Birch, Carol Jamrach's Menagerie

ISBN 13: 9780385534406

Jamrach's Menagerie

3.58 avg rating
( 7,144 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780385534406: Jamrach's Menagerie
View all copies of this ISBN edition:
 
 

Jamrach's Menagerie A thrilling and powerful novel about a young 19th-century boy lured to sea by the promise of adventure and reward, with echoes of "Great Expectations, Moby-Dick," and "The Voyage of the Narwhal." Full description

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Review:


" "One of the best stories I've ever read; an extraordinarily good and completely original book."
"--A. S. Byatt, author of "The Children's Book "in a BBC Interview
""Transcendently researched, unsparing and hypnotic, Jamrach's Menagerie takes us to the edge of endurance where it becomes impossible to distinguish the captor from the captive. Carol Birch's urgent and wise story goes far beyond any whaling expedition, plumbing the depths of how we create our own humanity. It is a thrill to welcome this remarkable novelist to a larger American audience."
--"Sheri Holman, " author of The Dress Lodger"
"[T]here are enough strange sights, pervasive smells and sounds and curious characters to keep most novelists - and readers - going strong for three times the number of pages that there are here..... a rather subtler story of the hazy line


" "One of the best stories I've ever read; an extraordinarily good and completely original book."
"--A. S. Byatt, author of "The Children's Book "in a BBC Interview
""Transcendently researched, unsparing and hypnotic, Jamrach's Menagerie takes us to the edge of endurance where it becomes impossible to distinguish the captor from the captive. Carol Birch's urgent and wise story goes far beyond any whaling expedition, plumbing the depths of how we create our own humanity. It is a thrill to welcome this remarkable novelist to a larger American audience."
--"Sheri Holman, " author of The Dress Lodger"
"[T]here are enough strange sights, pervasive smells and sounds and curious characters to keep most novelists - and readers - going strong for three times the number of pages that there are here..... a rather subtler story of the hazy line between camaraderie and rivalry and of the bonds both forged and broken in extreme adversity.....Birch does more than simp

"[An] almost unbearably suspenseful story of adventure and survival....as the story advances, a powerfully pervasive sense of melancholy takes hold of the reader, much as the tiger did young Jaffy, and one wonders if it will ever let go. Though Mr. Jamrach is based on a real historical figure, and Jaffy's voyage on that of the ill-fated whaler Essex, the story is entirely Birch's, and her principal characters are her own wonderful invention. She is, moreover, a brilliant stylist; reader her is like Christmas, every word being a gift to the reader. Though Birch is an established writer in England, this is her first novel to be published in the U.S. One fervently hopes it will not be the last."--"Booklist," starred review

"A magical, literary novel puts a surreal spin on a coming-of-age seafaring saga....retains a sense of childlike wonder in its lyrical prose....Jaffy's experience could well move the reader as profoundly as it changed the narrator"--"Kirkus," starred revie

"[An] unusual tale.....acclaimed British author Carol Birch is a literary original who writes with real assurance."--"Christian Science Monitor"
"[An] almost unbearably suspenseful story of adventure and survival....as the story advances, a powerfully pervasive sense of melancholy takes hold of the reader, much as the tiger did young Jaffy, and one wonders if it will ever let go. Though Mr. Jamrach is based on a real historical figure, and Jaffy's voyage on that of the ill-fated whaler Essex, the story is entirely Birch's, and her principal characters are her own wonderful invention. She is, moreover, a brilliant stylist; reader her is like Christmas, every word being a gift to the reader. Though Birch is an established writer in England, this is her first novel to be published in the U.S. One fervently hopes it will not be the last."--"Booklist," starred review

"A magical, literary novel puts a surreal spin on a coming-of-age seafaring saga....retains a sense of c

" "One of the best stories I've ever read; an extraordinarily good and completely original book."
"--A. S. Byatt, author of "The Children's Book "in a BBC Interview
"Melville meets Dickens...."Jamrach's Menagerie" is a moving, fantastically exciting sea tale that takes you back to those great 19th-century stories that first convinced you 'there is no frigate like a book'....One of the magical qualities of Birch's story is that it gives that sense of Dickensian sprawl and scope even though it's spun in fewer than 300 pages.....Another wonder of this novel is sweet Jaffy's dynamic voice, which evolves from the wide-eyed enthusiasms of boyhood to the weary melancholy of middle age. In the early pages, everything comes to us teeming with the lush sensory overload of his 8-year-old mind, a riot of impressions and fresh metaphors.....But it's the novel's long second part that will keep you up late and make you feel distracted whenever you have to set it down and leave Jaffy's w

