Customer Reviews for

Alex and Me: How a Scientist and a Parrot Discovered a Hidden World of Animal Intelligence - and Formed a Deep Bond in the Process

Average Rating 4.5
( 77 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(45)

4 Star

(15)

3 Star

(12)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(1)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

12 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

Truly amazing! Cry, laugh, and learn why "Bird Brain" is really a compliment

I loved this book. It is about a science experiment to prove the intelligence of an african gray parrot, but it is anything but a dry scientific report. It is told with so much love and feeling, it pulls you into the story and you get to know Alex very well.
I was ...
I loved this book. It is about a science experiment to prove the intelligence of an african gray parrot, but it is anything but a dry scientific report. It is told with so much love and feeling, it pulls you into the story and you get to know Alex very well.
I was most surprised by the concepts Alex picked up and learned on his own, without being taught: like to say no and mean it, or to apologize. I also loved how strict he was as an assistant teacher to subsequent other parrots, telling them to say words better. He could be quite bossy.
Overall, it is a warm, compelling and immensly interesting book.

posted by Astrid_T on October 29, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Alex & Me is a journey into the capacity of animals to think, reason and emote.

For those that are skeptical about the ability of animals to think, reason, act on their thinking and reasoning and their ability to have emotions, Alex & Me should open your minds. Alex was an African Gray parrot who transformed the way scientists look at the minds of...
For those that are skeptical about the ability of animals to think, reason, act on their thinking and reasoning and their ability to have emotions, Alex & Me should open your minds. Alex was an African Gray parrot who transformed the way scientists look at the minds of animals.

This story is abundant with anecdotes of Alex's life and achievements, and chronicles the relationship between him and Dr. Irene Pepperberg. For the animal lover, you are sure to have your beliefs in animal cognition bolstered. For those that aren't animal lovers, you are sure to gain a new respect for animals. For everyone, this book will bring laughs and a tear to the eye.

All in all, the book is an easy and good read. I found myself wanting to know more about Alex's achievments than the bookk provided, and I was a little disappointed in the amount of time Pepperberg spent on her personal life. But I learned a lot about the animal mind and will never again use the term "bird brain" in a derogatory manner.

posted by cfboyd1961 on February 17, 2009

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  • Posted October 29, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Truly amazing! Cry, laugh, and learn why "Bird Brain" is really a compliment

    I loved this book. It is about a science experiment to prove the intelligence of an african gray parrot, but it is anything but a dry scientific report. It is told with so much love and feeling, it pulls you into the story and you get to know Alex very well. <BR/>I was most surprised by the concepts Alex picked up and learned on his own, without being taught: like to say no and mean it, or to apologize. I also loved how strict he was as an assistant teacher to subsequent other parrots, telling them to say words better. He could be quite bossy.<BR/>Overall, it is a warm, compelling and immensly interesting book.

    12 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2009

    amazing alex

    What an enjoyable read...Alex was quite a character, and left the world with a greater understanding of how animals think, and feel. Informative, entertaining, a good balance between scientific research and story telling,I was amazed with his antics and abilities ,and couldn't help falling in love with the little guy.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 23, 2008

    Alex & Me

    This is one of the best books I have read that made sense as to the parrot world! As a parrot owner myself, Dr. Pepperberg poured her heart out in the book and I hope she is able to go on with "The Alex Foundation" and her research with Wart and Griffin!<BR/><BR/>This books is heart felt and informative! Coodos to you Dr. P<BR/><BR/>Cynthia LaChester

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 9, 2008

    Alex & Me was absolutely excellent!

    I recommend giving this book to anyone who is associated with people who have birds, they will come away with a better understanding of the love we feel for our feathered children.<BR/>I truly enjoyed this book, we would not have considered an African Grey Parrot if it were not for Alex. Our baby died 5mos ago at 9yrs old, it was clearly my own feelings Irene Pepperberg described, once I was able to complete the first chapter, through my tears, it was a wonderful book telling of her tribulations and the excitement of her learning that birds are more aware than she ever knew!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2011

    Can't get any better than this!

    The title says it all. It is the biography of both bird and person. All the work done by both to accomplish what many didin't believe could happen. Well written, easy reading, and yet, statistical sound, I could follow the research process that Pepperberg went through in her work with Alex. It will give you a new respect for "bird brains."

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2011

    Inspiring

    I originally purchased this book because I knew of Alex but did not know the story behind why Dr. Pepperberg started out on the journey to research birds. I did not expect such a beautiful heartfelt story.

