Where the Serpent Lives PDF æ Where the PDF/EPUB ²

Where the Serpent Lives PDF æ Where the PDF/EPUB ²


10 thoughts on “Where the Serpent Lives

  1. Rebecca Rebecca says:

    For a novel by a nature loving poet, Where the Serpent Lives struck me as surprisingly plot driven There are domestic English dramas a husband s adultery, a son s drug use and descent into chavvy habits along with rather obvious romantic entanglements and a sly buildup to the events of 7 7 I preferred thewild setting of the subplot herpetologists in India Several of the most enjoyable themes from Padel s poetry at least in the two collections I ve read, The Soho Leopard and Darwin For a novel by a nature loving poet, Where the Serpent Lives struck me as surprisingly plot driven There are domestic English dramas a husband s adultery, a son s drug use and descent into chavvy habits along with rather obvious romantic entanglements and a sly buildup to the events of 7 7 I preferred thewild setting of the subplot herpetologists in India Several of the most enjoyable themes from Padel s poetry at least in the two collections I ve read, The Soho Leopard and Darwin A Life in Poems are present here, including urban wildlife and natural selection, particularly in the works of Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace, for whom one of the characters is named unfortunately it is Russel, the sulky teenage son.Padel s most interesting technique in this novel is interspersing scenes of human life with scenes of animal life for instance, the foxes living behind Rosamund s house, and the gecko on the ceiling of Kellar s office She occasionally zooms in to a microscopic physiological level to show how intricate natural processes are happening all around us and inside us all the time, even when we are unaware of them Sometimes this works well sometimes it s overwrought Here s where it goes too far, in the distressing scene with the badger baiters From the upper end of eight kidneys, tiny molecules of epinephrine rushed out of four adrenal medullas in the inner part of the adrenal gland, rampaging through their blood like wildfire, speeding up violently the beating of four hollow muscular organs which had begun pumping about thirty years ago The specificity of the technical language seems, well, a bit poncey Here, though, her poet s language renders a fox s mouse leap exquisitely Genes, nerves and muscles curve him into a circumflex at the top of his jump His four paws dangle, his brush points down behind as if God, or a genetic code handed down through millennia, has picked him up under his elbows There s a delicious false flippancy in that sentence, as Padel playfully equates a personally intervening God with an age old natural process In fact, I would describe much of the book as playful Padel herself is like the bemused god casting a winking eye down on her little fictional world, seeing beyond the ultimately pointless striving and despairing of her characters to the changeless patterns of nature.There are enjoyable elements here, but I think Padel has let the dictates of plot overwhelm her her vision and language are certainly better suited to poetry, thatlanguorous literary pursuit


  2. David Hebblethwaite David Hebblethwaite says:

    Where the Serpent Lives is the first novel by the poet Ruth Padel I didn t know much about Padel prior to reading the book, but the author biography mentioned that she d been acclaimed for her nature writing and, straight away, it was easy to see why I found the first scene, which describes an encounter with a king cobra in the jungles of India, to be wonderfully intense, making poetry out of the precise language of science Sadly, the novel never quite reached that level of intensity again Where the Serpent Lives is the first novel by the poet Ruth Padel I didn t know much about Padel prior to reading the book, but the author biography mentioned that she d been acclaimed for her nature writing and, straight away, it was easy to see why I found the first scene, which describes an encounter with a king cobra in the jungles of India, to be wonderfully intense, making poetry out of the precise language of science Sadly, the novel never quite reached that level of intensity again.Padel s chief protagonist is Rosamund Fairfax, the daughter of Tobias Kellar, an eminent herpetologist, who might have followed her father into the biological sciences, but instead abandoned her university studies and embarked on a relationship with music mogul Tyler Now, in 2005, Rosamund is forty two years of age and living in London, unhappily married to a philandering Tyler, saddened and frustrated at the uncommunicative teenager her son Russel has become, and wanting nothing to do with her father who s still based in India, where Rosamund grew up Where the Serpent Lives chronicles a year of drastic change in Rosamund s life.The key problem I have with Padel s novel is not being able to engage with the central relationships Partly, this is an issue of characterisation Russel s character seems to me not to rise above that of a stock sullen teenager and, whilst there s plenty of evidence that Tyler is a bad husband, one sees much less of the caring side that makes Rosamund stay with him making her dilemma that bit harder to empathise with.It s also partly an issue of prose There are moments where I find Padel s writing sharply observant such as when one of Tyler s lovers reflects on her past in war torn Kosovo and contrasts it with Tyler s flippancy, concluding that he did not live in a world where people died 168 but much of it doesn t command the same attention Padel s prose is at its most effective in the passages dealing with the book s most extreme events but the heart of Where the Serpent Lives concerns the everyday, where the prose is weaker and, since the novel s strengths lie on its fringes, the result is, naturally, uneven Where the Serpent Lives is a frustrating read that genuinely has its moments, some of them very good but it s hard not to wish forthan just moments


