Elephant Books for Adult Readers


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Title:   "A Book Of Elephants"
Author:   Ashok Davar
Illustrated:  
Illustrator:   n/a
Basis:   Fiction
Category:   Humor
Level:   Adult
Somewhat amusing collection of 30 cartoon drawings with one or two word labels representing states of mind or being.
WH 2000-05-12 copyright1969 Ashok Davar

Title:   "African Elephants: A Celebration Of Majesty"
Author:   Daryl & Sharna Balfour
Illustrated:   Yes
Illustrator:   David Thorpe
Basis:   Non-Fiction
Category:   Conservation
Level:   Adult
Synopsis or review not ready
copyright1997 New Holland & Authors

Title:   "Aliya: Stories of Elephants of Sri Lanka"
Author:   Teresa Cannon & Peter Davis
Illustrated:   Yes
Illustrator:   Photography; Teresa Cannon & Peter Davis
Basis:   Non-Fiction
Category:   Photo Documentary
Level:   Adult
Synopsis or review not ready
copyright1995 Airvata press
[From a message sent to me 1997-09-14 by the authors:]
We are delighted to have discovered your website and we would like to draw your attention to our book on the elephants of Sri Lanka. We are writers photographers based in Melbourne Australia and we have spent five years researching and writing about and photographing the elephants.

Our book is titled Aliya - Stories of the Elephants of Sri Lanka. Aliya is the Sinhala word for elephant and the book documents the unique role of elephants in the ancient as well as the modern culture and ecology of Sri Lanka. The foreword is written by renowned scientist and science fiction writer Dr Arthur C. Clarke he has lived in Sri Lanka for more than 4 decades.

Aliya - Stories of the Elephants of Sri Lanka is proving particularly popular with academics and teachers in the areas of Asian Studies and Environment Studies and Cultural Studies and Development Studies. Of course it is also popular with people of all ages who find elephants simply irresistible.

The book is available in USA + Europe + Asia and Australia. Excerpts including images and details on how to obtain it are available on the web at http://www.ozemail.com.au/~cannont. We hope you find time to visit us and that you will consider acquiring a copy of the book for your collection. We look forward to hearing from you.

Best wishes
Peter Davis Teresa Cannon

Title:   "Among The Elephants"
Author:   Iain & Oria Douglas-Hamilton
Illustrated:   Photographs
Illustrator:   n/a
Basis:   Non-Fiction
Category:   Conservation
Level:   Adult
Synopsis or review not ready
copyright1975 Wytham Publications Ltd

Title:  
"At Large - Fugitive Odyssey of Murray Hill"
Author:   Gary Ross
Illustrated:   Photographs
Illustrator:   n/a
Basis:   Non-Fiction
Category:   Personal Story
Level:   Adult
Murray Hill (theatrical name) spent years trying to recover two elephants following a business failure. Story poignantly recalls the events. It was quite an adventure. Worth reading.

WH 2008-10-18
copyright1992 Gary Ross Consulting Inc

Title:   "Bandoola"
Author:   J.H. Williams
Illustrated:   Photographs
Illustrator:   n/a
Basis:   Non-Fiction
Category:   Adventure
Level:   Adult
First Edition USA 1954 copyright1953 by J.H.Williams

Col. Williams aka Elephant Bill recounts events involving a particular elephant in Burma during the Japanese occupation during WWII.
WH 2000-05-05

Title:   "Between The Elephant's Eyes"
Author:   Robert L Scott Jr
Illustrated:   Yes
Illustrator:   Frank Hubbard (drawings)
Basis:   unclassified
Category:   Story
Level:   Adult
Synopsis or review not ready
copyright1954 Robert L Scott Jr

Title:   "Dr. Nightingale Rides The Elephant"
Author:   Lydia Adamson
Illustrated:  
Illustrator:   n/a
Basis:   Fiction
Category:   Story
Level:   Adult
Mystery fiction copyright1994 Lydia Adamson

Title:   "Echo Of The Elephants"
Author:   Cynthia Moss
Illustrated:   Photographs
Illustrator:   Martyn Colbeck(photos)
Basis:   Non-Fiction
Category:   Nature
Level:   Adult
Synopsis or review not ready
copyright1992 Cynthia Moss

Title:   "Elephant & Castle"
Author:   R.C.Hutchinson
Illustrated:  
Illustrator:   n/a
Basis:   Fiction
Category:   Story
Level:   Adult
This story is not in any way about elephants. The title comes from the name of a subway station "Elephant & Castle" which is in the neighborhood where the stories main characters live in London and it is not at all apparent why the author chose it for the title.   --- >


Synopsis/Review: Set in London between the great wars, WWI and WWII from around 1920 through 1940, this story tells of a well born, educated, beautiful, and ambitious young woman who marries a lower class Italian immigrant with the hope of making him into something ... sort of a reverse Pygmalion. She succeeds to a certain extent. The story ends in a mixture of tragedy and spiritual redemption.

It is a bit dark and Dickensian; a labor to read due to the colloquial language in dialogue added to the author's massive vocabulary. The writing is reminiscent of Somerset Maugham's.

WH 2000-08-16
copyright1949 R.C.Hutchinson

Title:   "Elephant Bangs Train"
Author:   William Kotzwinkle
Illustrated:  
Illustrator:   n/a
Basis:   Fiction
Category:   Anecdotes
Level:   Adult
This book contains 16 short stories of which three have to do with elephants. The book title is taken from the eighth story in the collection and is based on a newspaper headline which reads, "Elephant Bangs Train, Reuters News Service, Nairobi, Kenya, May 25, 1969".

