BOOK READ Jamrach's Menagerie AUTHOR Carol Birch – nikeshoxoutlet.us
Nconsistencies too Why would a boy with little schooling who wasn t sure where Peru was know the phrase amniotic fluid Especially when in common parlance they are often referred to as waters In general I thought that this novel had the potential to be much much better As a result I have judged it perhaps harshly than I otherwise might have done Not one to be recommended in my view nfortunately This book was shortlisted for Man Booker Prize this year 2011 It lost to Julian Barnes The Sense of an Ending I am still to read a Barnes but I am sure I will like his works since my brother like his Flaubert s Parrot However I wanted to have some lighter reads every December so I picked p this book first I made the right decision this book is light to read yet heavy in its artistryThink of Robert Louis Stevenson s sea adventure masterpiece Treasure Island because a big part of this book is about adolescent boys with grownup men sailing afloat the Atlantic Throw in some survival of the fittest and awakening like Yann Martel s Life of Pi Then there s the est of finding hunting and bringing home a legend a mythical dragon Opps I have not read a novel about dragon yet How I wish I d read one so I can make this review convincing ha ha But anyway think of a est like King Arthur s desire for the Holy Grail There I go I read something about that when I was a young boy I have now analogy Sir Galahad was to Jaffy Brown as King Arthur was to Jamrach But the big and very interesting element of this novel is its Dickensian flavor Jaffy Brown was at the start of the novel a young impoverished boy loitering in the dirty streets of London during the Victorian period Birch s storytelling has that Dickensian touch of comedy innocence and a bit of realism amidst the grime and hopelessness I really liked that part when as a boy Jaffy thought that the stink in his surroundings because he was living near the market was how the world smelled He only realized this when his family transferred to another street I also liked how he fell in love with Ishbel I was almost tempted to say that I thought that the story would have been interesting if Birch gave her character a major part say Ishbel came with the two boys Jaffy and Tim aboard the creaky whaling ship Lysander However on the second thought I guess it would have been too predictable as there are already too many children s and YA books now with a young lady as the main protagonist Twilight has Bella The Hunger Games has Katniss Divergent has Trish The Mortal Instruments has Clarissa We need of those adventure books with young boys in it I say bring back the glory of Robert Louis Stevenson s with his Treasure Island and Kidnapped or Herman Melville with his #Moby Dick and Billy Budd Let s have of Percy Jackson # Dick and Billy Budd Let s have of Percy Jackson Hewitt and Sam TempleSo this is really the reason why I cheer for this book a youngish adventure book with boys ruling over girls It is for children and young adults to enjoy and probably entice them to read where the author drew her inspiration from the classic works of Dickens Stevenson and Melville And who knows probably Birch was also inspired by her contemporaries like Martell Rioldan Ness and GrantI am still to read a Barnes but I say that
THIS BOOK BY BIRCH TRULY DESERVES TO HAVE BEEN book by Birch truly deserves to have been in this year s Man Booker I received my copy from Bookhugger s Real Readers programme and the first thing to note is that the cover is absolutely stunning The second thing is that the opening paragraph is one of the most enticing I have ever read Unfortunately after such a promising first impression it falls a little flatIt s definitely an adventure novel but this creates some odd strengths and weaknesses I would disagree with the negative reviews which found it difficult
"to read it "read It written in ite a compelling fashion and I never felt the For the Love of All Thats Holy, Dont Buy a Boat When Venus is in Retrograde urge to stop reading and pick something elsep instead It s very easy to get through and Scary Stories 3 uite aick read for its size Where the problem arises however is that it s very much a case of this happens then this happens then this happens which leaves very little chance to satifyingly develop the charactersA lot of reviews praise the emotion and depth of the novel whereas I found the characters to be The Penguin Atlas of Endangered Species uite thin and often struggled or just didn t care who was who on the ship Names and actions often blurred or seemed inconseuential and the major characters seemed rather dull with the exception of the strong willful Ishbel whonfortunately is absent for S animal His life is transformed by the encounter Plucked from the