LONGLISTED for the 2011 Man Booker Prize for Fiction
" "One of the best stories I've ever read; an extraordinarily good and completely original book."
"--A. S. Byatt, author of "The Children's Book "in a BBC Interview

"Beautifully written....Birch has created an electric and cluttered cabinet of curiosities, sprinkled with keenly heard jangles of singsongy dialogue.....as the novel takes off on a three-cord braid of adventure story, survival drama and coming-of-age tale.....the spirit is that of a high-seas adventure novel, a Victorian book for boys...[before] Birch begins to turn down the lights. Now we get a survival story as the crew is lost at sea. This is the novel's strongest section....hallucinatory haze....function [s] as a brilliant device.....Probably the most interesting element of this novel is not its horrors, but its colorful milieu, the late-19th-century interest in naturalism....And in Jaffy, Birch has captured a boyish wonder in nature....As ph

SHORTLISTED for the 2011 Man Booker Prize for Fiction

""One of the best stories I ve ever read; an extraordinarily good and completely original book."
"--A. S. Byatt, author of "The Children's Book "in a BBC Interview

"Beautifully written....Birch has created an electric and cluttered cabinet of curiosities, sprinkled with keenly heard jangles of singsongy dialogue.....as the novel takes off on a three-cord braid of adventure story, survival drama and coming-of-age tale.....the spirit is that of a high-seas adventure novel, a Victorian book for boys...[before] Birch begins to turn down the lights. Now we get a survival story as the crew is lost at sea. This is the novel's strongest section....hallucinatory haze....function [s] as a brilliant device.....Probably themost interesting element of this novel is not its horrors, but its colorful milieu, the late-19th-century interest in naturalism....And in Jaffy, Birch has captured a boyish wonder in nature....As phantasmagoric as the mood of this novel gets, there is nothing in it that steps outside the bounds of reality, for it knows the real world is fantastic enough."
--"The New York Times Book Review"
Melville meets Dickens...."Jamrach s Menagerie" is a moving, fantastically exciting sea tale that takes you back to those great 19th-century stories that first convinced you 'there is no frigate like a book'....One of the magical qualities of Birch s story is that it gives that sense of Dickensian sprawl and scope even though it s spun in fewer than 300 pages.....Another wonder of this novel is sweet Jaffy s dynamic voice, which evolves from the wide-eyed enthusiasms of boyhood to the weary melancholy of middle age. In the early pages, everything comes to us teeming with the lush sensory overload of his 8-year-old mind, a riot of impressions and fresh metaphors.....But it s the novel s long second part that will keep you up late and make you feel distracted whenever you have to set it down and leave Jaffy s world behind.....Although "Moby-Dick" and "Jamrach s Menagerie" are very different novels, Birch holds her own with breathtaking descriptions of the harpooners in action, the gory rendering of the world s largest mammals and timber-splitting storms that crash down on the ship like giant ax blades. Even her monitor lizard seems capable of carrying the mantle of that deadly white whale. After all, a whale makes a great canvas on which Melville can project all his philosophical and theological concerns, but for bloodcurdling mayhem, nothing beats a riled-up Komodo dragon....While Melville wraps up his epic a few paragraphs after Moby-Dick s fatal strike, Birch pursues her tenderhearted hero into the madness that lies beyond mere survival. It s a harrowing voyage that subjects the young man and us to ghastly deprivations and unimaginable choices, stuck between a mad God and merciless nature. For a new salty adventure across the watery part of the world, you won t find a better passage than "Jamrach s Menagerie.""
--"The Washington Post
"
"[An] unusual tale.....acclaimed British author Carol Birch is a literary original who writes with real assurance."
--"Christian Science Monitor"
"Vivid, gorgeous writing and the most curious literary voyage since Pi Patel found himself on a lifeboat with a tiger in "Life of Pi.""
--"The Seattle Times"
"[An] almost unbearably suspenseful story of adventure and survival....as the story advances, a powerfully pervasive sense of melancholy takes hold of the reader, much as the tigerdid young Jaffy, and one wonders if it will ever let go. Though Mr. Jamrach is based on a real historical figure, and Jaffy's voyage on that of the ill-fated whaler Essex, the story is entirely Birch's, and her principal characters are her own wonderful invention. She is, moreover, a brilliant stylist; reader her is like Christmas, every word being a gift to the reader. Though Birch is an established writer in England, this is her first novel to be published in the U.S. One fervently hopes it will not be the last."--"Booklist," starred review
"Powerful....Harrowing is a mild word to describe the sea voyage that follows."--"New Jersey Star-Ledger
"
"A magical, literary novel puts a surreal spin ona coming-of-age seafaring saga....retains a sense of childlike wonder in its lyrical prose....Jaffy's experience could well move the reader as profoundly as it changed the narrator"--"Kirkus," starred review
This wracking maritime psychodrama follows a young boy from his humble beginnings as a child laborer in late 19th-century London to the South Pacific, finding bits of whimsy and beauty in a chaotic story ..Birch's writing is assured and enticing, and she's especially talented at creating floating, still moments amid the action "Publishers Weekly"

