×

Uh-oh, it looks like your Internet Explorer is out of date.

For a better shopping experience, please upgrade now.

Giraffe
     

Giraffe

4.6 16
by J. M. Ledgard
 

See All Formats & Editions

In April 1975, forty-seven giraffes were executed in a zoo in a small Czechoslovakian town. There are no records of the event. This strange and beautiful novel tells their story from the moment of their capture in Africa, to the night when they are secretly shot one by one.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Post to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews

Giraffe 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Beautiful, surreal picture of life under Communist rule in Europe. Very mood evoking and sometimes disturbing. Well worth reading.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Deal
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
'GIRAFFE: A Novel' is an extraordinary, poetic work, a book by first novelist J.M. Ledgard that relates a tale based on a true incident and makes it seem like a feat of magical realism. The language he uses is staggeringly beautiful, rich in descriptive allusions, rife with political overtones, and filled with compassionate nature that usually comes only with many years of writing. The book may disturb because of the topic, but to miss the exotic pleasure of reading Ledgard would be a tragedy: Ledgard has a gift, and imagination, and all the prerequisites for a successful career in letters. The story, very briefly, tells of the travels of a group of some fifty giraffes from their native land to a zoo in Czechoslovakia in 1973 and their subsequent slaughter on May Day in 1975. Ledgard wisely names his chapters after the characters involved, beginning chapter one with Snehurka, a giraffe who narrates to us as it is being born and who is to become the head cow of the band of animals being transported. We then meet Emil, a hemodynamicist, who as a scientist accompanies the giraffes on train and barge to their destination, falling under the influence of Snehurka and the wonder of the magnificence of these anatomically bizarre animals. Once the animals are ensconced in the zoo we meet Hus the animal keeper Amina a sleepwalking girl named after the main character of Bellini¿s opera `La Sonambula¿ who works in a Christmas ornament factory and connects with the animals in the zoo - especially the giraffes Jiri, a sharpshooter whose job it will be to shoot the giraffes once the 'contagion among them' is discovered Tadeas, a virologist, who assigns Emil with the task of collecting blood samples after the killings and the various officials of the 'Communist moment' who direct the secret destruction of the giraffes and their disposal. Each of these characters becomes so palpably real (though they are fictitious creations based on the story of those who participated in the actual slaughter) that their interaction is understandable and gains our empathy. No small feat, this, but that is the quality of writing Ledgard gives us. Ledgard repeats significant phrases such as 'the Communist moment' and 'we are bound together, all of us, by suffering, even more than joy' and mixes these philosophical and political messages with some of the most eloquently beautiful descriptions of the seasons and landscapes of Czechoslovakia ever written. He drives his message of the slaughter home but in a way that makes us feel as though this book is simply a novel and not reportage. The result is a book that contains memorable reading as well as a story that will disturb even the hardest of souls. It is a remarkable novel, all the more so for being a first effort! Grady Harp
GailCooke More than 1 year ago
If purely fiction Giraffe would be a tragic story, sure to touch our hearts. However, the knowledge that it is based upon an actual incident serves to make Ledgard's strong narrative even more lamentable. This listener was not only saddened but incensed. On a mild spring day in a small Czechoslovakian town 49 giraffes held in captivity were shot and dismembered. This was the largest herd of giraffes ever confined twenty-three of them were pregnant. The slaughter was ordered by the communist government, with no explanation then or in time to come. These quiet, graceful animals had been caught in Africa and brought to a zoo. The story of their capture and eventual massacre, in Ledgard's story, serves as a political parable as seen through the eyes of Emil, who traveled with the animals, Jiri, a shooter hired to kill the giraffes, and the most poignant observer of all, Snehurka, a giraffe cow. There is much to ponder in Ledgard's well crafted tale, and much to appreciate in the narrative voices who give it life. A twenty year veteran of New York theatre, Jamie Heinlein is an affecting reader, mirroring innocence. Pablo Schreiber, remembered for his film roles in The Manchurian Candidate and Lords of Dogtown, offers a well paced, resonant narration. These two readers are an exemplary example of the richness that can be brought to the written word. - Gail Cooke
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Whatever
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MIBNJB. Everyone is leaving. 3rdkid is sooo depressed. Please tell me you wont leave, too?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I know right hey what grade are you in im a sineor
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hi... my name is Kristen. I am interested. I have brown eyes, sandy blonde hair. I am 14. I am a cheerleader for the football and basketball team. My name is pronounced ( Kris-teen.) I love to sing and cheer. I am in 8th grade about to go in 9th. I love drama class. I love to eat sald and keep a good balance with my weight. I am popular. I hope that I am picked. ;) Oh and I love to party and have fun.~~~Kris
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Did u know that if a girl sends a guy a text saying hey with 2 y's it means she is either pregnant or wants to have his kids? CAYLA
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am izy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have never read this book but i love giraffs i got a giraff pilow pet it is so cute
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Get a life please no one wants be ur gf okay? So go find ur soul mate somewhere else other than the internet. Someone reply to #1zaynmalikhater if u agree that people should not be finding their soul mate on the internet.