Book of the Week

stacey_mbApril 18, 2013

Enslaved by ducks / by Bob Tarte.

Bob Tarte, who wrote a music column, was recently married and new property owner in the country. His wife Linda was an animal lover and talked him into acquiring just one pet, a rabbit named Binky, who was no trouble to care for, so he was assured. Binky took over their lives with his âÂÂdemands,â but when he died, Bob and Linda were bereft. They gradually acquired more and more animals until their lives were completely taken over by the demands of their eccentric menagerie.

I really loved this funny and true story about this Michigan couple for the lively and affectionate way in which the author describes how they acquired the animals and how their lives were changed with their new acquisitions.

The PublisherâÂÂs Weekly Review describes the book well: âÂÂKnowing little about animals, Tarte and his wife naively acquire Binky, an impish bunny, at an Easter bunny fair, little suspecting that it will soon dominate their lives and lead to a brigade of other winged and furred beasts. After Binky, they get a canary, then Ollie, an orange-chin pocket parrot, whom they return because he flings his water-logged food all over their floor and accosts them with calls and bites. Then they buy a more docile gray-cheek parakeet, which makes the Tartes realize they miss their raucous friend Ollie, whom they retrieve. Gluttons for punishment, the Tartes acquire a gender-confused African gray parrot named Stanley Sue, followed by ducks, geese, turkeys, parrots, starlings, more rabbits and cats. Every day brings an adventure or a tragedy (Ollie escapes; a duck gets eaten by a raccoon) to their Michigan country house. With dead-on character portraits, Tarte keeps readers laughing about unreliable pet store proprietors, a duck named Hector who doesn't like water, an amorous dove named Howard, a foster-mother goose, patient veterinarians and increasingly bewildered friends. 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.âÂÂ

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That sounds like a book I would enjoy. I can relate.....I can relate!! Thanks for telling about it. I will look for it.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 11:30AM
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Sounds like a fun read.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 12:36PM
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Thank you for your comments, Marilyn and Pam. I first read this book a few years ago and it always stayed with me as one of the better books I have read.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 1:00PM
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Bringing this to p.1 again.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 4:38PM
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I read this book last year. It was worth reading. He has written another book but I can't think of the name right now.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 4:49PM
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Heather - I have since found out that Bob Tarte wrote two other animal books. They are Fowl weather; and published in 2012 - Kitty cornered : how Frannie and five other incorrigible cats seized control of our household and made it their home.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2013 at 7:18PM
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I am on the look out for books for my 84 year old mother. This sounds like one she would like.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 7:26AM
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Mary, if your mother likes gentle animal stories with some humor and has not already read it, she may also like All creatures great and small. There are four books in this series, written by a veterinarian, James Herriot. They are also written with a lot of affection for animals.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 3:05PM
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FlamingO in AR

I'll look for this book, thanks for the recommendation!

Doreen Tovey wrote many great, humorous books about cats and donkeys, Marilyn you would love them, they are great fun to read if you can find them. "Cats in the Belfry" is my favorite one. Also, Margaret Stanger wrote "That Quail, Robert", another excellent book, it's not too long but will make you want a quail, I guarantee it.

I would check Amazon and ebay for these.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 5:05PM
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I'm re-reading "Fifty Shades of Grey" series. God I love those

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 7:31PM
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Flamey, I used to have the book, That Quail Robert, but I will have to check on the one by Doreen Tovey about donkeys...or cats. wonder your mind is on hot and heavy sex (as you mentioned in the other thread). :))

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 10:02PM
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Fifty shades of gray, hmm...will have to read those!

    Bookmark   April 20, 2013 at 10:48PM
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Marilyn...You got that Right!!!!! Been without it for so long that the books are reminding me of what I was missing. Stacey....highly recommend them.

your resident DJ

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 5:09PM
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