""Transcendently researched, unsparing and hypnotic, Jamrach's Menagerie takes us to the edge of endurance where it becomes impossible to distinguish the captor from the captive. Carol Birch's urgent and wise story goes far beyond any whaling expedition, plumbing the depths of how we create our own humanity. It is a thrill to welcome this remarkable novelist to a larger American audience."
--"Sheri Holman, " author of The Dress Lodger
"
""Jamrach s Menagerie" just gets better and better as it builds toward a powerful, unforgettable crescendo.....Birch is a masterful stylist. Her language is lively, bright and often surprising."
--"The Montreal Gazette"
[T]here are enough strange sights, pervasive smells and sounds and curious characters to keep most novelists and readers going strong for three times the number of pages that there are here .. a rather subtler story of the hazy line between camaraderie and rivalry and of the bonds both forged and broken in extreme adversity ..Birch does more than simply recreate history ..she conjures something far stranger and less immediately graspable than a straightforward recitation of facts would allow. Jaffy's journey is suffused with yearning to find his place in the fluid but implacable hierarchy of the seamen, to understand the mysteries of the sea and its creatures and of the unknown and unknowable places that he witnesses . rendered with exceptional control, elucidating the see-sawing bond between Jaffy and Tim and the gradual disintegration of the sailors' bodies andminds ..Birch has spun us a captivating yarn of high seas and even higher drama. "The Guardian"
An imaginative tour-de-force, encompassing the sights and smells of 19th-century London and the wild sea . It s gripping, superbly written and a delight "The Times"
Riveting . . . Birch is masterful at evoking period and place . . . Jamrach s Menagerie is itself a teeming exhibition of the beautiful and the bizarre, and its serious ideas about the relationship between mankind and the natural world are communicated with such delicacy of touch that they never slow down the propulsive telling of the story or dim the brilliance of the prose. "Sunday Times"
An exuberant tale of sea-faring, exotic fauna and drunken shore leave ..Her prose has an irresistible vigour her words sing on the page "Jamrach s Menagerie" puts its characters through the mangler and invites us to inspect the damage and perhaps to consider that ultimately such experiences are about nothing but the acquisition of scars. The novel is a vehicle for the delivery of somatic shocks to the reader s brain .Birch s book also burns. "The Financial Times
"
Carol Birch s storytelling excels . as compelling as they re convincing . Birch produces a sustained feat of imagination and diligent research "The Daily Mail"
""
""
" "A stirring Victorian-era tale so exquisitely written that your eye will year to linger over each sumptuous sentence even as your fingers scramble at the paper's edge to reveal what happens next. Everything you could want in a rousing adventure is here .culminates in a satisfyingly redemptive ending .Birch's description of the whale kill rivals any of Melville's, except in this case there's an added dose of humanity, making for a harrowing, heartbreaking passage. The visceral horror of killing another living being is depicted with piercing sadness .with my heart pounding hard and fast, I abandoned all thoughts of bedtime and kept turning pages until I'd finished the novel in one whale-sized gulp Such is the power of Birch's writing that in common with her sailors, I felt a thirst no amount of water could slake. I felt salt-crusted and festering. I felt the mingled sadness and relief, as one man's death allowed another to live. Jamrach's Menagerie is a remarkable achievement, full of poetry and poignancy, adrenalin and anguish. I hope Birch finds the wide audience she deserves. I know I'll be spreading the word. "The Scotsman
"
[H]er salty historical adventure set on the perilous ocean .[is] potentially a career-defining book ..visceral and primal .and though this is very much an adventure story, the writing is thoughtful and elevating as well as effortlessly readable ..Birch transfers that passion for history to the page [in] vivid style. "The National
"
Carol Birch may have her moment this year with "Jamrach's Menagerie," a vividly written tall tale of 19th-century adventure which takes its young hero from the banks of the Thames to the South Seas in search of a dragon "The Guardian
"
"Birch is consistent in surprise - in her inventive language and her characters' idiosyncrasies....Birch's lyrical powers are at their height.....

