Reader reviews and comments on When The Elephants Dance, plus links to write your own review.

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When The Elephants Dance

by Tess Uriza Holthe

When The Elephants Dance
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  • First Published:
    Jan 2002, 368 pages
    Paperback:
    Jul 2003, 368 pages

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There are currently 14 reader reviews for When The Elephants Dance
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julyssa (12/15/14)

just amazing.
This has easily became one of my most favorite books. The stories that are being told are just so raw and true. They made me think so much after reading the stories from Alejandro, Isabelle, Domingo, Tay Fredrico, Roman, and Aling Anna. It was very engaging and I just love this book so much I am going to have to re-read it over and over. Calling this book amazing is simply an understatement.
BabyGirl_Bookluvr92 (09/19/07)

I loved it
This book is awesome and anyone who doesn't like it, just don't know what they're reading and how true and realistic this is.
Nathan Rafael (10/08/06)

When the Editors Stumble
While I found the subject matter of Tess Uriza Holthe's novel, When the Elephants Dance, compelling and engaging, I cannot say the same for her writing skills. Overwrought and flat, her narrative drags down what could have been a page-turner to a page-shuffler. I put this book aside many times, and if I had not made the commitment to read it for my book group I would not have finished it.
Ms. Holthe had several stories to tell, and she earns points for weaving them together adequately (though not seamlessly, as the transitions sometimes feel forced), but she lacks an ear for language and rhythm, and an essential sense of pacing. How, for example, does the reader benefit from multiple references to a starving character's grumbling stomach (all within a few pages)? Once or twice the information is duly noted, but after the seventh or eighth, perhaps tenth time, it becomes highly annoying. A reference to a wife "big with child" occurs three times in one paragraph! Repetition does not enhance, but rather seriously detracts from the forcefulness of the story, unless it is accomplished in some poetic way, definitely not the case under Holthe's leaden pen. We do not need a blow-by-blow description to feel engaged in a tale, we need leaner prose, more concise action, economy of language. Also, too many characters to keep straight muddle the plot, especially when the way they express themselves does not vary significantly.
This book required serious copy-editing that, amazingly, did not happen. Translations from Tagalog and Spanish to English are excessive and seem stilted. And totally unforgiveable are the many references to "caribou", or arctic reindeer. I kept wondering what they were doing in the tropical Philippines? After a few hundred pages, the puzzle was finally solved: the author meant "carabao", or water buffalo! Where was the editor? Asleep at the controls. Harrowing tales of survival in brutal wartime and occupation are not enough when expressed ineffectively. This novel should have been at least a hundred pages shorter, if Holthe and her editors had done their work properly.
Rob (02/26/05)

this is the single most stupidest boring book in the world. never let anyone be subjected to this boring book. NEVER
Emily (02/16/05)

So0o0o boring...god help me i have to read 100 more pages..TONIGHT....
marj (02/14/05)

im in ninth grade, this book is by far one of the best i have ever read
Cheryl Lingbanan, UCSC (11/06/04)

I read the book 3 years ago and I can still say that this is my favorite book ever...

I can still remember the first time I read the novel...I laughed, I cried...
The time and setting was described beautifully. Some of the events and images brought me back to the stories that were told by both my grandfathers. Besides getting a glimpse of how it was during their time, I also got inspired by the characters and their stories. I can't wait for Holthe's next novel!
kim (11/04/04)

One of the best books I've ever read!
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