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Enslaved by Ducks by Bob Tarte
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Enslaved by Ducks (2003)

by Bob Tarte

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4102125,944 (3.55)57
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» See also 57 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
from the Wild Thing bookbox, mostly hilarious and sometimes sobering read. The author and his wife start with a bunny…and then the pets multiply…and multiply. There's actually a list of them at the front of the book, which I had to reference from time to time (who exactly was Howard again??). Birds of varying species were hand fed and let out to roam the house, bunnies had their own area and play time, ducks and geese had a custom divided pen - and supervised backyard play time. The anecdotes and self-deprecating humor was hilarious, but at the same time I just thanked my stars that this couple wasn't living next to ME! ( )
  nancynova | Apr 5, 2014 |
The author explains how his once city life seemingly abruptly turns into a rural life with a matching menagerie. While there are several funny stories, the overall book left me feeling sad for the animals and angry with the author and his wife. Bob Tarte and his wife acquire new animal after new animal (returning some) without once researching the animal they are about to acquire. They then are horrifically surprised when the situation ultimately goes bad for them, and for the animals. If this book were any longer than a couple of hours, I would have stopped reading in disgust. ( )
  Sovranty | Mar 17, 2014 |
The title of this book definitely made me buy it and, thankfully, the story inside fit the expectations. The author recounts his life after he moves away from the bustling city to placid (so he thinks) rural living and the eventual burgeoning family of animal pets galore.

I'm sure some readers will get upset by the seemingly random way that pets are adopted or given back, but the story is well told and for me, anyway, rather humorous.

Certainly I felt some kinship with the author. Hummingbirds dictate my weekend wake-up times when their nectar needs replenishing. Blue jays will not hesitate to sound off when the peanuts are not up to their idea of valued weight, and the raccoons have a tendency to forget their job duties of eating snails and slugs when they fancy a taste of marshmallows.

How we interact with the wildlife we share the land with says much of who we are, I suppose. I refuse to believe I am "enslaved". More like, rented.

Book Season = Spring (before you think of adopting bunnies) ( )
  Gold_Gato | Sep 16, 2013 |
I loved this book, much of it is familiar to me as our home has often been filled with animals of all kinds. In the hands of a different writer, it could have been a comic masterpiece, along the lines of Bill Bryson. But it was heartwarming and at it's best towards the end.
( )
  Mirkwood | May 10, 2013 |
The gold standard, for me, of animal writing is Gerald Durrell. Tarte's not even close, in my eyes. ( )
  satyridae | Apr 5, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
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To my wonderful wife, Linda, who somehow keeps the chaos at bay.
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After living so long in the city, I felt peculiar at the farmhouse in Lowell.
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Book description
When Bob Tarte bought a house in rural Michigan, he was counting on a tranquil haven. Then Bob married Linda. She wanted a rabbit, which seemed, at the time, innocuous enough. But that was just the beginning. "Wouldn't a parrot be cute?" Linda said. Bob suddenly found himself constructing pens, buying feed, clearing duck waste, spoonfeeding at mealtime. One day he realized he'd become a servant to a relentlessly demanding family, and a motley crew it was. Writing as someone who's been ambushed by the way in which animals, even cranky ones, can wend their way into the heart, Bob Tarte reveals the truth of animal ownership - and who really owns whom.
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The book that Entertainment Weekly called hilarious, Publishers Weekly declared a true pleasure, Booklist called heartwarming, and the Dallas Morning News praised as rich and funny is now available in paperback. When Bob Tarte bought a house in rural Michigan, he was counting on a tranquil haven. Then Bob married Linda. She wanted a rabbit, which seemed innocuous enough until the bunny chewed through their electrical wiring. And that was just the beginning. Before long, Bob found himself constructing cages, buying feed, clearing duck waste, and spoon-feeding a menagerie of furry and feathery residents. His life of quiet serenity vanished, and he unwittingly became a servant to a relentlessly demanding family. They dumbfounded him, controlled and teased him, took their share of his flesh, stole his heart (Kirkus Reviews). Whether commiserating with Bob over the fate of those who are slaves to their animals or regarding his story as a cautionary tale about the rigors of animal ownership, readers on both sides of the fence have found Tarte's story of his chaotic squawking household irresistible--and irresistibly funny.… (more)

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