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Enslaved by Ducks
Enslaved by Ducks
Author: Bob Tarte
When Bob Tarte bought a house in rural Michigan, he was counting on a tranquil haven. Then Bob married Linda. She wanted a rabbit, which seemed innocuous enough until the bunny chewed through their electrical wiring. And that was just the beginning. Before long, Bob found himself constructing cages, buying feed, clearing duck waste, and spoon-fe...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9781565124509
ISBN-10: 1565124502
Publication Date: 10/1/2004
Pages: 320
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.

3.5 stars, based on 79 ratings
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

ThreeCats avatar reviewed Enslaved by Ducks on + 34 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 22
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.
MarciNYC avatar reviewed Enslaved by Ducks on
Helpful Score: 9
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.
gsisk avatar reviewed Enslaved by Ducks on + 181 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
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 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 on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Thoroughly sweet and enjoyable story about becoming completely controlled by the animals you rescue.
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reviewed Enslaved by Ducks 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.


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