In the Kotzwinkle version, we are more or less inside the elephant's mind as he attacks and overturns a train in revenge for its having humiliated him on a previous occasion.

All these stories are extraordinarily well written and are quite surreal and evocative. Adult content in some stories. Really excellent writing.

WH 2000-08-05
copyright1969 Wm Kotzwinkle & others prior

Title:   "Elephant Bill"
Author:   LtCol J H Williams, OBE
Illustrated:   Photographs
Illustrator:   n/a
Basis:   Non-Fiction
Category:   Adventure
Level:   Adult
Personal story of Colonel Williams' adventures in Burma. A bit tedious but quite interesting to read about his involvement with working elephants.

WH 2001-08-08
copyright1950 J.H.Williams

Title:   "Elephant Crossing"
Author:   Toshi Yoshida
Illustrated:   Yes
Illustrator:   ???
Basis:   n/a
Category:   Poetic
Level:   Adult
Synopsis or review not ready

Title:   "Elephant Days & Nights"
Author:   Raman Sukumar
Illustrated:   Photos
Illustrator:   cover by Joanna Van Gruisen/Fotomedia
Basis:   Non-Fiction
Category:   Humor
Level:   Adult
subtitle: 10 years with the Indian Elephant copyright1994 Oxford Univ Press

Title:   "Elephant Have Right Of Way"
Author:   Betty & Jock Leslie-Melville
Illustrated:   Yes
Illustrator:   Publisher staff?
Basis:   Non-Fiction
Category:   Culture
Level:   Adult
This collection of anecdotes and personal views of Africa, East African culture circa 1970, and experiences with people and animals is written in a breezy yet mostly charming style. It's like listening to a conversation between the author and another person, perhaps yourself.

Several incidents involving elephants but not the thrust of the work. The title refers to signs posted on Kenyan roads and was no doubt chosen as a title to communicate to the reader how Kenya feels about its wild animals.

Very enjoyable reading.
WH 2000-08-28 copyright1973 Betty & Jock Leslie-Melville

Title:   "Elephant Hill" Novel
Author:   Robin White
Illustrated:  
Illustrator:   n/a
Basis:   Fiction
Category:   Story
Level:   Adult Reprinted by Harper & Bros NY
Elephant Hill is a geological feature, a very large rock outcrop which resembles a prone elephant, outside the city of Kassapur in India. It is here that a crucial event in the story occurs.   --- >
This well written novel reveals how an American school teacher travels to India to visit her sister and family and unintentionally becomes embroiled in a custody fight between the sister's family and their adopted eldest son's biological father.

Elephants play no significant role in the story.
WH 2000-02-05
[from cover: "A modern love story -- about an American spinster who has been bruised by an unrequited love affair and wants no part of another -- and a worldly Indian widower of 40 who believes in love but not necessarily in marriage."] copyright1959 Robin White

Title:   "Elephant Memories"
Author:   Cynthia Moss
Illustrated:   Yes
Illustrator:   ???
Basis:   Non-Fiction
Category:   Conservation
Level:   Adult

"Cynthia Moss has lived with the elephants in Kenya's Amboseli National Park for twenty years, spending many hours with them almost every day. In this riveting book, she writes about her closest elephant friends -- >
the regal matriarchs Teresia and Slit Ear; their younger female relations Torn Ear, Tuskless, Tallulah, Tania; and their great bull elephant, Bad Bull. With her we observe the daily drama of their closely knit lives: the search for food and joyful reunions after even a few days apart; the excitement of elephantine mating and birth; the struggle against drought, disease, poachers, and tourism; the elaborate vocalizations and riotous play; the poignant ways they remember their dead.

For animal lovers and anyone concerned with the preservation of wildlife, Cynthia Moss has written an extraordinary chronicle. 'Elephant Memories' is nothing less than an impassioned plea for the elephants' continued survival."

[dust jacket]
Title:   "Elephant Song"
Author:   Wilbur Smith
Illustrated:  
Illustrator:   n/a
Basis:   Fiction
Category:   Story
Level:   Adult
Synopsis or review not ready
copyright1991 Wilbur Smith

Title:   "Elephant Valley"
Author:   Elizabeth Balneaves
Illustrated:  
Illustrator:   n/a
Basis:   Fiction
Category:   Story
Level:   Adult
Synopsis or review not ready
copyright1962 Elizabeth Balneaves

Title:   "Elephant Walk"
Author:   Robert Standish
Illustrated:  
Illustrator:   n/a
Basis:   Fiction
Category:   Story
Level:   Adult
First American Edition 1949 made into movie starring Elizabeth Taylor, Dana Andrews, and Peter Finch.

The image shown is not the book cover, which is plain brown, no jacket, but of a videocassette found at www.imdb.com.

The story involves people who build a mansion in the middle of a path used by elephants during their migratory walks. The elephants are angry ... the people fight them ... the elephants end up destroying the house.

