Never, not ever, have I heard a more absorbing book about animals and their relationship to all of us. Every living creature on earth has it's own unique means of surviving. During World War II Germany wanted to interrupt or eliminate some species of animals. What were they trying to control and why. Did you know that in many countries not that long ago, most zoo's were privately owned by wealthy individuals. Many it turns out were investing in the preservation of these declining beautiful creatures. The story is all here in the "Zoo Keepers Wife". Please read the "Opinion Section" above for comments that could help you determine if the "Zoo Keepers Wife" would be appropriate for you.
I read this shortly after it came in print, I chose this audio at random but had trouble understanding the narrator. Now I've seen the film. Yes, skip bugs or other subject matter if you so desire, for me the most important subject is remembering the hate one group of humans can have for another.
I want to remember that this behavior exists today, always has and likely always will. It's important to me to not take part in this ugliness. 'Time and again, social groups organized along ethnic, national, racial and religious lines have savaged other groups.'
What could have been an interesting look at zoo life and world war II in Poland was bogged down by random tangents. So, one of the zookeepers acquaintances happened to collect and mount bugs (it wasn't displayed at the zoo or anything like that). That doesn't mean I want to read/listen to pages and pages on different types of beetles!
I enjoyed most of this book. The parts about Jan's work with the Underground, sneaking Jews out of the Warsaw ghetto and just all the things that happened to the zoo and to Warsaw and the Zabinski family and friends during the war were facinating. I could have done without long passages about beetles etc. You can skip over those and not miss a thing.
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