At Large: The Fugitive Odyssey of Murray Hill and His Elephants

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Ross's ( Fears of the Moon ) account of a bitter feud is the stuff of muckraking tabloids, and the elephants are the book's only endearing characters. Once a nightclub accordion player, Arlan Seidon (aka Murray Hill) became an animal handler in middle age, acquiring exotic beasts and booking their appearances across the U.S. His legal troubles began in 1984, when, at age 50, he decided to retire, and sold his trailer rig and two female Asian elephants, Tory and Dutchesssp correct , to father-and-son animal trainers Dick and Eddie Drake. When the Drakes defaulted and Murray repossessed his property, he discovered that Tory and Dutchess had been harshly abused. In court, a judge later discredited for bias in the case awarded the Drakes both rig and elephants; a flabbergasted Murray, desperate to protect ``the girls,'' hid them until he was captured by the FBI in late 1989. Now the Drakes have the elephants, but Murray, we're told, is considering an appeal. Latrine humor, stubbornness and immaturity on both sides, and mockery of animal-rights activists may irritate readers; Murray's own journal entries--close observations of the elephants' behavior and health--constitute the book's intimate, informative segments. Photos not seen by PW . Film rights to Guber-Peters Productions/Columbia Pictures; author tour. (May)
Library Journal
An animal adventure story to delight readers everywhere. Elephant trainer Hill decides to retire from the circus/performance business and sell off his animal acts--including two Asian elephants named Tory and Duchess. He strikes an agreement with Richard Drake, a man intent upon breaking into the circus business. The deal turns sour when Drake doesn't make the agreed-upon payments . . . and Hill discovers that his ``girls'' are being abused. The case goes to court and the adventures begin when the verdict is not found in Hill's favor. He kidnaps his elephants and spends the next five-plus years hiding himself as well as Tory and Duchess from the Drake brothers, the law, and the FBI. One never tires of Hill's adventures in this readable, hilarious, and often unbelievable account. In fact, one reaches the end of the book wishing there was more--and more. Refreshing reading that is highly recommended. (Movie rights sold to Columbia Pictures.)-- Edell Marie Peters, Brookfield P.L., Wis.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679409373
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/26/1992

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