WH 2008-10-18
copyright1949 The MacMillan Company

Title:   "Elephant Winter"
Author:   Kim Echlin
Illustrated:  
Illustrator:   n/a
Basis:   Fiction
Category:   Story
Level:   Adult
A fine story, wonderfully told, by a truly accomplished writer. Deeply moving tale seems more real than fiction. About a young woman who returns home to help her mother go through the last dying stages of cancer and herself becomes involved with a small herd of captive elephants living nearby at a private tourist attraction. I won't give away the details but urge you to read this book if you enjoy elephants and experiencing emotions.

WH 2000-04-16
copyright1997 Kim Echlin

Title:   "Elephant Woman"
Author:   Laurence Pringle
Illustrated:   Yes
Illustrator:   Cynthia Moss, photos
Basis:   Non-Fiction
Category:   Biography
Level:   Adult
Synopsis or review not ready
copyright1997 author & photographer

Title:   "Elephants Arrive at Half-past Five"
Author:   Ilka Chase
Illustrated:  
Illustrator:   n/a
Basis:   Non-Fiction
Category:   Adventure
Level:   Adult
About safari with Dr Norton Brown copyright1963 Ilka Chase

Title:   "Elephants Can Remember"
Author:   Agatha Christie
Illustrated:  
Illustrator:   n/a
Basis:   Fiction
Category:   Story
Level:   Adult
This mystery novel with 'Elephants' in its title uses the word elephant metaphorically to identify humans with long memories. The protagonist, Ariadne Oliver, with help from investigator Hercule Poirot, contacts such 'elephants' to find the answers to a twelve year old double suicide or murder-suicide; that being the mystery.

Story has nothing to do with real elephants and no elephant ever appears in it. Enjoyable typical of Christie stories I think.

WH 2000-04-02
copyright1972 Agatha Christie Ltd

Title:   "Elephants' Graveyard"
Author:   Karin McQuillan
Illustrated:  
Illustrator:   n/a
Basis:   Fiction
Category:   Adventure
Level:   Adult
Good story, well written. Interesting characters and events. Elephants are not prominent as characters in story except for one named "Half Tusk" who produces a surprise ending.
WH 2000-05-01
copyright1993 Karin McQuillan
"Recovering from a bad marriage and a worse divorce, American expatriate Jazz Jasper happily ekes out a living running safari tours and advocating for animal rights. But the Kenyan life of another American, wealthy Emmet Laird, head of the Save The Elephants Foundation, has just ended. His lifeless body is found beside an elephants' watering hole. [dust jacket] Emmet's grieving lover, Mikki, presses her friend Jazz to investigate the crime, ostensibly with no strings attached. But as Jazz skims the gossip of Nairobi's white community, cruises into the city's dangerous back streets, and stalks her game high in the forested hills, she becomes certain that the murderer she seeks will be someone she knows well." [dust jacket]

Title:   "Elephants in the Cottonfields"
Author:   Wayne Greenhaw
Illustrated:  
Illustrator:   n/a
Basis:   Non-Fiction
Category:   Non-Elephant
Level:   Adult
This book is about the growth of the Republican Party in the American South up through the administrations of President Ronald Reagan. No elephants involved.

WH 2000-12-07 copyright1982 Wayne Greenhaw

Title:   "Elephants"
Author:   Richard Carrington
Illustrated:   Yes
Illustrator:   Maurice Wilson (& others)
Basis:   Non-Fiction
Category:   Nature
Level:   Adult
Synopsis or review not ready
copyright1958 Richard Carrington

Title:  
"Elephants: A Cultural and Natural History"
Author:   Karl Gröning & Martin Saller
Illustrated:   Yes
Illustrator:   numerous credits
Basis:   Non-Fiction
Category:   Photo Documentary
Level:   Adult
A stupendously ambitious collection of material touching on every aspect of elephants and elephantine lore. 600 illustrations. The list of contributors, consultants, translators and other specialists is enormous.
WH 2000-09-22
"This book, a comprehensive cultural and natural history, is dedicated to the endangered giant. Its ancestry dates back 50 million years and is a wonder of nature. Its anatomy still raises many questions among scientists; its social behavior is fascinating. This book shows the elephant's habitat, the savannahs and the rainforests of Africa and Asia.

This richly illustrated volume also demonstrates the elephant in its "second life," as a metaphor, as an object of veneration and artistic interpretation by artists across centuries, cultures and artistic epochs.

An additional theme of this wide-ranging "Elephantography" depicts how man has subjugated the elephant, using it as a war machine, stealing its ivory, and exploiting it as a circus attraction.

Loving viewed, with profoundly knowledgeable commentaries and explanations, and diverse and varied appendix material, this volume invites friends of the elephant to get closer to "their animal."
[dust jacket]
copyright1998 Könemann Verlagsgesellschaft mbH, Cologne

Title:   "Gilligan's Last Elephant"
Author:   Gerald Hanley
Illustrated:  
Illustrator:   n/a
Basis:   Fiction
Category:   Adventure
Level:   Adult
This is an absolutely stunning novel. Hanley writes in a manner which put me right there with these two lunatics ... men obsessed with being the 'best' at everything they try to do and with fixed notions of what a man should be ... machismo run amok.

I would not have read it had I realized in advance that it concerned hunting elephants for I object to unnecessary killing of elephants. And, thankfully, it is not actually about killing elephants. It is about men locked in psychological warfare with each other and within themselves. The writing skills of this author are enormous. The book is worth more than one star but it's not about elephants.