  3. DubaiReader DubaiReader says:

    A wildlife novel This was an unusual novel, melding family relationships with vivid descriptions of wildlife and a heartfelt plea for conservation.Had I known beforehand that the author was a poet I would have avoided the book, expecting lengthy descriptive prose, but I found myself totally absorbed in the wildlife passages This was especially true where tension also played a part such as where we watch king cobras larger than a man, fight territorial battles and then slither towards the watc A wildlife novel This was an unusual novel, melding family relationships with vivid descriptions of wildlife and a heartfelt plea for conservation.Had I known beforehand that the author was a poet I would have avoided the book, expecting lengthy descriptive prose, but I found myself totally absorbed in the wildlife passages This was especially true where tension also played a part such as where we watch king cobras larger than a man, fight territorial battles and then slither towards the watching characters The observations on an urban fox family were similarly beautiful.The story behind all this wildlife is that of Rosamund, her husband Tyler and their son, Russel Ros is the daughter of a world renowned snake expert and had started a biology degree when she fell for the charismatic, though seriously flawed, Tyler Her father may have had an amazing empathy with snakes but his ability to interact with people is less well developed and Ros is estranged from him when we meet her Tyler is a philandering smooth talker, while Russel is a sullen teenager All is not well in Ros s life.Everything comes to a thrilling climax as London faces the bombings of its underground and bus services in 2005.It was not a quick read but the effort was worthwhile as we unravel Ros s life and simultaneously follow the natural world beyond the characters.If you love nature and have strong views on conservation then you ll love this book


  4. Katrina Tan Katrina Tan says:

    Engaging and interesting, but falls so easily into sentimentality.


  5. Aakanksha Joshi Aakanksha Joshi says:

    Didn t realise I took so long to read this book but it did changed me so much My outlook towards the different shades everyone carries with themselves, the resentment and unexpressed emotions we carry all our lives everything has changed This book is so dark that sometimes you feel that king Cobra is actually circling you An extremely tragic tale of Rosamund and her father who is based out of India, researching about snakes, her husband Tyler who abandons her all his life to sleep with other Didn t realise I took so long to read this book but it did changed me so much My outlook towards the different shades everyone carries with themselves, the resentment and unexpressed emotions we carry all our lives everything has changed This book is so dark that sometimes you feel that king Cobra is actually circling you An extremely tragic tale of Rosamund and her father who is based out of India, researching about snakes, her husband Tyler who abandons her all his life to sleep with other woman, her son Russel who has an imaginary friend Kaa, her best friend Irena s husband Richard who fantasies about Rosamund in Indian forests This book is like walking into a tropical Indian forest where you will find all kinds of animals, wild and beautiful scary at times and mesmerising at other time s but mostly darkness engulfing you


  6. Sue Murdoch Sue Murdoch says:

    I loved the descriptions of animal life, learned a lot Reading this book led me to Ruth s poetry and I found I loved her poetrybeautiful word flow this is definitely evident in her novel too, but links between plot themes and characters sometimes seemed disjointed I will certainly be seekingof Ruth Padel s poetry and am likely to read further novels, as this was her first.


