I read this book purely for research on a current project. For obvious reasons, I won’t go into any further detail about this project, but I will give as detailled a response for this book review as possible.
First of all, it has to be said that more stories of animals irrespective of species have to be written. Animals are intelligent in their own right, if you don’t believe me then observe them. It’s also fair to debunk the myth that feelings are reserved just for humans – again if you don’t believe me, observe. The best place for that is at a dog rescue home.
This book is full of accounts about average animals (bar one who was trained for its job) who have rescued others without encouragement and in turn have been rescued themselves during the war effort. Why they rescue others, as described in their stand-alone chapters inside this book, is a mystery. Perhaps only the animals themselves know the reason why. Or maybe their sixth sense is enough of a suitable explanation. Either way as the reader we’ll never get to the bottom of things because they’re no longer around, and what they did still remains top secret. Even so, we’d still never know why they did what they did for the most blantantly obvious reason.
From a writer’s perspective reading this there are a few things which bring the book down a few notches. There is one thing which sticks out like a sore thumb: it tells the story rather than shows it. Perhaps the amount of information which Long had to hand when he was writing this was minimal so he had to fill in the gaps. It’s more than likely that Long focused on the most accurate information rather than story-telling. You can tell there is very little story-telling because of the amount of cliches you can pick out – again it’s probably to fill out space and sell copies. Verbal rubbish (trash – known to American counterparts) or metaphorical cheese sells books.
The format of the chapters are also a smidge cliche too. Towards the end they tend to get rather same-y, as though it is the same story told just with different characters in different locations. Don’t get me wrong, every genre has books which tell similar stories things which have been taken from predeccessors and changed slightly. But when you start getting the same stories in the same book, there are doubts in one’s mind which question the investment made in this book.
Buy yourself a copy and tell me what you think.
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