WH 2000-04 copyright1962 Gerald Hanley

Title:   "Gray Matters"
Author:   Bob Elsdale
Illustrated:   Yes
Illustrator:   Bob Elsdale, photographs
Basis:   Non-Fiction
Category:   Humor
Level:   Adult
Whimsical photos of elephants on beach picnic with aphorisms about enjoying life. no copyright notice ?

Title:   "Great Elephant"
Author:   Alan Scholefield
Illustrated:  
Illustrator:   n/a
Basis:   Fiction
Category:   Adventure
Level:   Adult
The title "Great Elephant" is not an elephant but a man, Chaka, who is king of the Zulu nation in the early 1800's.

The narrator tells of his family's experience as white Christians settling in Zululand and the fortunes and misfortunes that occur from the time he was age 6 through age 16.

Story is sometimes hair-raising adventure. Filled with cultural insights. Reads more like history than fiction.

Well written.
WH 2001-09-09 copyright1967 Alan Scholefield

Title:   "Her Ladyship's Elephant"
Author:   David Dwight Wells
Illustrated:  
Illustrator:   n/a
Basis:   Fiction
Category:   Humor
Level:   Adult
It isn't likely you'll come across a copy of this entertaining novel; it was published more than a century ago in 1898 and copies must be scarce by now. But if you do, and you enjoy the stilted and contorted English of the period you'll find it quite charming.   --- >
The elephant is not really the focus of the story. The story involves two couples who marry on the same day and departing by train for their honeymoons become separated and mixed up; the one wife and husband together and the other husband and wife together, traveling at cross purposes while trying to reunite themselves.

Matters are further complicated by the requirements and practices of polite British society. In short, it is a comedy of errors and the elephant has a goodly part in resolving things at the end.

WH 2000-04-16
copyright1898 Henry Holt & Co

Title:   "In The Presence Of Elephants"
Author:   Peter Beagle & Pat Derby
Illustrated:   Photos
Illustrator:   n/a
Basis:   Non-Fiction
Category:   Poetic
Level:   Adult
Synopsis or review not ready
copyright1995

Title:   "In The Way That Elephants Do"
Author:   David L Kilpatrick
Illustrated:  
Illustrator:   n/a
Basis:   Fiction
Category:   Adventure
Level:   Adult
This is a lengthy but excellent novel.
It is set up as an autobiography of an ancient African bull elephant whose true name is Noah. Noah telepaths his story to a young human boy as the elephant nears the end of his exceedingly long life.   --- >
The nature of the story is one of high adventure, told always in the first person by Noah himself but including dialog from other characters, most notably animals he befriends.

The narrative traces his birth on the savanna through his leaving his family, as bulls do, and wandering his way through all kinds of adventures, mischiefs, calamities and so forth.

The writer uses Noah's voice to express ideals of friendship, loyalty, faith in God, and other virtues and includes pretty solid facts about wild and captive elephant life in the time span of the story ... late 19th century through the two great wars and into the late 20th century.

By all means read this if you truly enjoy and appreciate elephants.
WH 2000-06-23
copyright1998 author

Title:   "Ivory Knights, Man, Magic & Elephants"
Author:   Nicholas Gordon
Illustrated:  
Illustrator:   n/a
Basis:   Non-Fiction
Category:   Adventure
Level:   Adult
In this true life adventure British journalist Nicholas Gordon journeys to Tanzania, Africa, to investigate the status of the declining wild elephant population. (20,000 slaughtered in ten years leading up to 1990 when he was there).

Elephants are frequently referenced but not directly encountered. The emphasis is on how the socialist government is trying to convert the native peoples from hunting and poaching to other forms of food production.

He interviews numerous officials and violators but presents his material in the form of a narrative which is quite intriguing and well written as you might expect from an accomplished journalist and magazine editor.

Well worth reading. WH 2000-05-31 copyright1991 Nicholas Gordon

Title:   "Just Elephants"
Author:   William Bazé
Illustrated:   Yes
Illustrator:   Paul Wyeth, Line Drawings
Basis:   Non-Fiction
Category:   Nature
Level:   Adult
Preface by His Majesty The Emperor of Vietnam, Bao Dai
Flyleaf inscribed; Arthur Fox, Coomara 1955.

Author recounts his personal experiences, in what is now Vietnam, hunting and capturing elephants.

He seems gradually to have come to love elephants and gave up the killing of them for sport.

WH 2001-02-04 copyright1955 Elek Books

Title:   "Kari The Elephant"
Author:   Dhan Gopal Mukerji
Illustrated:   Yes
Illustrator:   J.E. Allen
Basis:   Fiction
Category:   Nature
Level:   Adult
Set in India just after the change from 19th to 20th century, story about a boy aged 9 and an elephant aged 5 months who grow up together and the adventures they have and how their relationship develops.   --- >
Hard to tell if a true story or fiction. It is written in a poetic style much like a fable dealing with spiritual truths. Witness this scene on a river bank;

"Close to the shore were the little ones stepping into the water and learning how to breathe quantities of water into their trunks and then snort it out slowly without the slightest sound. Soon their bath was over, but the only way you could tell that they had bathed was by hearing drops of water like twinkling stars fall from their wet bodies and strike the leaves on the ground." (page 120).

In the end the elephant, Kari, disappears into the jungle and never returns but the soul of the man and the elephant remain connected.
WH 2000-01-09
copyright1922 E.P.Dutton & Co

Title:   "Keepers Of The Kingdom"
Author:   Glennita Miller
Illustrated:  
Illustrator:   n/a
Basis:   Fiction
Category:   Story
Level:   Adult
Author Glennita Miller has mastered her craft. The quality of her writing and storytelling is reminiscent of Ken Follett.

