Aug 2, 2008

The Parrot's Lament

by Eugene Linden

This is another book full of anecdotes about animals displaying intelligence. "True Tales of Animal Intrigue, Intelligence, and Ingenuity, " the long subtitle informs. Stories in The Parrot's Lament have been collected from zookeepers, animal researchers, gamekeepers, hunters and pet owners. Although most of the focus subjects are dolphins and great apes, there are also examples of many other species including parrots, pigs, leopards, dogs, housecats, etc. Animals are shown displaying playfulness and creativity, understanding others' state of mind and practicing deceit, ingeniously making tools and finding means to escape enclosures, altruistically assisting other species in need of help or comfort and making friendships with dissimilar animals, sometimes even those who are usually their enemies. Some of the stories are rather far-fetched and hard to believe, but most were entertaining and though-provoking. To balance it all out a little bit, Linden also includes some information from research on animal cognition and emotions. An enjoyable read, especially if you're an animal lover!

Rating: 3/5                       224 pages, 1999


Jordan said...

This is funny. Colette wrote a book or two simply featuring her pets and other random animals, and this never appealed to me before but you make it seem like an interesting idea.

thekea said...

I love parrots! I also love animals, this sounds like something I'd like to read. Thanks for the review!
I don't know if you're a bird person or not but I've noticed you read a lot about animals/nature and I have a recommendation! Book called 'The Parrot Who Owns Me' by Joanna Burger.
It's a wonderful non-fiction book, not too long and it's all about the relationship between the author and her parrot. It reminded me a lot of my relationship with one of my birds and I just loved it. If you enjoy reading about animals, I think you'll love it.
If you do read it, let me know!

Trish said...

I just noticed that you changed your header picture to include your (a?) cat. Since I come around through google reader I don't notice formatting changes often, but I really like it! This one sounds interesting, but I think I would have to take it a story/chapter at a time.

cipriano said...

Browsing your site makes me realize you are a VORACIOUS....... a CARNIVOROUS..... a possibly RABID reader!
How do you read this much?
I envy you.

Jeane said...

Kea- Thanks for the recommendation. It sounds interesting, and I'd like to learn more about parrots. I'll put it on my list!

Trish- yes, that's my cat. I just photoshoped his photo onto my painting a few days ago.

Cipriano- I do read a lot, but not quite as much as it looks! Most of the books I'm posting about are ones I've read in past years. Only the ones marked "Recent Reads" were finished the same day I reviewed them. If you click on "Recent Reads" in the sidebar under Genre/Subjects you can get a better idea of how much I currently read! I do tend to squeeze reading time in whenever I can- in the bath, while my kid plays, in the car, while my husb watches football, in bed before sleep! Seems like I can never get enough of it.