Wednesday, April 8, 2015
I have been reading a lot of books about elephants lately and when The Tusk That Did the Damage hit my radar, I knew I wanted to read it.
The Tusk That Did the Damage takes place in India and is told from three different perspectives. The elephant, the poacher and the filmmaker.
The Elephant also known as Gravedigger begins his story by talking about the death of his herd. Memories haunt his everyday life as he witnesses the death of his family and he is captured and put into captivity to entertain others.
The poacher tells his brother's story. It is complex and full of revenge because the Gravedigger took the life of their 17 year old cousin Raghu. You must know the story of their life for you to understand their role as poacher.
The filmmaker is an American in India making a documentary on elephants and the Vet who treats them. From behind the camera and in conducting interviews, she tries to piece together the truth.
Tania James is an excellent writer who has crafted a thoughtful, complex novel that speaks of current day issues. The elephant is becoming endangered as poachers hunt them for the ivory in their tusks. Elephants are powerful creatures with an amazing memory and a matriarchal society. Poachers are being paid high wages to rid their farmland of animals that wreak havoc on their crops and livelihood in India.
The Tusk That Did the Damage is a page-turning, can't wait to find out what happens next, sort of book. It is devastatingly beautiful and tragic and brilliant. I have fallen in love with Gravedigger and the poacher and the filmmaker. My heart aches for each of them and I wish the story didn't have to end. Unfortunately every story must come to an end and so this is my recommendation; Read slowly and tell everyone you know to read it.
Disclosure: I was given a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.