This novel, exhaustively researched and totally plausible, concerns conservation of African wildlife in Kenya circa 1970's with lots of elephants, many dead from drought or poaching, and well drawn main characters; adventure, suspense, romance, and murder.

Well worth reading.
WH 2000-07-12 copyright1982 Glennita Miller

Title:   "Komoon! Capturing The Chad Elephant"
Author:   Heinrich Oberjohann; translator: Rhoda de Terra
Illustrated:  
Illustrator:   n/a
Basis:   Non-Fiction
Category:   Story
Level:   Adult
Synopsis or review not ready
copyright1952 Pantheon Books Inc


[actual cover is blank]
Title:   "Life With Alice"
Author:   Dick Richards
Illustrated:  
Illustrator:   n/a
Basis:   Non-Fiction
Category:   Biography
Level:   Adult
Personal recollections of Dick Richards and his experiences as elephant keeper for Alice and other animals at Bronx Zoo from 1905 to 1943.
Charming and poignant. Writing not on par with professional authors of today.

WH 2001-02-18
[Printed during WWII - has notice about reduced materials. ]
copyright1944 Coward-McCann

Title:   "Loving Ganesha"
Author:   Publisher staff?
Illustrated:   Yes
Illustrator:   Publisher staff?
Basis:   Non-Fiction
Category:   Religion
Level:   Adult
Hindu devotional copyright1996 Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami

Title:   "Mammoths, Mastodonts, & Elephants"
Author:   Gary Haynes
Illustrated:   Yes
Illustrator:   Publisher staff?
Basis:   Non-Fiction
Category:   History
Level:   Adult
Full Title: "Mammoths, Mastodonts, & Elephants - Biology, Behavior, and the Fossil Record"
Extremely technical book loaded with references. Written well above layman's level.
WH 2001-10-01
copyright1991 Cambridge Univ Press

Title:   "Massacre of the Elephants"
Author:   Dennis Holman
Illustrated:   Photographs
Illustrator:   n/a
Basis:   Non-Fiction
Category:   Conservation
Level:   Adult
Synopsis or review not ready
copyright1967 Dennis Holman

Title:   "Mastodonia"
Author:   Clifford D. Simak
Illustrated:  
Illustrator:   n/a
Basis:   Fiction
Category:   Adventure
Level:   Adult
Synopsis or review not ready
copyright1978 Clifford D. Simak

Title:   "North America Reg Studbook for the African Elephant 2000 Ed
Author:   Deborah Olson
Illustrated:  
Illustrator:   Myrta Pulliam, cover photo
Basis:   Non-Fiction
Category:   Reference
Level:   Adult
Ten to one you did not know there is such a thing as a stud book for elephant bulls. Breeders are the only people who have a real interest in the subject but I bought a copy anyway.
WH

Title:   "Rogue Elephant"
Author:   A. R. Channel
Illustrated:   Yes
Illustrator:   D. Watkins-Pitchford
Basis:   Non-Fiction
Category:   History
Level:   Adult
Synopsis or review not ready
copyright1962 Dobson Books Ltd

Title:   "Rogue Elephant"
Author:   Walter Allen
Illustrated:  
Illustrator:   n/a
Basis:   Fiction
Category:   Story
Level:   Adult
Set in England during the 1920's or 1930's, tells of a large, rotund young man who crashes about his social circle wreaking damage of various kinds. It's a bit of a mystery story and has nothing whatever to do with elephants other than the young man being described as a 'rogue elephant' early in the novel.
Quite enjoyable nonetheless.
WH 2000-01-03 copyright1946 Walter Allen

Title:   "Sato and the Elephants"
Author:   Juanita Havill
Illustrated:   Yes
Illustrator:   Jean & Mou-sien Tseng
Basis:   Fiction
Category:   Fable
Level:   Adult
Sato, an ivory carver, receives a personal vision of elephants and realizing the true cost of the ivory changes to carving stone.

WH 2000-09-02 copyright1993 author & illustrator

Title:   "Seeing The Elephant" A Saxon Mystery
Author:   Les Roberts
Illustrated:  
Illustrator:   n/a
Basis:   Fiction
Category:   Story
Level:   Adult
Very well written first person detective novel about private investigator from Los Angeles who returns to Chicago for funeral of old friend and discovers he was murdered. Sets out to solve the case.

The "elephant" is an expression, the author says, likely derived from 19th century British hunters. It signifies coming face to face with the specter of imminent death, or in other situations, facing reality.