  7. Sasha Martinez Sasha Martinez says:

    Could ve been, if not great, then good enough, a respectable first venture into fiction But it s an ambitious novel that fails There s no doubt where Padel s talents lie Padel who happens to be the great great granddaughter of Charles Darwin turns her narrative eye to nature, assigns her lyricism to the plights of the jungles of India and the odd badger in England So much vividness in her exploration of ecological issues, the characterization of animals here and there.However, I couldn t hel Could ve been, if not great, then good enough, a respectable first venture into fiction But it s an ambitious novel that fails There s no doubt where Padel s talents lie Padel who happens to be the great great granddaughter of Charles Darwin turns her narrative eye to nature, assigns her lyricism to the plights of the jungles of India and the odd badger in England So much vividness in her exploration of ecological issues, the characterization of animals here and there.However, I couldn t help but feel that these were the superior characters in the novel Padel s humans leave a lot to be desired Credibility is one of them Actual personalities, another.There s a sacredness to the depiction of nature Some rare and secret thing we re let in on when we slip into the mind of a snake or a fox But it all gets humdrum and stereotypical with people There s Rosamund, around whom the novel centers on, the annoyingly long suffering wife There s Tyler, charismatic when you ask the blurb, Type A douche if you ask me I will elaborate on this later on, but man, this guy is a dick What else There s the uncommunicative teenager, the estranged father, the guy who was once in love with Rosamund, the random friend and let s not forget the tender hearted Croatian mistress.I am not exaggerating This book points at a depressing lack of imagination when it comes to the human characters considering they re what the novel is about, the animals only scurrying in and out of the picture The human beings have no complexity in them They don t have to be likeable, they just have to be real And the author has to do that for us readers Padel, sadly, doesn t.Take Rosamund The blurb asks, Why is Rosamund so paralyzed by Tyler and his secrets Yes, Dear Novel, why Why do you stay, Rosamund, when the man so audaciously parades his womanizing ways for all and sundry to see Why do you stay with Tyler who says things like How cool, how sexy on the subject of rape Why do you stay when he is so obviously a jerk you have no connection to Why do you insist you love him Why do you stay, dammit I am all for dissatisfaction I am all for paralysis Give me domestic disturbances and those subtle and not so subtle tensions I am all for that I am all for deluding one s self into loving jerks, and staying with charismatic douchebags But, for God s sake, there is no possible reason for Rosamund to be the way she is no possible reason except for The Author Said So I m not even asking for psychoanalysis or motivation I m just asking for believable characters who do not make me roll my eyes, characters who do not make skip to the end.Yes, another book I d skipped to the end Because, frankly, it was getting ridiculous First the characters angered me I can be judgmental, har And then they annoyed me And then they just had me gaping in shock and pity And then I didn t care Augh And the sex scenes are particularly horrid Caviar and nipples hell, anything to do with crass and smarmy Tyler is EW The book s end is crammed with the credibility I was looking for Or attempt of It was really too little, too late The novel spent 200 pages detailing what an insufferable group of people these are, and a couple of pages to the end we re told Oh, not really I am not buying it.With humans Ill timed revelations, shaky plotting, lackluster characters With our animal extras Evocative language, lush descriptions, and vivid characterizations See what I m getting at here


  8. Meghan Meghan says:

    Well that was depressing.There is a lot of very graphic scenes in this book about the state of endangered species in India and the corruption of the law and guards protecting them as well as the plight of wild animals living in urban spaces, and a brief mention of endangered animal black market imports to china, I won t go into detail as It was very upsetting to read, especially the badger hunting scene, and made me angry that money isimportant than preserving a species and that animals al Well that was depressing.There is a lot of very graphic scenes in this book about the state of endangered species in India and the corruption of the law and guards protecting them as well as the plight of wild animals living in urban spaces, and a brief mention of endangered animal black market imports to china, I won t go into detail as It was very upsetting to read, especially the badger hunting scene, and made me angry that money isimportant than preserving a species and that animals always lose to man because they have no voice we understand I understand that this is how the world is right now but it doesn t make for pleasant reading and this aspect of the book often made me feel despondent and bleak, it was very sobering What ll they do when the only animals left are disease bearing insects with no birds and frogs to eat them, rats with no snakes to eat those The story about rosamund, Tyler and Russell was OK, I didn t like any of the characters in the book so didn t care about their problems Rosamund was so annoying she frustrated me no end The other characters, Anka, Richard etc were also quite bland, I considered giving up on this book half way through as I was getting annoyed with Russell surliness and rosamunds fretting but I m glad I kept going as I did enjoy the latter half of the book, after the bombing, It still wasn t amazing but it was muchentertaining to read and not as hopeless as the rest of it.An OK book, The plot is pretty run of the mill and easy to predict whats going to happen, e.g Russell stopping the teen angst crap, Anka and rosamund meeting, Rosamund and scott etc The animal and nature writing is really well done and evokes a lot of emotion, a lot of it is sadness for the plight of wild animals and evokes just how serious the problem is, This book will not cheer you up and will most likely leave you feeling quite sad about the state of the world


