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ELEPHANT MOON [Kindle Edition]

John Sweeney
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (846 customer reviews)

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Book Description

As the Second World War rages, the Japanese Imperial Army enters Burma and the British rulers prepare to flee. But the human legacy of the British Empire will be left behind in the shape of sixty-two Anglo-Burmese children, born to local women after affairs with foreign men. Half-castes, they are not acknowledged by either side and they are to be abandoned with no one to protect them. Their teacher, Grace Collins, a young Englishwoman, refuses to join the European evacuation and instead sets out to deliver the orphans to the safety of India. She faces impossible odds because between her and India lie one thousand miles of jungle, mountains, rivers and the constant, unseen threat of the Japanese. With Japanese soldiers chasing them down, the group s chances of survival shrink - until they come across a herd of fifty-three elephants who, with their awesome strength and kindness, quickly become the orphans only hope of survival. Based on a true story, Elephant Moon is an unforgettable epic tale of courage and compassion in the midst of brutality and destruction.


Product Description

Review

'If you were to relocate Michael Morpurgo's War Horse to Burma in the Second World War, with elephants taking the sentimental role from the horses, you might end up with something like Elephant Moon by John Sweeney. It is a tender and loving tribute to 'Nature's great masterpiece... The only harmless great thing', as John Donne described the elephant, as well as an insight into one of the forgotten battlegrounds of the war.' --LIterary Review

'This novel is based on a little-known true story of the Second World War when a herd of 53 elephants was used by a young English schoolteacher to rescue a band of orphans in Burma and transport them to the safety of India. Their incredible journey is filled with adventure, tragedy and love, as you might expect. But, most thrilling of all is the emergence of the elephants as real characters with distinct personalities. This is not done in a sentimental Jungle Book kind of way. Rather, it is true to Darwin's description of these creatures as being possessed of many of the same senses as humans, including the capacity for jealousy, suspicion and revenge. The author - who is also an award-winning Panorama reporter - takes advantage of this phenomenon and scores a bull's-eye with an excellent and ingenious plot.' --Daily Mail

'A deftly realised on-the-road novel alive with the horrors of war.' --Yorkshire Evening Post

'This novel is based on a little-known true story of the Second World War when a herd of 53 elephants was used by a young English schoolteacher to rescue a band of orphans in Burma and transport them to the safety of India. Their incredible journey is filled with adventure, tragedy and love, as you might expect. But, most thrilling of all is the emergence of the elephants as real characters with distinct personalities. This is not done in a sentimental Jungle Book kind of way. Rather, it is true to Darwin's description of these creatures as being possessed of many of the same senses as humans, including the capacity for jealousy, suspicion and revenge. The author - who is also an award-winning Panorama reporter - takes advantage of this phenomenon and scores a bull's-eye with an excellent and ingenious plot.' --Daily Mail

'A deftly realised on-the-road novel alive with the horrors of war.' --Yorkshire Evening Post

About the Author

John Sweeney is a reporter for BBC Panorama. He has won many journalism awards and is the author of five previous books. Elephant Moon is his first novel.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 425 KB
  • Print Length: 232 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1909269107
  • Publisher: Silvertail Books (28 Mar. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00C2UORQ4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (846 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #802 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
108 of 111 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A tale of love, war, orphans and elephants 20 Aug. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a story which engages the heart at many turns of the tale. A young British schoolmarm escapes from Burma during WWII with her orphan charges, unwanted girls who are the unwanted results of illicit Burmese and British relationships. On the danger-fraught journey to India she encounters courage, betrayal, and love However, the real protagonists of the story are the elephants who demonstrate intelligence, courage and parental love. For me this made the story special as these magnificent animals are being killed at unprecedented rates by ivory poachers. I hope everyone who reads this story will fall in love with the elephants and vow to work in some small way for elephant conservation.
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42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enthralling account 21 Nov. 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I was honestly surprised by how gripped I was by this enthralling story set in Burma during World War II. I knew the author to be a distinguished journalist who has worked in some very dangerous locations and a witty and compassionate writer on many topics but he has drawn on all that experience to create a well researched and highly readable story made all the more harrowing and moving by being based on real events. I found myself caring about the fate of the characters [ including the elephants] and read the book quickly, anxious to find out their fate.