Worth reading for mystery buffs.
WH 2000-11-11 copyright1992 Les Roberts

Title:   "Silent Thunder"
Author:   Katy Payne
Illustrated:   Yes
Illustrator:   Laura Payne (minor maps etc)
Basis:   Non-Fiction
Category:   Nature
Level:   Adult
Synopsis or review not ready
copyright1998 Katy Payne; jacket - Simon & Schuster

Title:   "The African Elephant: Twilight In Eden"
Author:   Roger L DiSilvestro
Illustrated:   Yes
Illustrator:   Page Chichester, princ photog
Basis:   Non-Fiction
Category:   Photo Documentary
Level:   Adult
Synopsis or review not ready
copyright1991 National Audubon Society

Title:   "The African Elephant; Last Days of Eden"
Author:   multiple contributors
Illustrated:   Yes
Illustrator:   Publisher staff?
Basis:   Non-Fiction
Category:   Conservation
Level:   Adult
beautiful photos copyright1991 by Boyd Norton, author

Title:  
"The Art of Babar; Work of J & L DeBrunhoff"
Author:   Nicholas Fix Weber
Illustrated:   Yes
Illustrator:   Various
Basis:   Non-Fiction
Category:   Photo Documentary
Level:   Adult
This elaborate work examines the hiistory and technique of Babar's illustrators. Lots of documentation.
WH 2002

Title:   "The Astonishing Elephant"
Author:   Shana Alexander
Illustrated:   Yes
Illustrator:   photos various credits
Basis:   Non-Fiction
Category:   History
Level:   Adult
Astonishingly good book by a gifted writer. Journalist Shana Alexander recounts her personal experiences with elephants beginning with 'Packy" born at Portland Zoo, and continuing into late 1990's.

She was privileged to meet and work with many well known elephant people like the Douglas-Hamiltons, Moss, Poole, Rasmussen and others and tells of these encounters while describing the work they do and some of the interesting findings they have made.   --- >


The book covers some unusual aspects of elephant lore including a history and causes of the demise of male elephants in captivity. Parts of the reporting are gruesome.

In the latter portions she devotes a great deal of material to breeding and artificial insemination efforts, giving details of procedures as she witnessed them.

While keeping her writing at a professional level she lets her love of elephants comes through. Preservation of the species is an underlying theme of this work but it is not an 'in your face' assault on the reader.

I read it slowly over a one month period and my experience was akin to having her come for a chat every other evening and spend an hour or two telling me about elephants and her experiences. A wonderful book.

WH 2001-02-18
copyright2000 Shana Alexander

Title:   "The Chief of the Herd"
Author:   Dhan Gopal Mukerji
Illustrated:   Yes
Illustrator:   Mahlon Blaine
Basis:   Fiction
Category:   Nature
Level:   Adult
Highly romanticized story of Indian elephant Sirdar and travels and travails of his herd. Author attempts to depict what life is like for elephants on the Indian sub-continent. Many useful pieces of information. Nicely written. Contains a lot of the authors philosophy of life pertaining to humans and he visits many of his preferred characteristics on the elephants.   --- >
Written in 1928 before the extensive work of late twentieth century naturalists determined that herds are made up of females and prepubesvcent males. Males able to mate leave the herd and live solor or int he company f other 'bachelors'.

Mukerji, who obviously loves and admires elephants in his several books about them, posits Sirdar as "elected" Chief of his herd at age 30, having received the anointing from the old chief who dies at age ninety. Elephants normally live to sixty or so years but Mukerji has several old-timers of ninety and even one hundred years in this story.

He offers the notion that elephants marry and live in nuclear families within the herd. As I say, romantic, but untrue. Nevertheless, this is a highly enjoyable read, somthing on the order of Kipling.

WH 2000-04-10
copyright1929 E.P.Dutton & Co. Inc

Title:   "The Dynasty of Abu"
Author:   Ivan Sanderson
Illustrated:   Yes
Illustrator:   Publisher staff?
Basis:   Non-Fiction
Category:   History
Level:   Adult
A definitive exploration of everything elephant with emphasis on history. Outstanding work.

WH 2001-05-27
copyright1960 Curtis Pub Co & I T Sanderson

Title:   "The Elephant and the Kangaroo"
Author:   T. H. White
Illustrated:  
Illustrator:   n/a
Basis:   Fiction
Category:   Humor
Level:   Adult
In this 1947 black comedy about the Irish, a farmer, his wife, and their English lodger believe they have met with Michael the Archangel and been instructed to build an ark to preserve against an impending flood.   --- >
They do so with comical events and consequences. Mostly, the acerbic wit of author T. H. White is in evidence as he ridicules all manner of traditions and beliefs. There in neither elephant nor kangaroo in this story. He refers to the lodger and farm wife as 'he the elephant and she the kangaroo' in explaining their repetitive disagreements about things philosophical. Possibly this refers to some known fable or legend which I have not so far been able to discover.

A funny book but not an elephant book.

Wh 2000-04-04
Copyright 1947 by T.H.White

Title:   "The Elephant Valley"
Author:   Finis Farr
Illustrated:  
Illustrator:   n/a
Basis:   Fiction
Category:   Story
Level:   Adult
Not about elephants. The title refers to a mythical place where old elephants go to die. In the novel a CIA agent is assigned to a post regarded as going to the Elephant Valley.
Not particularly well written nor compelling spy story.
WH 2001-12-02 copyright1967 Finis Farr

Title:   "The Elephant Vanishes"
Author:   Haruki Murakami
Illustrated:  
Illustrator:   n/a
Basis:   Fiction
Category:   Anthology
Level:   Adult
translated from Japanese.
Collection of short stories reminiscent of Rod Serling's Twilight Zone episodes. Only two stories mention elephants to any degree.

The final one in the anthology and title of the book is a bit of sci-fi type mystery fluff about a lone zoo elephant which, along with its keeper, simply vanishes during the night.

