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Modoc: The True Story of the Greatest Elephant That Ever Lived

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Modoc: The True Story of the Greatest Elephant That Ever Lived Cover

ISBN13: 9780060929510
ISBN10: 0060929510
Condition: Standard
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Average customer rating based on 9 comments:

ARDOROSA4, January 16, 2013 (view all comments by ARDOROSA4)
A true story where even through trials and tribulations there is respect for our fellow creatures and our planet and good people win over bad, unlike the scary world we live in today.
A heartwarming true story about one of our fellow creatures where love and kindness win over evil, mankind realizes that other creatures are very intelligent, social, kind and need the love and affection of others.
Well written and moving,I couldn't put the book down.
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Melinda Griffith, January 2, 2013 (view all comments by Melinda Griffith)
This is the 4th elephant book I have read and it is far and away the best. This story is bordering on so unbelievable, so compelling,so chilling and so thought provoking on animal intelligence, you find yourself unable to begin a new book as your thoughts keep going back to this story.
I was trashed for almost a month; only reading periodicals and such as I could not put the thoughts of Modoc's adventures out of my mind. A wonderful recommendation from my son as a 'must read' that I pass along to others to revel,cry and rejoice in!
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Doreen, January 16, 2012 (view all comments by Doreen)
Best "Feel Good" book of the year! I had enjoyed his first book "The Beauty of the Beasts", so I knew his writing style. It is a wonderful testament to the human animal bond.
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rlorber13, January 1, 2012 (view all comments by rlorber13)
It had me near tears several times and weeping at the end. It is such a beautiful story, one I'm sure I will read over and over!
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bdm, December 1, 2011 (view all comments by bdm)
In spite of the ham-handed quality of the writing (okay, I thought at first, the author is an animal trainer so the book's awkward style can be forgiven), I found the story at first engaging. Soon, though, inconsistencies, omissions, and implausibilities began cropping up so frequently I became more and more convinced that, far from being a "true story of the greatest elephant that ever lived," the book is a work of fiction, misleadingly (and unethically) labeled as fact, no doubt to improve sales.

Take the chronology. Except for an early mention of Bram (and thus Modoc's) age as sixteen when they left their native Germany and a reference at the end to their being at least 70, the lacks any mention of dates and historical context (not even WWI or the rise of Nazism and WWII in Germany, where Bram's Jewish mother, we are led to believe, continues to live unaffected). Events in the lives of Modoc and Bram simply cannot be reconciled with the internal timeline of the book or the external timeline of history.

There are other ways in which the account simply doesn't add up. At the center of the book the author publishes a meager number of photos telling us that they are ones he has been able to collect over the years from the few that exist of Modoc. One has to wonder why are there so few photos? If Modoc was the huge attraction in New York and throughout the country that the book purports, and if she was so hyped by her owner, wouldn't there be photos of her in newspapers or at least articles and advertisements that would help document the story? Given the sensation Modoc was said to have created when she was rescued from the shipwreck in India and the press coverage she supposedly received there, is it odd that not one of these is cited or shown in the book? The book describes Modoc as particularly large, but the elephant/elephants in the book's photo collection are all relatively small, certainly not the height the author describes. In the last hundred pages or so, there is periodic mention of gold tips placed on Modoc's tusks during performances, but Modoc was a female Asian elephant -- female Asian elephants do not have tusks. And does it not strain credulity that Mr. North, Modoc's wealthy, mean-spirited, money-hungry purchaser would just happen to pop up, inexplicably, exactly at the unlikely time and place where Bram and Modoc emerged from a mountain pass believed to be impassable by elephant?

These are just a few of the many, many inconsistencies and improbabilities that pepper this account. It is at best a composite of incidents from the lives of a number of different animals and trainers. More likely it is pure fiction with a story and character from real life thrown in. In either case, its dishonesty is a disservice to readers and to the truly remarkable creatures it pretends to celebrate.
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(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780060929510
Subtitle:
The True Story of the Greatest Elephant That Ever Lived
Author:
Helfer, Ralph D.
Author:
Helfer, Ralph D.
Author:
by Ralph Helfer
Publisher:
Harper Perennial
Location:
New York :
Subject:
General
Subject:
Essays
Subject:
Mammals
Subject:
Circus
Subject:
Elephants
Subject:
Circus animals
Subject:
Modoc
Subject:
Animals
Subject:
Modoc (Elephant)
Subject:
Animals - Mammals
Subject:
Biology-Reference
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade PB
Publication Date:
19980826
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
8.00x5.34x.84 in. .57 lbs.

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Arts and Entertainment » Drama » Circus
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Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
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Science and Mathematics » Nature Studies » Mammals » Elephants
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Modoc: The True Story of the Greatest Elephant That Ever Lived Used Trade Paper
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Product details 352 pages Perennial - English 9780060929510 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Spanning several decades and three continents, Modoc is one of the most amazing true animal stories ever told. Raised together in a small German circus town, a boy and an elephant formed a bond that would last their entire lives, and would be tested time and again; through a near-fatal shipwreck in the Indian Ocean, an apprenticeship with the legendary Mahout elephant trainers in the Indian teak forests, and their eventual rise to circus stardom in 1940s New York City.

Modoc is a captivating true story of loyalty, friendship, and high adventure, to be treasured by animal lovers everywhere.

"Synopsis" by , Spanning seven decades and three continents, Modoc is one of the most amazing true animal stories ever told. Raised together in a small German circus town, a boy and an elephant formed a bond that would last their entire lives, and would be tested time and again; through a near-fatal shipwreck in the Indian Ocean, an apprenticeship with the legendary Mahout elephant trainers in the Indian teak forests, and their eventual rise to circus stardom in 1940s New York City. Modoc is a captivating true story of loyalty, friendship, and high adventure, to be treasured by animal lovers everywhere.
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