view of things that should simply be normal parts of our lives.

His delightful sense of humor and hilarious animal tales centered around their pets that always seem to have some oddball behaviors will have you laughing at times and feeling sad with him at the inevitable passing of some of the animals.

If you enjoy a dry sense of humor with quotes like "wearing thick gloves that capable of repelling eagle talons" and other colorful descriptions, you will certainly enjoy this book. Also great for any animal lover you may know.
reviewed Enslaved by Ducks : How One Man Went from Head of the Household to Bottom of the Pecking Order on + 169 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Enslaved by Ducks is the story of how the author Bob Tarte (a bonafide city slicker) gave in to his country girl wife, Linda when it came to getting a rabbit named Binky. Binky ends up being a terror on 4 legs for Bob. Bob ends up getting attached to Binky despite his relentless testing of Bob's temper. Bob ends up allowing Linda to expand their "herd". Pretty soon they have ducks, parrots and turkeys. Soon Bob realizes he's at the very bottom of the pecking order in his own home. He ends up sharing his dinner with parrots, nursing ducks back to health in his living room, building perches for turkeys and being used as a chew toy for a parrot.

I really enjoyed this book and I'm now reading the sequel to it called "Fowl Weather" by Bob Tarte.
reviewed Enslaved by Ducks : How One Man Went from Head of the Household to Bottom of the Pecking Order on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
What a wonderful book! I love pets and can appreciate all the work that goes into caring for them on a daily basis...but this really takes the cake!
reviewed Enslaved by Ducks : How One Man Went from Head of the Household to Bottom of the Pecking Order on + 719 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I absolutely HATED this book -- had to put it down halfway through. Story of well-meaning but clueless couple almost obsessively adding birds to their menagerie without taking the time to educate themselves about the different breeds needs. Bordered on hoarding to my mind. When they realized that they had to find a different breeder because they did not want their former breeder to know how many birds they had lost, injured or killed, I had had enough, especially since the intention of the author was that I would find all this funny!?!? No thank you!
reviewed Enslaved by Ducks : How One Man Went from Head of the Household to Bottom of the Pecking Order on + 149 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This was a wonderful read. While there are poignant and even sad moments, the marvelous sense of humor of the author made me laugh out loud.
reviewed Enslaved by Ducks : How One Man Went from Head of the Household to Bottom of the Pecking Order on + 11 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Very funny book and a must for all animal lovers out there. Loved it.
reviewed Enslaved by Ducks : How One Man Went from Head of the Household to Bottom of the Pecking Order on + 112 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
"Enslaved by Ducks" immediately caught my attention with its title. However,
Bob Tarte draws you in from the first page and keeps you laughing and crying
throughout the entire book. His tales (tails) are both funny and heartwarming.
Sometimes you will find yourself laughing and crying, at the same time. Bob Tarte
and his pets remind us to live life to the fullest, and why we should, as well.

Reading his books is like listening to a friend. Be sure to read the sequel,"Fowl Weather", too!
reviewed Enslaved by Ducks : How One Man Went from Head of the Household to Bottom of the Pecking Order on + 15 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I was surprised that this book did not grab me as it did so many others. I found the constant "humor" more annoying than funny. I think that was only the author's style, though. The life he describes of being the reluctant caretaker to a menagerie of animal is indeed a funny one.
reviewed Enslaved by Ducks : How One Man Went from Head of the Household to Bottom of the Pecking Order on + 404 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Very endearing! Bob Tarte's household grows slowly and earnestly with mammals and birds. They are all named and have different personalities. I love the author's wife, Linda, and her never-ending love of living creatures. There isn't much mention of her in the reviews but she is very much part of Bob Tarte's country living life. Worth the read.
reviewed Enslaved by Ducks : How One Man Went from Head of the Household to Bottom of the Pecking Order on + 24 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
One of my all time favorite books. A book I will not ever trade! I usually steer clear of animal books because so often the endings are just too sad. This book however was heartwarming but not depressing. Many parts had me laughing out loud. After returning it to the library I decided I had to have a copy of my own so that I could share it with my husband and friends. Well written and a lot of fun to read!
reviewed Enslaved by Ducks : How One Man Went from Head of the Household to Bottom of the Pecking Order on + 99 more book reviews
Loved it overall. Though was confused as to why they would allow the parrots to be so destructive to their home. I have birds, they have rules, you have to treat them like a little kid and give them boundaries!
reviewed Enslaved by Ducks : How One Man Went from Head of the Household to Bottom of the Pecking Order on + 85 more book reviews
I could not get into this book.

When people make the decision to keep multiple animals and then basically grump about their lot in life as caretaker, I just have to shake my head. The humor was forced and silly.

After twenty pages, I put the book down - permanently.
reviewed Enslaved by Ducks : How One Man Went from Head of the Household to Bottom of the Pecking Order on
I found this book to be enjoyable if a little disjointed and over-long. Bob really loved the animals he and his wife acquired; they were not the kind of people who get an animal because it's cute or unusual and then leave it to go stir-crazy in a cage. The amount of care (and money--vets aren't cheap) he lavished on the beasties would exhaust a normal person. Some of it was laugh-out-loud funny and some was sad. Animals die. Sometimes other animals eat them.

You can see some of the family in action at Bob's website, www.bobtarte.com.

Overall, the book really made me appreciate the amount of daily affection I get from my cats in exchange for two scoops of chow and a box of sand.
reviewed Enslaved by Ducks : How One Man Went from Head of the Household to Bottom of the Pecking Order on + 3352 more book reviews
A guy who finds it hard to cope with modern life finds out that his well loved birds, while not any easier than a lot of other things, are just what he needs.
reviewed Enslaved by Ducks : How One Man Went from Head of the Household to Bottom of the Pecking Order on + 75 more book reviews
Cute book about a man his wife whose lives are taken over by a menagerie of animals.
reviewed Enslaved by Ducks : How One Man Went from Head of the Household to Bottom of the Pecking Order on + 48 more book reviews
If you've ever had a pet, you'll be able to relate!
reviewed Enslaved by Ducks : How One Man Went from Head of the Household to Bottom of the Pecking Order on + 46 more book reviews
Very enjoyable.
reviewed Enslaved by Ducks : How One Man Went from Head of the Household to Bottom of the Pecking Order on + 306 more book reviews
Enjoyable book for animal lovers.
reviewed Enslaved by Ducks : How One Man Went from Head of the Household to Bottom of the Pecking Order on + 98 more book reviews
While I TRY to understand why some people let animals (or kids, or grandkids) rule their lives, I just can't grasp why anyone lets it happen to them. I'm not a selfish person, but geez, you have to say to this author, "Get a grip! Take your life back!" I had a dog while growing up, then several cats, and a kid, and now grandkids. Love them all, but wouldn't want any of them to take over my life like this poor man. The books was a little funny in the beginning, then I just got annoyed with his spineless character and I gave up. Hope the next reader enjoys it more than I did (not).
reviewed Enslaved by Ducks : How One Man Went from Head of the Household to Bottom of the Pecking Order on + 82 more book reviews
How one man went from head of the household to bottom of the pecking order!