BookBrowse Reviews Wesley the Owl by Stacey O'Brien

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Wesley the Owl

The Remarkable Love Story of an Owl and His Girl

by Stacey O'Brien

Wesley the Owl
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  • First Published:
    Aug 2008, 240 pages
    Paperback:
    Jun 2009, 256 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Jo Perry

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Wesley the Owl is a love story that begins when a young, compassionate biologist adopts a baby bird - and unknowingly embarks on a relationship that will last almost two decades

O'Brien's story of her profound friendship with a barn owl is strange, exciting, lovely and important. A much-needed corrective to our sanitized, human-centric view of animals as instinct machines or as pets that can be trained to perform stupid tricks, Wesley the Owl reasserts the powerful and sometimes icky otherworldliness and breathtaking complexity of nature. Prepare to be enlightened, disgusted, delighted and humbled.

O'Brien is a thoroughly animal-oriented person. Her friends keeps goats, horses and dogs and spend their time studying owls, vultures, or rotting sea mammal carcasses. She and her fellow biologists pride themselves on their ability to suppress disgust and on their constant and enthusiastic interest in the minutiae of nature. Describing her time working in the owl labs at Caltech, O'Brien notes a biologist whose body has become a permanent ...

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