WH 2001-08-17 copyright1993 Haruki Murakami

Title:   "The Elephant: A Novel"
Author:   Richard Rayner
Illustrated:  
Illustrator:   n/a
Basis:   Fiction
Category:   Story
Level:   Adult
This book is not about an elephant. The elephant is used as a metaphor for an exhilarating and frightening situation; something to be confronted. According to the author, the phrase 'Going to see the elephant' was used by soldiers in the American Civil War to describe the fear, excitement, and strangeness of going into battle.

This novel is an interesting read reminiscent of John Irving's bizarre works. The story is a first person account of the antics and relationship problems between the protagonist and his father over a lifetime. Both characters are obviously insane. Numerous people die along the way.

Definitely not for young readers as it is liberally sprinkled with the 'F***' word.
WH 2000-09-16 copyright1991 Richard Rayner

Title:   "The Elephants"
Author:   Georges Blond
Illustrated:   Photographs
Illustrator:   translator: Frances Frenaye
Basis:   Non-Fiction
Category:   Nature
Level:   Adult
This book, engagingly written, is an overview of elephants, both African and Asian, told in a narrative form but consisting of factual material.   [ --- >]
The author takes the reader through the seasons, habitats, surrounding cultures, hunting, conservation, and other issues. It has a conservationist bent and attitude about it but at the same time respects the traditions of the native peoples and their relationships to elephants.

Fine command of the English language. Clear and easy to read yet often compelling.

WH 2000-07-20
copyright1959 Librairie Artheme Fayard,
copyright1961 Macmillan

Title:   "The End Of the Game"
Author:   Peter Beard
Illustrated:   Photographs
Illustrator:   n/a
Basis:   Non-Fiction
Category:   Conservation
Level:   Adult
Synopsis or review not ready
copyrightPeter Hill Beard 1963,65,77,88

Title:   "The Eye of the Elephant"
Author:   Delia & Mark Owens
Illustrated:   Yes
Illustrator:   George Ward, Maps
Basis:   Non-Fiction
Category:   Adventure
Level:   Adult
True Life Adventure: Owenses in North Luangwa Valley, Zambia; elephant habitat preservation. copyright1992 Delia & Mark Owens

Title:   "The Fate of the Elephant"
Author:   Douglas H Chadwick
Illustrated:   Yes
Illustrator:   Publisher staff?
Basis:   Non-Fiction
Category:   Conservation
Level:   Adult
Natural History and fate of African and Asian elephants. copyright1992 Douglas H. Chadwick

Title:   "The Fifth Elephant"
Author:   Terry Pratchett
Illustrated:  
Illustrator:   n/a
Basis:   Fiction
Category:   Story
Level:   Adult
Quite enjoyable fantasy set in an imaginary world resembling 17th - 18th century Europe. Peopled with humans, gnomes, dwarfs (dwarves?), trolls, werewolves, and vampires as distinct races of peoples. It really is a lampoon of many institutions including government, religion, business, and technology.   --- >
Noticeably absent are vulgar or profane words. This book, engagingly written, is an overview of elephants, both African and Asian, told in a narrative form but consisting of factual material. The one negative is the fairly frequent occurrence of typographical errors such as misplaced quotation marks, substitution of 'an for 'as', 'than' for 'that' or missing letters such as 'heat' being spelled 'eat', which require the reader to reread the sentence a time or two to comprehend the meaning.

There are no elephants whatsoever in the story except the mythical elephants supporting the flat earth and a statue commemorating the missing fifth elephant.

WH 2000-04-02:
copyright2000 Terry Pratchett

Title:   "The Footprints of Elephant Bill"
Author:   Susan Williams (wife of Col. J.H.Wiliams)
Illustrated:  
Illustrator:   n/a
Basis:   Non-Fiction
Category:   Biography
Level:   Adult
Synopsis or review not ready
copyright1962 William Kimber & Co Ltd

Title:   "The Life and Lore of the Elephant"
Author:   Robert deLort, MS, PhD
Illustrated:   Yes
Illustrator:   many photo credits listed in book
Basis:   Non-Fiction
Category:   History
Level:   Adult
Synopsis or review not ready
copyright1990 Gallimard

Title:   "The Life Of An Elephant"
Author:   S. Eardley-Wilmot
Illustrated:   Photographs
Illustrator:   photos by Iris Eardley-Wilmot
Basis:   Non-Fiction
Category:   Nature
Level:   Adult
Synopsis or review not ready
no notice

Title:   "The Orphans of Tsavo"
Author:   Daphne Sheldrick
Illustrated:   Yes
Illustrator:   Publisher staff?
Basis:   Non-Fiction
Category:   Conservation
Level:   Adult
Synopsis or review not ready
copyright1966 Daphne Sheldrick

Title:   "The Rest of The Elephant"
Author:   John D. Stevens & William E. Porter
Illustrated:  
Illustrator:   n/a
Basis:   Non-Fiction
Category:   Non-Elephant
Level:   Adult
This book is not about elephants; the word elephant doesn't even appear in the index. It discusses mass media and audiences circa 1970 and chose the word elephant in its title to communicate the idea of something large behind the obvious frontal appearance.

It is in my collection solely because of the title.
WH 2000-08-14
copyright1973 Prentice-Hall, Inc.

