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on 19 August 2017
This book doesn't really need anymore positive reviews as it's got loads already but as I've decided it's in my top three best books ever I need to just say why. I don't like reviews that decide you need a summary of the whole book so I'm not going to do that, I'll just say that this book was tremendously exciting and interesting from the beginning and remained so throughout the book. There were many very entertaining moments but many tears too, but no so many I'd want to put you off the book. Anthony Lawrence was a wonderful man, a brilliant writer and it breaks my heart to think we have lost someone so special. If you don't already love elephants you definitely will by the time you've read this, I cannot recommend it more.
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on 29 March 2018
My life is much richer for reading this beautiful book.
Lawrence Anthony is a very special individual indeed!!
As of course is his beautiful partner, Francoise.
If we had more people of their calibre, on this planet, it would be a much more balanced and happy place to live.
There are too many repugnant human beings here, with only their perceived needs and unquenchable appetite for amassing wealth.
I am inspired by this book, to try and be a better person.
To hopefully leave this life, with the knowing, that I done more good than harm.
That there is the true power of this Wonderful book.
To shake us out of our unconscious state of mind, into a much more conscious, aware state.
We have to realise that we cannot continue to be the problem, to become the solution.
Thank you Lawrence, Francoise, and every kind hearted individual, who strive to make this world, one that is worth living in.
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on 10 December 2014
This is a nice, safe easy read. The writing style annoyed me at first, but it either got easier to read or I got used to it. The insights into elephant behaviour was absolutely fascinating. The book focused on the elephants mainly, but also other aspects of his life (his relationships with his dogs, wife, other workers). I would have either preferred more of on insight into this (as he is clearly a completely fascinating man, despite writing about himself quite modestly) or more of a focus on the elephant behaviour, but it just seemed to cover both in not enough detail. It has left me totally intrigued by elephants and keen to discover more about these fascinating animals. This is not a science based book, but he is very clear on that from the start.
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on 2 November 2014
Must admit I am not usually a great fan of animal books but I found this to be an enjoyable read. Elephants I find are particularly fascinating with their matriarchal social organisation and devotion and tenderness to their offspring - as a species we could learn a lot from them! The cruelty some humans inflict on these magnificent and other beasts just for the sake of a quick profit beggars belief but this story is a beacon of hope.

A number of events are memorable, such as the baby elephant born deformed and the tenacity displayed by the herd to try and care and protect it by going without food and water over several days. The close relationship the author had with an outcast juvenile bull which eventually had to be destroyed as a rogue elephant, although it turns out that a simple course of antibiotics would have probably made this unnecessary it was subsequently discovered. The game rangers who turned bad and were running a side-line in bush meat. The poachers who set fire to the game reserve just so they could divert attention while poaching at the other end of the reserve.The book is both sad and joyful in equal measures and is not without its share of comical moments, such as the time the overweight vet was being chased and how a couple of poachers had the tables turned on them by the use of pretend witch-craft.

There were a couple of occasions in the book where I did become somewhat sceptical such as where we are asked to believe that the elephants have some sort of telepathic connection with the author. When the author returned to the reserve after an absence of some time he would supposedly find the herd waiting for him at the gates, but on one occasion the elephants turned away at the exact time he missed a travel connection.

A thoroughly enjoyable book which you don't necessarily have to be an animal lover to appreciate. The only problem being that the reader is left wondering how the herd and reserve are coping now. The day-to-day goings on at Thula Thula would make for a great blog I am sure.
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on 30 June 2016
One of the best books I have read in a long time! If you love the African bush and wildlife this book is a must! The author clearly has a deep understanding and love of the spirituality of elephants and other animals, and has devoted his life to making the world a better place for not just animals but humans. I heard that when he died recently that the elephants came from miles around and stood in silent vigil outside his house. How did they know he had died and how did the message spread across the bush? Humans could learn a lot from elephants about family loyalty, social behaviour, respect etc..
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on 21 June 2018
I learned so much about elephants and wild life in South Africa. Even though I have been on safari and seen elephants some years ago, I had very little knowledge of what I was seeing. I wish I had read this book then. Lawrence's writing is eloquent and draws the reader to walk in his path through Zulu Land. Every animal is his friend from the wild life in the bush to the domesticated pets in the house, I felt that I could stroke them all.
Even if you are not an animal lover you will feel differently about elephants after you have read this sensitive book.
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on 13 April 2012
This book is an emotional roller-coaster. Although I bought the book at a discount price, after reading, I would happily have paid the full cover price. Very good value.

The author owns a large tract of land in South Africa and is a conservationist. He is offered a herd (including babies) of 'problem' elephants from another area in Africa that will be put to sleep if he says no. He knows nothing about elephants but, as I think we all might, says yes, as the alternative is too awful to contemplate. Immediately they arrive they break loose out of his enclosed land. After a protracted chase and round up, the story continues as an intriguing look at how they settle into their new home and a relationship is very gradually built up between the author and the elephants. We also get a first hand look at how life is lived in the often dangerous African land with predators and poisonous reptiles seemingly everywhere. It makes you realise just how safe we are in England when we step outside the front door in the morning. At times the story had me page turning very quickly as I wanted to ensure everything turned out OK; be warned, sometimes it doesn't, and other times it made me laugh out loud. I even shed a tear, more than once. The events are told in a very easy manner and so it is a fluid read.

I just hope this is the first instalment of his life in South Africa. It makes you want to visit too when you read they have a luxury visitor camp. If you enjoy travel literature, wildlife or even just a really good yarn I'm sure you won't be disappointed.
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on 4 February 2018
Truly amazing story, vivid, well written, gripping for fans of elephants and their great ntelligence. They are like humans, can let you in to their circle of close friends, trust you still being aware of other bad humans,just like among people but their relationships are far stronger and more reliable, I read the book with immense pleasure as if I was there during the encounters with the herd
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on 24 March 2015
This is such a great book where you get the REAL story of how Lawrence Anthony became a great admirer and preserver of elephants against many tough odds - and even, at first, against his own will. It is a compelling story and although biographies sometimes can be a bit "boring" this one here is just the opposite - I just couldn't put it down.
It is an amazing discovery to read this book and you learn a lot about elephants of how magnificent animals they really are - and how it is possible, if you possesses such a great insight and sensibility as our whisperer, to communicate with this creatures and learn to understand the individual nature of the elephants within the flock.
Highly recommended!
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on 17 January 2018
I am thoroughly enjoying this lovely book. The author made such a lot of effort to build a relationship with the elephants and gain their trust. After his death, the herd made their way to his house and spent time grieving for him. Amazing animals and wonderful man. Recommended read.
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