Dec 23, 2009

Love, War and Circuses

by Erioc Scigliano

I could not get through this book. I tried, and some parts at the beginning were really interesting, but it just became too jumbled with a multitudinous miscellany of elephant lore, often referring to incidents I knew little about without much explanation, before jumping on to the next point. It just was hard to follow. I need something a little more focused. Not to say that Love, War and Circuses doesn't have a focus. It's all about elephants- their evolution, their mammoth ancestors, their role in history: used in warfare, exploited for logging, venerated in religion, trained to perform in circuses, pining away in zoos, etc etc. Elephants in art, myth and legend. Anything you could imagine wanting to know about how elephants have shown up in human culture. More about elephants in Asia than the African ones I'm more familiar with. Maybe that's part of the reason my interest began to slide; the chapter about elephants in India and Thailand mentions so many stories featuring them in folklore and religious canon that my eyes began to glaze over and my head to swim. But if you are besotted with elephants, this would be a perfect book for you!

Abandoned ........ 358 pages, 2002


  1. Sorry this didn't work for you.

  2. Bummer this one wasn't so good. But you have a Merry Christmas!!


  3. I am actually besotted with elephants, but this sounds quite disorganized... maybe I will try to find something a bit better.

  4. Wow, an animal book that didn't work out. It seemed promising. Sounds like the author didn't want to part with any of his research -- can't blame him, but he should have thought of readers and been more discerning. Better luck next book and happy new year to you!

  5. Bermudaonion- It happens.

    Lezlie- Yeah. Thanks, you too!

    Jenny- Well, the facts stick within their respective chapters (by subject). There was just too much information for me!

    Bybee- I was really hopeful. It could have used some editing, or even greater length- to allow for more explanation! I think I would have actually preferred that.


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