Very Good Paragraphs (Special Feelgood Edition)

Just received over email Booklist’s advance review of The Authentic Animal:

The Authentic Animal: Inside the Odd and Obsessive World of Taxidermy.
Madden, Dave (Author)
Aug 2011. 288 p. St. Martin’s, hardcover, $26.99. (9780312643713). 579.4.

When you think about taxidermy, you probably think of it as a creepy hobby of a bygone era (fancied by that murderous psycho Norman Bates) or the tackiest form of basement novelty kitsch (ladies and gentlemen . . . the jackalope!). While the creepy/kitsch factor is stuck like glue to the art form (and the author does make a strong case that it is one), there is a long, rich, and, yes, colorful history associated with it. And, despite what you may think, it’s still a thriving business today. Madden covers it all with genuine curiosity, respect, depth, and wit (“I can’t help wondering what would happen if the tables were turned . . . . How would any of our skins look when mounted to resemble, say, Steve Guttenberg?”). He has an authentic, obsessive desire to delve deeper into our complicated relationship with the animal kingdom through this controversial practice and its proud, dedicated practitioners. He also addresses everything from the wildly popular Body Worlds exhibit to animal-rights groups such as PETA. A biographical narrative of Carl Akeley, “the father of modern taxidermy,” is artfully woven through this remarkably entertaining and thought-provoking book.
— Chris Keech

A starred review. My first. Thanks, Mr. Keech.

One thought on “Very Good Paragraphs (Special Feelgood Edition)”

  1. Wow! Plus he calls you Madden. It’s like gym class. Donnie Maaaaaaah!!!

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