Jamrach's Menagerie

Front Cover
HarperCollins Canada, Jun 14, 2011 - Fiction - 352 pages
46 Reviews

London, 1857. Meet Jaf, a young street urchin who survives an encounter with an escaped tiger in the city’s East End and stumbles into a job with its owner, Mr. Jamrach, a collector and seller of wild animals.

Commissioned by Jamrach to find and capture a mysterious, exotic creature, Jaf joins a whaling ship bound for the South Seas and begins a wonder-filled voyage of discovery. But when disaster befalls the crew, Jaf ’s journey becomes a desperate survival tale that pushes love, friendship and humanity to their outermost limits.

Beautifully written and utterly spellbinding, Jamrach’s Menagerie conjures the smells, sights and flavours of the 19th century, from the squalor of Victorian London to the lush islands of the Dutch East Indies. A great, salty, historical adventure, with an extraordinary story of love and sacrifice at its core, this is an astonishing literary achievement.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Nataliec7 - LibraryThing

When I picked up this book I didn't know what to expect. I thought it was going to be about a young boys journey at sea which it was - however it was a shocker! The descriptive nature of this book ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - gayla.bassham - LibraryThing

A really great story. The setup sounds like The Life of Pi; but the book itself is more reminiscent of English Passengers. I really loved this book. Read full review

Other editions - View all

About the author (2011)

CAROL BIRCH is the author of ten novels. Jamrach’s Menagerie was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, longlisted for the Orange Prize and shortlisted for the Galaxy National Book Awards. Birch won the David Higham Prize for Fiction for Life in the Palace and the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize for The Fog Line. She was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2003 for Turn Again Home. She has written for The Independent, The Times Literary Supplement, The Guardian, The Observer, the New Statesman, Talk of the Town and The Independent on Sunday, among other periodicals. She lives in Lancashire, England, with her husband and sons.

Bibliographic information