At the end of the book I found myself wanting to know more about the events on which it was based and wondering about the right actress to play Grace , the attractive [ although occasionally infuriating] heroine when the book is turned into a film , as surely it must.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really loved the book and the storyline. 28 Jan. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I didn't give this five stars although I hovered over the five stars. I loved this book but I felt that it lost some traction about 2/3 way through because there was a lot of description of the war as opposed to continuing with the real story line. I was gripped, nonetheless and have recommended the book to others in confidence that they will enjoy it, as long as they like a bit of history too?
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars None 20 Oct. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
What a ripping good yarn!. This was a really enjoyable read and I got so caught up in it I missed my station. Great to have a female protagonist who is resilient but beievable. The elephants are enchanting characters and you got the impression the author really cared about them. The characters back storys are interesting and for me educational as they provide an opportunity for the author to fill us in on the actual history of the time leaving me wanting to learn more. The story is vividly told, I was in that jungle. It would make a great film and I hope someone has the sense to make it into one. The truth at the heart of it desrves to be heard and the author has done a great job in the telling.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fast-paced fun 7 Nov. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Firstly, I should declare my interest: I share a publisher with John Sweeney. However, I wouldn't review this book positively unless I felt it was really worthy of such a review. Elephant Moon is a pacy story and a great read. I particularly enjoyed the feisty character of Grace and the bumbling ways of Mr Peach. Sweeney has managed to inject plenty of humour into the novel despite the fact that the true events it is based on were very serious indeed - making this fast-moving adventure a lot of fun.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic read! 20 Mar. 2013
By Effie
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
What a marvellous book! And oh how I loved Grace. This story would make a brilliant film. I too would love to know more about the real history behind this tale and the research and commitment to telling it has paid off. I highly recommend this novel and I look forward to John Sweeney's next.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I loved it, but with reservations 7 Sept. 2014
By Frances Stott TOP 1000 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This novel (based on a true story) tells of the journey of a young English schoolteacher, Grace, who undertakes to escort the sixty-three half-caste orphans (the products of the illicit couplings of Western soldiers and Burmese or Indian girls) from Burma during WW2. The children are low priority, because of who they are, and Grace receives little help. However, she finally encounters some soldiers who are undertakiing the same journey, but with the help of elephants, and after some persuasion, they agree to escort Grace and her charges. Pursued by the Japanese, who are always close behind, the party encounter all kinds of hazards - both natural and otherwise - in what turns out to be a perilous and at times life-threatening journey.

The story is undoubtedly gripping (hence the four stars), and the courage and intelligence of the elephants at times heart-breaking (they are the true heroes of the novel). But I do have reservations. Firstly, the novel is somewhat unbalanced. In several places, too much space is given to flashbacks which are not really essential to the plot. And I really do wonder whether a nice English girl would (at that time) have fallen so easily in love and had sexual relations; and this with two separate men in surprisingly short order. Also, the novel's ending is wrapped up very quickly and neatly, and I felt this could have been managed better.

However - I have to recommend this novel, as I found it gripping and very readable.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Truly awful 30 Jan. 2015
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The only thing that kept me reading right to the end of this novel was sheer comic value.
The characters were drawn from the very worst kind of stereotypes and the writing was lazy and descended further into absurdity as the story went on. It's obvious that the author kept one eye on this possibly being turned into a film. Shame because in the hands of a good writer, this premise could have been brilliant.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping story
Following the plight of the teacher and her charges was tense. So many challenges. To overcome made you keep turning the pages to see what was happening next. Read more
Published 16 hours ago by MR ALAN J HARRISON
5.0 out of 5 stars Elephant Moon
Surprisingly good! I went by the other reviews on Amazon, as ordinarily the synopsis probably wouldn't have sold it to me...but glad I did!
Published 2 days ago by sj9514
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
Sorry found this hard going and a bit strange, nearly ditched reading it but persevered hoping for better, as a friend told me it did improve, sadly not for me.
Published 2 days ago by tenerife
4.0 out of 5 stars Behind the lines in Burma
Interesting viewpoint on the war in Burma, apparently based on a true story. The heroine seems determined to be in love but the stories of the elephants are fascinating.
Published 2 days ago by Mrs. Hazel P. Manley
1.0 out of 5 stars Plodding
Whilst Sweeney can write well enough & ideas that are offered throughout the novella are plausible & observe some human actions, the narrative feels sliced up & served in an... Read more
Published 2 days ago by Kath D
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant.
Amazing story which gripped me so I couldn't put it down. Anyone who loves elephants and is curious about the war in the Far East should read this, although it stands alone as a... Read more
Published 4 days ago by Shepherds delight
4.0 out of 5 stars This book was an easy, enjoyable read allowing the reader to see war...
This book was an easy, enjoyable read allowing the reader to see war time in Burma from a non military perspective. Read more
Published 5 days ago by Marie Bailey
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
not too interesting
Published 6 days ago by LYNNB
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
As I read this on holiday in Sri Lanka it was quite topical and a reasonable quick holiday read.
Published 7 days ago by Susan Marchant
5.0 out of 5 stars stunning just stunning
Great characters that come alive throughout. Spine tingling adventures of a school teacher, a group of mixed race children and a mass of others including the elephants that play... Read more
Published 8 days ago by dartmoorscottydog
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