Reader reviews and comments on Jamrach's Menagerie, plus links to write your own review.

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Jamrach's Menagerie

A Novel

by Carol Birch

Jamrach's Menagerie by Carol Birch X
Jamrach's Menagerie by Carol Birch
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Jun 2011, 304 pages
    Paperback:
    Jun 2012, 304 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse First Impression Reviewers

Buy This Book

About this Book

Reviews

Page 1 of 3
There are currently 21 reader reviews for Jamrach's Menagerie
Order Reviews by:

Write your own review!

Samantha H. (Golden, CO) (03/07/11)

Jamrach's Menagerie - truly an adventure
Jamrach's Menagerie is a compelling story of a boy swept away on a seafaring adventure. I got completely caught up in the story of Jaffy and Tim, and watching how adventure and strife shape their lives. Very well written. I highly recommend this book.
Paula W. (Sarasota, FL) (02/27/11)

A Truly Terrible Book
From the very first paragraph..."I was born twice. First in a wooden room...,and then again...in the Highway, when the tiger took me in his mouth...." - this novel was full of terrible and awful events.

Jaffey's adventures are terrifying and amazing , nothing like I have read before. This is wild, raw excitement - whaling,, shipwrecks, dragons - no description is too graphic for author Birch. I put the book down several times - but was compelled to return.

"Jamrach's Menagerie" is not for the faint of heart. But the narrative - so alive with winds, waves, horror - also has tender and poetic moments and characters who are very well drawn and worth the effort to get to know.
Ginger K. (Ballwin, MO) (02/25/11)

A tale of tales
I found this book to be story and temperament in the tradition of Dickens which in my view is excellent. The story of animal loving seafaring young men is a winner. There is enough fantasy mixed with grueling reality and exotic animals to remind one of the original fairy tales of Grimm............engaging and sometimes gruesome this book hold interest until the end. I would recomend it to readers age 12 and up and believe that it would make a good discussion piece for young adults.
Sharon W. (Two Rivers, WI) (02/22/11)

Jamarach's Menagerie
If you like mystery and suspense, you will definitely love this one. I wasn't so sure about it in the beginning, but it reeled me right in. Once it got me, it was hard to put down till I finished. From being almost eaten alive by a tiger to sailing on the seas. Friendships made and friendships gone. Very interesting. I will definitely be looking for more of Carol Birch's books.
Carol J. (Isle, MN) (02/21/11)

Jamrach's Menagerie
What a great adventure! A well told, exciting historical novel. Ms. Birch brings the reader right along on all of Jaffy's adventures. She skillfully gives the reader a glimpse of the lives of seafarers in the 19th century. Plus, the added dimension of fantasy with the discovery of the dragon. A very delightful book. Would be a fun bookclub discussion.
Mark O. (Wenatchee, WA) (02/21/11)

Surviving Life
Jamrach’s Menagerie is a legitimate heir of Dickens. Jaffee Brown, a young boy, is growing up in a squalid part of Victorian London, where children have early-onset adulthood. The weird luck of being carried about in the jaws of an escaped tiger leads to a job at the exotic animal emporium of the book’s title and a berth on a whaling ship. The real quest of the voyage is to capture a then-rumored, now zoo-housed beast.

This is a book of the senses. We hear, taste, feel, and especially smell Jaffee’s unpasteurized life. This is certainly a coming-of-age story but the growing-up is via the fast-track of gruesome ordeal. The book might carry a warning label for squeamish readers.

We could learn from this book that getting through the hardest bits of life might be luck or grace. Either way, the job of a survivor is to create sanctuary.
Elinor S. (Naples, FL) (02/21/11)

Jamrach's Menagerie
I felt that the book was very realistic (in spite of the dragon). Descriptively, so realistic, it made me uncomfortable. I like to learn from a book. I felt my knowledge of sailing in the 19 century was increased, however the later subject matter (cannibalism) made me sick. I'm not sure to what audience this would appeal.
Lisa B. (Denton, TX) (02/16/11)

The haunting cost of friendship
I have been wanting to read a book by Carol Birch for a long time and was excited when I learned she would have her newest book released in the United States.

I enjoyed this book immensely and found it hard to put down. It read as if the main character, Jaffy Brown, was actually telling his story and I was with him in the streets of Wapping and Radcliffe Highway, and out on on the open seas hunting whales. The reason for 4, rather than 5 stars is because the second section of the book was too realistic and hard to read for me.

This reminds me of Dickensian tale, with touches of Life of Pi.
  • Page
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Timekeepers
    Timekeepers
    by Simon Garfield
    If you can spare three minutes and 57 seconds, you can hear the driving, horse-gallop beat of Sade&#...
  • Book Jacket: How to Stop Time
    How to Stop Time
    by Matt Haig
    Tom Hazard, the protagonist of How to Stop Time, is afflicted with a condition of semi-immortality ...
  • Book Jacket: Mothers of Sparta
    Mothers of Sparta
    by Dawn Davies
    What it's about:
    The tagline on the back cover of Mothers of Sparta says it all: "Some women...
  • Book Jacket: Fortress America
    Fortress America
    by Elaine Tyler May
    In Fortress America, Elaine Tyler May presents a fascinating but alarming portrait of America's...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
A Piece of the World by Christina Baker Kline

From the bestselling author of Orphan Train, a stunning novel of passion and art.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Only Child
    by Rhiannon Navin

    A dazzling, tenderhearted debut about healing, family, and the exquisite wisdom of children.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Force of Nature
    by Jane Harper

    A riveting, tension-driven thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of The Dry.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore

The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore

A gripping novel from the award-winning author of For Today I Am a Boy.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

G O T P, B The P, F T P

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.