Title:   "The Vienna Elephant'
Author:   Edwin Leather
Illustrated:  
Illustrator:   n/a
Basis:   Fiction
Category:   Story
Level:   Adult
The "Vienna Elephant" in the story is a figurine, one of a matched pair, made by legendary Russian jeweler / artist Peter Karl Fabergé. It is chalcedony with diamond eyes.   --- >
Stolen from a Vienna collection by Nazis during W.W.II, it turns up in the hands of a dealer in Vienna 1976. Spurred by the Vienna Elephant, the protagonist Rupert Conway, also a dealer in fine art, sets off on a trail to try to recover his own grandfather's stolen art objects.

This leads him into a quagmire of East German spy operations.
Low level suspense but well written. Numerous typographical or proofreading errors such as "it" in place of "in" or missing prepositions and so forth mar the flow of the story.

WH 2000-05-11
copyright1977 Edwin Leather

Title:   "The White Bone"
Author:   Barbara Gowdy
Illustrated:  
Illustrator:   n/a
Basis:   Fiction
Category:   Story
Level:   Adult
This novel is difficult to describe. For lack of a better or more precise genre term I'll label it sci-fi.

What it really is, is an elegant excursion into a world where the speaking characters are elephants. the entire story is told from inside the minds of, or from the viewpoints of, the elephants involved.   --- >
A few families go in search of "The Safe Place" where elephants can live unmolested and have a plentiful food supply. As they conduct their search they are revealed as individuals with quirks and prejudices you will recognize as common among humans. They have a set of religious beliefs which guide them.

The setting is Africa in the midst of the worst drought in sixty-five years. There are numerous adventures and mishaps; successes and failures; births and deaths.

This is a unique and startling piece of work well worth reading if you're inclined to such material.

WH 2000-04
copyright1998 Barbara Gowdy

Title:   "To The Elephant Graveyard"
Author:   Tarquin Hall
Illustrated:   Photos
Illustrator:   Photos not credited
Basis:   Non-Fiction
Category:   Adventure
Level:   Adult
In this late 1990's adventure British journalist Tarquin Hall recounts his experiences tagging along with a professional hunter contracted by the Indian government to hunt and kill a murderous rogue elephant.

While the story is serious, and poignant, there is quite a bit of humor resulting from the culture clashes between the author and the locals.

WH 2000-10-18
copyright2000 Tarquin Hall,
portions copyright1936 Geo. Orwell

Title:   "Trailing the Rogue Elephant"
Author:   Elliott Whitney
Illustrated:  
Illustrator:   n/a
Basis:   Fiction
Category:   Adventure
Level:   Adult
Published in 1936 when the ideas of safaris and big game hunting were in vogue, this novel is about a hunt to kill six elephants for taxidermy purposes on behalf of two different museums. The story is heavy on the details of hunting large animals in Africa. Writing is quite adequate.
WH 2000-03-25
copyright1936 The Reilly & Lee Co

Title:   "Travels On My Elephant"
Author:   Mark Shand
Illustrated:   Yes
Illustrator:   photographer
Basis:   Non-Fiction
Category:   Adventure
Level:   Adult
Back cover: "By the international crusader and spokesman for the Indian elephant and the subject of two Discovery Channel documentaries, this captivating travel memoir logs Mark Shand's remarkable journey through India on the back of 30-year-old elephant named Tara.   --- >
Started on a whim and pursued with a passion, Mark Shand's journey covered 800 miles, from the Bay of Bengal to the world's largest elephant bazaar at Sonepur on the Ganges. Blessed by priests, entertained by princes, Mark and Tara traveled happily through towns and villages, Tara sucking up rice and bananas from roadside stands and Shand scattering rupees in compensation. All Indian life is here -- scavenging dogs and exquisite temples, jostling crowds and empty wilderness. Rivaling Kipling, this story of man and elephant is by turns exciting, terrifying and moving."

"Mark Shand's Travels on My Elephant tells an immediately appealing love story ... with an eye for vivid description and a droll sense of humor reminiscent of Peter Mayle's books about France." San Francisco Chronicle

"This book touched my heart. I laughed, I cried. It made my spirit soar". Goldie Hawn
copyright1991 Mark Shand

Title:   "Tula Hatti: The Last Great Elephant"
Author:   Peter Byrne
Illustrated:  
Illustrator:   n/a
Basis:   Non-Fiction
Category:   Conservation
Level:   Adult
Interesting personal account by Peter Byrne, professional hunter turned conservationist, about his work to have the Nepalese government gazette the White Grass Plains Reserve and protect the giant (11'6" at shoulder" Asian bull elephant "Tula Hatti".

WH 2000-09-28
copyright1990 Peter Byrne

Title:   "Wild Elephants in Captivity"
Author:  
Dr. Jack Adams, Dept Psychology CSU DH
Illustrated:  
Illustrator:   n/a
Basis:   Non-Fiction
Category:   Conservation
Level:   Adult
Splendid book for anyone seriously interested in captive elephants and their management and care.

Dr. Adams covers the state of the art as known circa 1980 and pretty much as is known yet today in May, 2000.
Reads easily even if technical in nature. Some minor typographical and spelling errors which do not interfere with the work. Contains a number of very interesting photos of elephants as they are treated or scientifically investigated or going through training steps.

WH 2000-05-17
copyright1981 Jack Adams, Ph.D


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All contents copyright2008 Wayne Hepburn unless otherwise noted. The Funt Family characters are specifically copyright protected with all rights reserved by creator and may not be reproduced nor distributed without written consent from copyright owner nor altered in any manner for any purpose. Images shown on books lists are covers of said books shown for information only under the 'fair use' doctrine. There is no intent to infringe on any copyright.