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100 Pages A Day...Stephanie's Book Reviews

I absolutely love historical fiction and read a lot of it; I love to learn history this way.  I also enjoy reading science fiction, fantasy, horror, thriller and non-fiction science.

The Tusk That Did The Damage

The Tusk That Did the Damage: A novel - Tania James

"The world is changing.  If it was not changing, it would not be the world."

A story of the Indian Elephant ivory trade told through the eyes of an elephant deemed The Gravedigger, two documentary filmmakers, Teddy and Emma and brothers Jayan, an accomplished poacher and Manu, a reluctant poacher.  The Gravedigger was pulled away from his dead mother when he was a calf and sold into a life of labor and entertainment for people.  When he breaks his bonds, The Gravedigger returns to the wild, but when he comes across people he kills and then solemnly buries them.  Teddy and Emma are young filmmakers hoping to make a break with a documentary about Ravi, a veterinarian and his ability to rehabilitate elephant calves. Jayan and Manu are sons of a drunken rice farmer. As Jayan finds his purpose in the poaching world, he brings in his wary brother into the dangerous trade.

The Tusk That Did The Damage proved to be an intense and emotional book.  As I read from each point of view, small chunks of a much larger story were pieced together to see how the lives of an Elephant, village poachers, a documentary film crew and an elephant sanctuary caretaker are pulled together.  I had no idea where this story was going, but I always expect elephant stories to be sad.  This story was tragic, but not in the ways I was expecting.  The writing was very unique and each point of view held their own, as the points of view switched from one story to the next there was a sense of urgency built up that kept me from putting the book down.  I was most captivated by The Gravediggers narrative, as an elephant who suffers tragedy at the hands of humans and then hands it back with the need to bury the dead; The Gravedigger's voice compelled me as the voice of an animal gives feelings and emotions to a human world.  Though the very beginning felt a little choppy and confusing to me with quickly changing stories and point of view, the stories were quickly pulled together for an amazing and unique read.

This book was received for free in return for an honest review. 

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