I love true animal stories and this one came highly recommended by one of my reading friends. This story is supposedly true and is about an elephant and a boy who grow up together but some of the adventures truly require a big gulp of suspension of disbelief. I'm thinking the author exagerrated a wee bit to embellish his story but maybe that's just me . . . Despite that, it's a very heartwarming tale about the bond that can develop between man and elephant.
I had some real issues with this book. The writing is sophmoric and the story, although putatively true, is so embellished that it reads as a fable. There are so many factual errors (such as Xray machines in rural India in the 1910's and traveling southeast from Calcutta to reach the Ganges Delta) that I almost abandoned it. Modoc is consistently described as having significant tusks, yet the elephant(s) in the photos are tuskless. The author also never clearly sets the time of the story, which makes the events confusing and hard to place in history. Supposedly Bram & Modoc were born in 1897 and died in the 1970s.
This is a wonderful story depicting a true love that can happen between humans and the "beasts" we share the planet with, if only we open our minds.
After reading 'Water for Elephants' I was very interested in the care and keeping of elephants. I found this book and once started, could not put it down. I thought it was well written, full of suspense, humor and sweet understanding. So what if it is a 'true' story that has been embellished some, it is a wonderful, heartwarming story -- one you will remember for a long time after turning the final page.
There may be a real story here, but it's one that merits a much shorter treatment. In this book that story is practically undiscoverable, swamped by stilted writing and mystical wanderings. Perhaps the tale is based on real events and people, but the author has strayed far afield from the facts, embroidering and embellishing them into a fiction, and not a very interesting fiction at that.