This is my first time to read Jonathan Dunne. I got his book as a member giveaway in Library Thing.
You may ask, is this book talking about a real elephant or just a metaphor? Like the famous elephant in the room?
This story is about Mick Munroe. He works at the zoo and is the keeper of the elephants. One of his charges is Sinbad, a 42-year old Indian elephant which is also the oldest elephant in the world. Sinbad is his best friend. Sinbad listens to Mick's stories and concerns. Sinbad according to Mick is a very good listener.
This is a very touching and heroic story of Mick and Sinbad. Mick is suffering from Alzheimer's and a depression that he was trying to deal, after the death of his wife. His only way of coping with the depression is working and caring for the elephants. Until he was forced to retire because he forgot to lock the enclosure and Sinbad got loose. After finding out that the person who took his place was a relative of the B**** in HR and having two hamsters in grade school was the only experience of caring for animals, Mick hang around the zoo in the hope of taking his job back. Then, Sinbad got hurt and what was supposed to be just a visit to his old friend turned into an elephant-napping.
This story talks of desperation and of loss. Mick's deep love and concern for his friend of 30 years--Sinbad, lead him to desperately save his friend from being abused and to spend his last lucid moments with his best friend, before the traitor Alzheimer finally take hold of his mind for good. These two's trek to the countryside turned out to be unexpected exploits of heroism. Their eventful journey and hilarious experiences had made them an inspiration to many.
I liked that the story ended with the unlikely pair as heroes and finally finding a home where they can both live and eventually die free and in peace.
I give this story 5/5 Indian elephants. This is a poignant story told with humor that will make your heart bleed. This is indeed an "Idiot's Guide to Hiding a Humongous Elephant in Plain Sight". Definitely, a worthwhile read that explores friendship and loyalty between humans and taxiderms. This is like the human mind's last stand against the inevitable clutches of Alzheimer's before it finally takes over. Well done Jonathan Dunne!
Alzheimer's doesn't change your personality -- it makes you forget your personality.
- Jonathan Dunne, Hide the Elephant -