jaws of death by Mr Jamrach the two. Not suitable for vegetariansWell not for sueamish vegetariansActually no scrub that Not suitable for the sueamish full stopBut I really liked it so Not sueamish lovely word Andor there #are compensations for the ickiness Yes Jaffy s voice is a steal Birch creates him and # compensations for the ickiness Yes Jaffy s voice is a steal Birch creates him and world conjures them p out of nothing and there is no sense of artifice it plops smoothly into place alongside anything else you have read of 19th century London Then he is wrenched away and of course we know it s all going to go disastrously catastrophically of course it will but then that s what we want isn t it To vicariously live out the horror Dickens and Melville on a stick and home again in time for tea Adventure without the tears That ll do me fine The origin of THE STORY CAN BE FOUND HERE JAMRACH S MENAGERIE story can be found here Jamrach s Menagerie the most colorful grimy brutal salty coming of age story you are likely to read It
s the story of Jaffy Brown a nineteenth century boy whothe story of Jaffy Brown a nineteenth century boy who fully loaded with all that the best rchins have to offer abject poverty a single parent limitless optimism no education but natural smarts and a love of the sea Jaffy is part Pip part Popeye part Ishmael part Steve Irwin and thanks to Birch all freshness and charm He s our narrator in Jamrach s so it s good thing you want to spend time with him to root for him Jaffy s life pre Jamrach is all work and the cesspool atmosphere of London slums His one bright light is his Mother She seems barely older than Jaffy at the start of the novel and they are devoted to one another Jaffy enters Jamarach s life through the jaws a tiger One of my favorite moments in the book is when Birch describes this magnificent tiger through Jaffy s inexperienced eyes Jamrach is an agent of procurement for the wild and ex This is one of those books where I really would like to know what the judges for the Man Booker Prize were thinking when they picked it over 100 other contenders to be longlisted for the prize for 2011 That s why I read it Parts of it have promise The story starts with this young boy Jaffy who lives at the very edge of the Thames river described Tono Bungay uncomfortably well in a way only rivaled by Stephen King Good but not good It puts you there in a way you would never want to be Jaffy has a run in with a tiger and endsp working for Jamrach s Menagerie thus the title of the book To me these were the interesting bits Magical Sweet Mermaid unfortunately they only took the firstarter of the book or so Then the author sends Jaffy off on a whale ship partly to hunt down a dragon for the menagerie Even this was okay if a bit overdone The Choice uest Whaling The adventure of the sea yawn I sense that the Booker judges are craving adventure The hunt for the dragon was interesting but I was starting to lose interest And when view spoilerthe people on the boats start eating each other to survive I started skimming and flipping through pages hoping for it to end I really think that when you have to resort to cannibalism for shock value you should put down the pen or turn off the computer So did the judges pick this for shock value Any adventure that ends in you eating your best friend is than a littlennecessary in my book hide spoiler This was a really interesting read It starts out almost like a Dickens novel except colorful Young impoverished boy in Victorian London falls in with wild characters goes on adventures etc But it took a dreadfully dark turn that shocked the hell out of me and left me disturbed for days So be prepared for that this is much than the average coming of age adventure story In retrospect there were hints of a wild dark vein earlier in the story I just wasn t prepared for HOW dark the novel was going to go I think my favorite part of the novel was the rocky friendship between Jaffy and Tim simply because it I was torn between two and three stars for this Perhaps it is like 25 This book was a chore for me to read I felt disappointed and that it ought to have been so much better Maybe the problem was one of marketing it is called Jamrach s Menagerie and yet the vast bulk of it is about a voyage to find a presumably komodo dragonFor a book with such Dickensian ambition the characters were remarkably lifeless I felt that I should have identified with them and been drawn in Yet I wasn t Parts of the plot were horrible the 65 days adrift after the storm for example They were also noriginalI gather the writing has been praised It is true that parts of it were very beautifully written In other places not so much There were Jaffy Brown is running through the London backstreets when he comes face to face with an escaped circu.