  9. Ryan Ryan says:

    Rather disappointing coming after Tigers in Red Weather , which was an excellent non fiction account of her travels in Asia researching the status of wild tigers Being the author s first work of fiction, it shows in the often inappropriate similes and descriptions she uses for her characters behavior and thoughts I expected muchof the story to be in India given the title and the author s background as a Nature Science writer, but we only get mere glimpses and nothan a couple doze Rather disappointing coming after Tigers in Red Weather , which was an excellent non fiction account of her travels in Asia researching the status of wild tigers Being the author s first work of fiction, it shows in the often inappropriate similes and descriptions she uses for her characters behavior and thoughts I expected muchof the story to be in India given the title and the author s background as a Nature Science writer, but we only get mere glimpses and nothan a couple dozen pages of the story actually taking place there A pity as her descriptions of the raw beauty of the untamed Indian forest are quite evocative Instead, this turned out to be an ordinary story about a dysfunctional family of Londoners going about their unexciting and typical lives The additional impact of the story taking place during the London train and bus bombings of 2005 unfortunately failed to add any level of depth The Indian angle comes across as merely incidental to the main plot If only Padel can come up with ainteresting story to base off her detailed knowledge of natural history, this could ve been muchenjoyable I would hesitate to plunge into her next novel without doing some research, thats for sure


  10. Bronwyn Hegarty Bronwyn Hegarty says:

    This is an intriguing book seemingly about snakes in the jungle it is also about human snakes, in particular a philandering husband and his wife who suffers his infidelities for the opulent lifestyle he provides.Richard the snake man studies serpents in India in particular the cobra The story switches between India and London and two families It was a really interesting and a very sad book.


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Where the Serpent Lives ➿ [Download] ➽ Where the Serpent Lives By Ruth Padel ➵ – Capitalsoftworks.co.uk There was a time when it seemed as if the whole world was in love with Rosamund Then she married Tyler and lost herself A dramatic and unexpected return to India seems to offer her a chance for renewa There was a time when it seemed as if the whole world was in love with Rosamund Then she married Tyler and lost herself A dramatic and unexpected return to India seems to offer her a chance for renewal, but can her family survive the changes she must make to save herself.

  • Paperback
  • 308 pages
  • Where the Serpent Lives
  • Ruth Padel
  • English
  • 12 April 2019
  • 1408702029

About the Author: Ruth Padel

Ruth is a British poet and writer Her most recent book The Mara Crossing is a mixed genre meditation on migration, prose and poetry She has published eight poetry collections, a novel, and eight books of non fiction, including three on reading poetry She also presents Radio s Poetry Workshop, visiting poetry groups across the UK to discuss their poemsHer awards include First Prize in the UK National Poetry Competition, a Cholmondeley Award from The Society of Authors, an Arts Council of Where the PDF/EPUB ² England Writers Award and a British Council Darwin Now Research Award for her novel Where the Serpent LivesRuth lives in London and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, a Member of the Bombay Natural History Society, an Ambassador for New Networks for Nature, a Patron of st Century Tiger and a Council Member of the Zoological Society of London.


10 thoughts on “Where the Serpent Lives

  1. Rebecca Rebecca says:

    For a novel by a nature loving poet, Where the Serpent Lives struck me as surprisingly plot driven There are domestic English dramas a husband s adultery, a son s drug use and descent into chavvy habits along with rather obvious romantic entanglements and a sly buildup to the events of 7 7 I preferred thewild setting of the subplot herpetologists in India Several of the most enjoyable themes from Padel s poetry at least in the two collections I ve read, The Soho Leopard and Darwin For a novel by a nature loving poet, Where the Serpent Lives struck me as surprisingly plot driven There are domestic English dramas a husband s adultery, a son s drug use and descent into chavvy habits along with rather obvious romantic entanglements and a sly buildup to the events of 7 7 I preferred thewild setting of the subplot herpetologists in India Several of the most enjoyable themes from Padel s poetry at least in the two collections I ve read, The Soho Leopard and Darwin A Life in Poems are present here, including urban wildlife and natural selection, particularly in the works of Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace, for whom one of the characters is named unfortunately it is Russel, the sulky teenage son.Padel s most interesting technique in this novel is interspersing scenes of human life with scenes of animal life for instance, the foxes living behind Rosamund s house, and the gecko on the ceiling of Kellar s office She occasionally zooms in to a microscopic physiological level to show how intricate natural processes are happening all around us and inside us all the time, even when we are unaware of them Sometimes this works well sometimes it s overwrought Here s where it goes too far, in the distressing scene with the badger baiters From the upper end of eight kidneys, tiny molecules of epinephrine rushed out of four adrenal medullas in the inner part of the adrenal gland, rampaging through their blood like wildfire, speeding up violently the beating of four hollow muscular organs which had begun pumping about thirty years ago The specificity of the technical language seems, well, a bit poncey Here, though, her poet s language renders a fox s mouse leap exquisitely Genes, nerves and muscles curve him into a circumflex at the top of his jump His four paws dangle, his brush points down behind as if God, or a genetic code handed down through millennia, has picked him up under his elbows There s a delicious false flippancy in that sentence, as Padel playfully equates a personally intervening God with an age old natural process In fact, I would describe much of the book as playful Padel herself is like the bemused god casting a winking eye down on her little fictional world, seeing beyond the ultimately pointless striving and despairing of her characters to the changeless patterns of nature.There are enjoyable elements here, but I think Padel has let the dictates of plot overwhelm her her vision and language are certainly better suited to poetry, thatlanguorous literary pursuit

