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The Elephant Whisperer - Laurence Anthony

This is the first non-fiction book I have read in a while. In fact I’m not sure I remember the last non-fiction I read before this, only that I have read a few. 

The Author, Laurence Anthony owned a reserve in Africa (he has since passed away) called Thula Thula. To my knowledge he has written a few books and this one focuses on the herd he introduces to his reserve. 

The elephant heard is described as “rogue”. They are being sold off from their previous owners because they are more trouble than they are worth. Anthony goes with his gut and takes this herd of Elephants. Through the book there is very little I could say that wouldn’t be considered as a spoiler for the story. So all I will say is that Anthony has to try and work on the elephants in a way that will turn the herd into any regular wild herd. In doing so the book touches on a lot of subjects and hits a lot of emotions. 

This book does not only focus on the elephant herd but also Thula Thula and the community surrounding it. 

For me I really wanted to love this book. And I did. The only thing that I found to be a problem was that it was non-fiction. To explain this was that I had not become emotionally invested in something made up. I fell in love with an elephant herd that exists. Not only that but Thula Thula. 

This book made me smile. Made me giggle. It also made me cry a couple of times. I didn’t want to put the book down and I didn’t want it to end. I already thought elephants were fantastic and majestic creatures but reading the book I cannot help but feel more than ever that they are as wonderful as I thought. If not more. 

This book did not get dull at any point for me. There are various chapters (although not many) that do not feature the elephants at all. The tales Anthony selected to tell of Thula Thula are all captivating and peaked my interest into things I had never thought of before. 

There is a fair bit of talk of superstition and spirits. However this is a book set in Africa and I have always felt best to respect others beliefs, so it was easy for me not to sit and scoff at these parts of the book. Anthony does state he is not into spirituality but there are some goings on that he cannot explain. 

These are real life tales from within the “walls” of Thula Thula. I cannot fault them, for they are real and they interested me immensely. It was written in a way that was very easy to hear Anthony’s voice and those around him. 

If anything this book has now made me want to visit Thula Thula because even if I didn’t get to see the elephant herd, I would know it would be an interesting time. An amazing time. I could fall in love with it all over again.