Synopses & Reviews
The book that Entertainment Weekly
called "hilarious," Publishers Weekly
declared "a true pleasure," Booklist
called "heartwarming," and the Dallas Morning News
praised as "rich and funny" is now available in paperback.
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-feeding a menagerie of furry and feathery residents. His life of quiet serenity vanished, and he unwittingly became a servant to a relentlessly demanding family. "They dumbfounded him, controlled and teased him, took their share of his flesh, stole his heart" (Kirkus Reviews).
Whether commiserating with Bob over the fate of those who are slaves to their animals or regarding his story as a cautionary tale about the rigors of animal ownership, readers on both sides of the fence have found Tarte's story of his chaotic squawking household irresistible and irresistibly funny.
"Tarte has an ordinary-Joe voice that makes each chapter a true pleasure, while revealing a sophisticated vision of animals and their relationship to humans." Publishers Weekly
"[W]holly disarming....'Why didn't anyone warn me?' Tarte asks about the consequences of sharing a home with animals. It's a good thing they didn't, or we might not have had this affecting debut." Kirkus Reviews
"Part Gerald Durrell and part Bill Bryson, this heartwarming book will find many readers among Rascal and That Quail, Robert devotees." Booklist
"[A] hilarious debut....Tarte rebels against his urban instincts and learns to love his personal zoo. After reading this delightfully punchy account, you may never look at Fido the same way again. (Grade: B+)" Entertainment Weekly
"This light and witty diversion is highly recommended for those who appreciate the value of good humor and a positive outlook on life." Library Journal
"Potential pet owners who think that caring for one or two animals would be a walk in the park will find this book extremely useful reading....Other readers will chuckle at the situations presented, and pet owners will no doubt identify with them." Judy McAloon, School Library Journal
"A laugh-out-loud chronicle of what it means to bring animals a blind turkey, an irascible rabbit, a lovesick dove into your heart and home and make them part of the fabric of your life." Marty Becker D.V.M., Good Morning America
A laugh-out-loud chronicle of what it means to bring animals of all shapes and sizes into your heart and home.
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, at the time, innocuous enough. But that was just the beginning. Wouldn't a parrot be cute? Linda said. Bob suddenly found himself constructing pens, buying feed, clearing duck waste, spoonfeeding at mealtime. One day he realized he'd become a servant to a relentlessly demanding family, and a motley crew it was. Writing as someone who's been ambushed by the way in which animals, even cranky ones, can wend their way into the heart, Bob Tarte reveals the truth of animal ownership and who really owns whom.
About the Author
Bob Tarte has written for a number of publications, including the New York Times, the Beat, the Boston Globe, the Whole Earth Review, and the Miami New Times, and has appeared on a variety of radio shows. He lives in Lowell, Michigan, with his wife, Linda, and two parrots, a dove, a canary, two parakeets, two rabbits, three cats, five geese, ten ducks, and seven hens. The Tartes also raise and release orphaned songbirds.