Synopses & Reviews
Marley and Me
meets All Creatures Great and Small
, as an ailing but lovable orphan buffalo joins a Santa Fe household.
A sprawling suburban house in Santa Fe is not the kind of home where a buffalo normally roams, but Veryl Goodnight and Roger Brooks are not your ordinary animal lovers. Over a hundred years after Veryl's ancestors, Charles and Mary Ann Goodnight, hand-raised two baby buffalo to help save the species from extinction, the sculptor and her husband adopt an orphaned buffalo calf of their own. Against a backdrop of the old American West, A Buffalo in the House tells the story of a household situation beyond any sitcom writer's wildest dreams
Charlie has no idea he's a buffalo and Roger has no idea just how strong the bond between man and buffalo can be. In the historical shadow of the near-extermination of a majestic and misunderstood animal, Roger sets out to save just one buffalo. Written in the tradition of Ian Frazier's Great Plains and the work of Garrison Keillor and Bill Bryson, A Buffalo in the House tells an important, uplifting story about one animal's ability to touch human lives and reconnect people of all ages to the vanished past.
"Rosen combines his skills as a mystery novelist (Strike Three You're Dead) and cultural critic (Psychobabble) to tell the powerful story of Charlie, a week-old orphaned buffalo who in 2000 was given a temporary home in Santa Fe with animal lovers Roger Brooks and Veryl Goodnight and who then stays for three memorable and sometimes heartbreaking years. As the story unfolds, Rose deftly explores a relationship between Charlie and Brooks that brought out previously unexplored depths of tenderness in the latter, and a devotion surprising for a wild animal: 'While Roger read the paper on a lawn chair Charlie would sniff him, or he'd curl up with him for an afternoon siesta.' Rosen also uses the couple's own fascinating backgrounds especially that of Goodnight, a distant relative of Charles and Mary Goodnight, who had helped save the buffalo from extinction in the 1870s to explore past and present political and wildlife management issues. But the heart of the book is the bond forged over three years between Brooks and his beloved Charlie, whose special combination of 'sheer size and gentle disposition,' as well as his all-too-short life, make him one of the most memorable characters in recent nature writing. B&w illus. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"I was completely hooked. A superb book. Rosen writes beautifully. I wish it could be read by everyone." Jeffrey Masson, bestselling author of When Elephants Weep, Dogs Never Lie About Love, and The Nine Emotional Lives of Cats
"This is a book so riveting in its details that only after you've put it down do you begin to grasp the extent of Richard Rosen's accomplishment. From the story of one stray baby bison named Charlie Buffalo and the family that took him in, Rosen has drawn a sweeping history of the American frontier of the people who tried to destroy it and the ones determined to save it. I can't remember when I've been instructed so gracefully, or entertained to such deep purpose." Jane Kramer
"Ultimately, this is a cautionary tale about why only professionals should care for wild animals and a reminder that good intentions do not supplant knowledge and experience." Booklist
"I can't remember when I've been instructed so gracefully, or entertained to such deep purpose." New Yorker
About the Author
R. D. Rosen is a senior editor at Workman Publishing and the author of several books, including the Edgar Award-winning mystery Strike Three You're Dead and Psychobabble (a term he coined). His career as a humorist has spanned PBS, Saturday Night Live, HBO, CBS, and NPR's "All Things Considered." He is the co-author of the New York Times bestselling books Bad Cat, Bad Dog, Bad Baby, and Bad President. He lives in New York City.