by Gerald Durrell
I had no idea this book was going to be so much fun. Nor did I realize before, that Gerald Durrell had written any novels. He\’s one of my favorite authors but a bit hard to find so I am trying to add as many of his books to my library as I can.
The story is about a man named Adrian whose life is thrown into turmoil when his uncle dies and leaves him an elephant to care for. Not knowing what else to do with the enormous (but gentle) beast, he decides to travel with the elephant to the seashore where he hopes a circus will take her off his hands. Rosy the elephant is very good-natured but has a weakness for alcohol, and also having been a performer, thinks that many exciting circumstances she ends up in are an opportunity to do her tricks. They cause various kinds of innocent havoc with a foxhunt in the countryside, a high-society birthday ball and a theater performance. In the end, various outraged people who want justice for injuries and damage come pursuing Adrian. He stands out, as there are no other elephants wandering the English countryside in 1900. In fact, most people they meet are astonished, having never seen an elephant before. But Adrian has also gathered some friends along the way, and Rosy\’s friendly personality has won her even more. There are several chapters about the court appearance and trial. Honestly I was dreading this part of the story when I saw it coming. I was afraid it would spoil the book for me, as I usually find such scenes very dull and tedious. On the contrary, it was the most amusing court scene I have ever read! I was laughing out loud for pages and pages. A wonderful, fun story. I do believe it is based on a real man and his elephant, but not sure how much else was true.
Rating: 4/5 239 pages, 1968