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of whom we learn very little The others seem mostly like creations for events to happen towhom we learn very little The others seem mostly like creations for events to happen to than complex functioning human beingsWhere the book mostly like creations for events to happen to than complex functioning human beingsWhere the book shine though is in its descriptions of places London especially feels very much alive and encapsulates the filth and magic of the city The islands and ocean feel fresh alien and full of wonder Jamrach s yard feels both fantastic and tragic Arguably the places become the characters the people fail to be with lives and mystery beyond the words on the pageDespite my criticisms there s something very endearing about this novel Yes it s ite dull yes the characters are nderdeveloped but I feel really bad for not liking the book than I did There s something there whether it s the author s nderlying skill the appeal of adventure or how close it comes to being good It s a shame it didn t ite fulfill its potential but there s enjoyment to be had here and I d definitely consider reading by Carol Birch in the future I found this book at the library sale shelves The cover attracted my attention first and after reading the first paragraph I was hooked I was born twice First in a wooden room that jutted out over the black water of the Thames and then again eight years later in the Highway when the tiger took me in his mouth and everything truly beganHow could I resist finding out what happened next The intensity the deep feeling the strong relationships the joys the horrors the experiences the adventures are all described so wonderfully by the author through the senses of Jaffy Brown in the first person that I shall not even attempt to tell you about them You need to read the book for yourself Short listed for the Man Booker Prize in 2011 I cannot imagine how good the eventual winner must ve been in the eyes of the judges to have beaten Jamarach s MenagerieTowards the end I was beginning to think of alternative titles for the book Jaffy s Oceans or The Long Voyage of Jaffy Brown came to mind but I suppose that the title is appropriate as it all started when eight year old Jaf Brown stroked the nose of a Bengal tiger which had broken loose from Jemrach s Menagerie and he was carried off by the magnificent beast This incident is based on fact The rest of the story is mostly based on fiction I can t tell you the other fact without ruining the reading for you But I ll tell you about one if the early events which told me that I was going to love this book On the day following the tiger incident Mr Jamrach sent his boy Tim round to find Jaffy and to buy him a raspberry puff Jaffy had never sampled raspberry or cream or puff pastry in his eight years on Earth The description of his happiness as he enjoys his first bite of this wonderful experience is guaranteed to make you enjoy it with him How far from his previous life of scraping through the stinking sewers of Bermondsey could be this new joy There he Tim stood with his hands in his pockets and watched me eat the raspberry puff The first bite was so bitterly sweet the corners if my mouth ached So beautiful a film of tears stung my eyes Then the pain dispersed and there was only delightTim eventually becomes Jaffy s very best friend and that friendship has its ps and downs Some of them are very severe I suppose one could argue that Tim s sister Ishbel becomes Jaffy s best friend but I am not about to enter a debate on the matter because it doesn t really matter Be warned that there are some very moving sad parts to this story If you are not careful you could end p joining melancholics anonymous before you re finished but you should read it You will not regret it I picked this one to read because it was on the longlist for the Booker Prize I started it when I first took it home from the library but I did not get into it then and thought I wouldn t read it But then I decided to try it again and when I got a little further into it I had not read decided to try it again and when I got a little further into it I had not read much the first time I started to enjoy itJaffy is a young poor boy living in London in the 1850 s At age 9 when a tiger escapes its cage at a local animal store he walks p to the cat and strokes it s nose He wondered what it felt like He is promptly taken by the tiger in its mouth The Mavericks Ready-Made Family until the owner of the store Jamrach arrives and gets the tiger to drop himnharmed He sees a young girl that day slightly older than he is and he ends p working with her twin brother Tim at Jamrach s store his Menagerie mostly cleaning p after the many different kinds. Strike p a friendship Before he knows it Jaffy finds himself on board a ship bound for the South Sea. ,