Jamrach's Menagerie: A Novel
SHORTLISTED for the 2011 Man Booker Prize for Fiction
A thrilling and powerful novel about a young boy lured to sea by the promise of adventure and reward, with echoes of Great Expectations, Moby-Dick, and The Voyage of the Narwhal.
Jamrach’s Menagerie tells the story of a nineteenth-century street urchin named Jaffy Brown. Following an incident with an escaped tiger, Jaffy goes to work for Mr. Charles Jamrach, the famed importer of exotic animals, alongside Tim, a good but sometimes spitefully competitive boy. Thus begins a long, close friendship fraught with ambiguity and rivalry.
Mr. Jamrach recruits the two boys to capture a fabled dragon during the course of a three-year whaling expedition. Onboard, Jaffy and Tim enjoy the rough brotherhood of sailors and the brutal art of whale hunting. They even succeed in catching the reptilian beast.
But when the ship’s whaling venture falls short of expectations, the crew begins to regard the dragon—seething with feral power in its cage—as bad luck, a feeling that is cruelly reinforced when a violent storm sinks the ship.
Drifting across an increasingly hallucinatory ocean, the survivors, including Jaffy and Tim, are forced to confront their own place in the animal kingdom. Masterfully told, wildly atmospheric, and thundering with tension, Jamrach’s Menagerie is a truly haunting novel about friendship, sacrifice, and survival.
From the Hardcover edition.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - idiotgirl - LibraryThing
Another Booker first person. Just starting. Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - sarahzilkastarke - LibraryThing
I can sum this book up simply. It all goes downhill once you start eating humans after being lost at sea. Read full review
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arms asked Bermondsey Billy birds blood blood red roses boat breath Bulter cage Captain Proctor closed Comeragh cried crying dark deck door dragon dream eyes face feet fiddle fish Fournier Street fucking funny Gabriel gone Greenland Dock grinning gunwale hair hand hard hardtack head Henry Cash Ishbel island Jaffy Jamrach Joe Harper John Copper knees knew laughed legs Linver lips Lomblen looked Malays mouth never night nose pulled quarterdeck Rainey Ratcliffe Highway round Rymer sailed sailors scared screaming seamen's bethel ship shoulder side Simon singing sitting Skip Skip's Skipton sleep smell smiled smoke sound staring stood sweet talking tears teeth tell There's thing thought throat tiger Tim's told tongue took turned voice walked watch whale whaleboat What's wild Wilson Pride