Book Description:

'Put Moby Dick, Treasure Island and The Rime of the Ancient Mariner into a pot, add a pinch of Dickens, and you will get the flavour of Carol Birch's hugely entertaining novel.' Mail on Sunday

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9781847676573: Jamrach's Menagerie

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  184767657X ISBN 13:  9781847676573
Publisher: Canongate Books, 2011
Softcover

9780307743176: Jamrach's Menagerie

Vintage, 2012
Softcover

9781847676566: Jamrach's Menagerie

Canong..., 2011
Softcover

9781444809008: Jamrach's Menagerie

Charnwood, 2011
Hardcover

9780857863836: Jamrach's Menagerie

Canong..., 2011
Softcover

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Birch, Carol
Published by Doubleday
ISBN 10: 038553440X ISBN 13: 9780385534406
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
WCC Corp.
(Moorpark, CA, U.S.A.)

Book Description Doubleday. Hardcover. Condition: New. 038553440X. Seller Inventory # P5-1027F

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
9.38
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.04
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

2.

Birch, Carol
Published by Doubleday (2011)
ISBN 10: 038553440X ISBN 13: 9780385534406
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Gulf Coast Books
(Memphis, TN, U.S.A.)

Book Description Doubleday, 2011. Hardcover. Condition: New. 038553440X Ships from Tennessee, usually the same or next day. Seller Inventory # Z038553440XZN

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
12.51
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

3.

Carol Birch
Published by Doubleday (2011)
ISBN 10: 038553440X ISBN 13: 9780385534406
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Irish Booksellers
(Portland, ME, U.S.A.)

Book Description Doubleday, 2011. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M038553440X

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
10.30
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.63
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

4.

Birch, Carol
Published by Doubleday (2011)
ISBN 10: 038553440X ISBN 13: 9780385534406
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
GridFreed
(Las Vegas, NV, U.S.A.)

Book Description Doubleday, 2011. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # SDBOX16-SB10192019-1467

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
10.63
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.80
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

5.

Carol Birch
Published by Doubleday (2011)
ISBN 10: 038553440X ISBN 13: 9780385534406
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Ergodebooks
(RICHMOND, TX, U.S.A.)

Book Description Doubleday, 2011. Hardcover. Condition: New. Seller Inventory # DADAX038553440X

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
17.57
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

6.

Birch, Carol
Published by Doubleday (2011)
ISBN 10: 038553440X ISBN 13: 9780385534406
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Pleasant Nights Bookshop
(Baltimore, MD, U.S.A.)

Book Description Doubleday, 2011. Hard Cover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. Seller Inventory # 010627

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
15.69
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.05
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

7.

Birch, Carol
Published by U.S.A.: Doubleday (2011)
ISBN 10: 038553440X ISBN 13: 9780385534406
New Hardcover First Edition Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Far Fetched Books
(Leavenworth, WA, U.S.A.)

Book Description U.S.A.: Doubleday, 2011. Hardcover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. First printing of first edition with complete number line. Unmarked, unclipped, bright, tight beautiful copy. Includes a fine Advance Reading Copy so that you can read the book without threatening the pristine condition of the hardback. Archival mylar wrapped dust jacket. Bubble wrapped and ships in box. Seller Inventory # 2065

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
19.61
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.04
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

8.

Birch, Carol
Published by Doubleday (2011)
ISBN 10: 038553440X ISBN 13: 9780385534406
New Hardcover First Edition Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Dan Pope Books
(West Hartford, CT, U.S.A.)

Book Description Doubleday, 2011. Hardcover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. NEW YORK: Doubleday [2011]. First American edition. First printing. Hardbound. New/New. A pristine unread copy, very fine in all respects. Comes with mylar dust jacket protector. All books shipped in sturdy boxes. Smoke-free, defect-free, etc. Purchased new and never opened. Short-list nominee for Booker Prize, 2011. This is the first hardcover edition in English. The British edition was a trade paperback original. 0.0. Seller Inventory # 09-2011-67

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
39.22
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.01
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

9.

Birch, Carol
Published by Doubleday
ISBN 10: 038553440X ISBN 13: 9780385534406
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Cloud 9 Books
(Wellington, FL, U.S.A.)

Book Description Doubleday. Hardcover. Condition: New. 038553440X New Condition. Seller Inventory # NEW33.1068478

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
54.91
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.80
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

10.

Birch, Carol
ISBN 10: 038553440X ISBN 13: 9780385534406
New Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
BennettBooksLtd
(San Diego, CA, U.S.A.)

Book Description Condition: New. New. Seller Inventory # M-038553440X

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
55.81
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: 3.77
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

There are more copies of this book

View all search results for this book