    As a bird lover and owner, this book brought me much joy and sadness, and gave me a much better understanding of my relationship with my Quaker parrot.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 11, 2009

    a delightful read for parrot owners

    if you own parrots, you will really appreciate the training that Alex went through and the patience of his trainer.
    it is a true story, not very lengthy and supports the "theory" that some parrots do realize what they say, not just mimick their handlers. granted, Alex was one parrot in a very few who achieved such a level of intelligence. after you read the book, you will wish you had met him.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2009

    Excellent!

    Outstanding telling of Dr. Pepperberg's research with Alex and African Grays in general. If anyone has doubts about the intelligence of animals, this will definitely eliminate them.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Sweet and touching

    The book is a great quick read. It was very touching, had it's scientific elements in discussing the research this lil guy revolutionized. It's warm, it's funny, and unfortunately quite sad as well. The story of how this lil guy comes into this scientist's life and basically changes the way scientists previously thought of these creatures. I know they do not just mimic or repeat words. Humans want to think they are one of the few that are capable of emotion, intelligence, communication, etc., but we have to realise that creatures of all sizes have emotions, intelligence and communicate in their own way. I have known several people that own African Grey Parrots and these birds demonstrate time and time again that they are quite capable of understanding questions and feelings, hence being able to respond to questions or commands accurately. I recommend this book to anyone who loves animals and science :)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 17, 2009

    Alex & Me is a journey into the capacity of animals to think, reason and emote.

    For those that are skeptical about the ability of animals to think, reason, act on their thinking and reasoning and their ability to have emotions, Alex & Me should open your minds. Alex was an African Gray parrot who transformed the way scientists look at the minds of animals.<BR/><BR/>This story is abundant with anecdotes of Alex's life and achievements, and chronicles the relationship between him and Dr. Irene Pepperberg. For the animal lover, you are sure to have your beliefs in animal cognition bolstered. For those that aren't animal lovers, you are sure to gain a new respect for animals. For everyone, this book will bring laughs and a tear to the eye.<BR/><BR/>All in all, the book is an easy and good read. I found myself wanting to know more about Alex's achievments than the bookk provided, and I was a little disappointed in the amount of time Pepperberg spent on her personal life. But I learned a lot about the animal mind and will never again use the term "bird brain" in a derogatory manner.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2008

    Insightful and inspirational!

    I have never been so emotionally affected by a book as I have with this one! A truly inspirational story about the famous African Grey parrot, Alex, and the scientist who studied him. "Bird brain" will have a whole new meaning after reading this book and learning about avian intelligence. This story explains the scientific studies involving African Grey parrots and the emotional and intellectual relationships among humans and other species. It shows how the tenacity, passion, and dedication of Dr. Pepperburg, led to the discovery of the intelligence of birds. It is a truly inspirational story and the best animal-related book that I have ever read! R.I.P. Alex.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2013

    Excellent and heartwarming

    A must-read for scientists and bird lovers alike!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2013

    Ggoo Good

    I did not like the way it told u it died

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2012

    I wanna get this but...

    Want to read a sample on my simple touch nook ereader but no sign for one. Is this just me or do any of you see this problem? *confoozeled* :-( !!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2012

    Deserves 10 stars

    Great story and i learnda lot. It almost made me cry

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  • Posted February 4, 2012

    Very Informative

    This book was reccommended by a friend becasue I was wanting to read bird books. I learned a lot about African Greys and their capabilities. It was very moving and interesting. It would be a great read for people that still think that animals cant or dont think or feel. Which we all know is not true. Her struggle to prove that though is one worth praising!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2011

    Good Great book!!!

    I dont know what to say!!!!!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 26, 2011

    One of my all-time favorites!

    I read this book a at least a couple years ago and plan to reread soon. With so many books I think that is the best compliment!

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  • Posted April 23, 2011

    Loved This!,

    Maybe you have to like and appreciate the gifts animals bring to our lives, but I found this book so enjoyable. Alex is a platinum plated star and I could see so well why Dr. Pepperberg loved him so much. Bonus...when you finish it, you can watch some actual videos of Dr. Pepperberg and Alex working together. Just search Alex parrot.

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  • Posted January 25, 2010

    Alex and Me Hits a Grand Slam in Describing the Relationship and Interconnectedness of All Life

    Alex and Me is a poignant recounting of the author's relationship with Alex, a parrot, with whom she worked, studied, learned and loved for thirty years. The Most important lesson for me is
    from pages 223 and 4

    Referring to reductionism (whatever that is), the Author says "It falls short because it fails to recognize the connectedness, the unity, that is the deep essence of nature in all realms.There is a oneness in nature in the essence of interdependence.But I strongly believe in the oneness and beauty of the world that Alex taught Deb and me. My philosophy of life is based on an appreciation of the holistic nature of the world.My religion is therefore much akin to the Native American lore of being and belonging, of equality and responsibility for nature.""

    The unity of all life is a message that all humnaity needs to hear and listen to.

    A. Eric Rosen

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