  2. David Hebblethwaite David Hebblethwaite says:

    Where the Serpent Lives is the first novel by the poet Ruth Padel I didn t know much about Padel prior to reading the book, but the author biography mentioned that she d been acclaimed for her nature writing and, straight away, it was easy to see why I found the first scene, which describes an encounter with a king cobra in the jungles of India, to be wonderfully intense, making poetry out of the precise language of science Sadly, the novel never quite reached that level of intensity again Where the Serpent Lives is the first novel by the poet Ruth Padel I didn t know much about Padel prior to reading the book, but the author biography mentioned that she d been acclaimed for her nature writing and, straight away, it was easy to see why I found the first scene, which describes an encounter with a king cobra in the jungles of India, to be wonderfully intense, making poetry out of the precise language of science Sadly, the novel never quite reached that level of intensity again.Padel s chief protagonist is Rosamund Fairfax, the daughter of Tobias Kellar, an eminent herpetologist, who might have followed her father into the biological sciences, but instead abandoned her university studies and embarked on a relationship with music mogul Tyler Now, in 2005, Rosamund is forty two years of age and living in London, unhappily married to a philandering Tyler, saddened and frustrated at the uncommunicative teenager her son Russel has become, and wanting nothing to do with her father who s still based in India, where Rosamund grew up Where the Serpent Lives chronicles a year of drastic change in Rosamund s life.The key problem I have with Padel s novel is not being able to engage with the central relationships Partly, this is an issue of characterisation Russel s character seems to me not to rise above that of a stock sullen teenager and, whilst there s plenty of evidence that Tyler is a bad husband, one sees much less of the caring side that makes Rosamund stay with him making her dilemma that bit harder to empathise with.It s also partly an issue of prose There are moments where I find Padel s writing sharply observant such as when one of Tyler s lovers reflects on her past in war torn Kosovo and contrasts it with Tyler s flippancy, concluding that he did not live in a world where people died 168 but much of it doesn t command the same attention Padel s prose is at its most effective in the passages dealing with the book s most extreme events but the heart of Where the Serpent Lives concerns the everyday, where the prose is weaker and, since the novel s strengths lie on its fringes, the result is, naturally, uneven Where the Serpent Lives is a frustrating read that genuinely has its moments, some of them very good but it s hard not to wish forthan just moments

  3. DubaiReader DubaiReader says:

    A wildlife novel This was an unusual novel, melding family relationships with vivid descriptions of wildlife and a heartfelt plea for conservation.Had I known beforehand that the author was a poet I would have avoided the book, expecting lengthy descriptive prose, but I found myself totally absorbed in the wildlife passages This was especially true where tension also played a part such as where we watch king cobras larger than a man, fight territorial battles and then slither towards the watc A wildlife novel This was an unusual novel, melding family relationships with vivid descriptions of wildlife and a heartfelt plea for conservation.Had I known beforehand that the author was a poet I would have avoided the book, expecting lengthy descriptive prose, but I found myself totally absorbed in the wildlife passages This was especially true where tension also played a part such as where we watch king cobras larger than a man, fight territorial battles and then slither towards the watching characters The observations on an urban fox family were similarly beautiful.The story behind all this wildlife is that of Rosamund, her husband Tyler and their son, Russel Ros is the daughter of a world renowned snake expert and had started a biology degree when she fell for the charismatic, though seriously flawed, Tyler Her father may have had an amazing empathy with snakes but his ability to interact with people is less well developed and Ros is estranged from him when we meet her Tyler is a philandering smooth talker, while Russel is a sullen teenager All is not well in Ros s life.Everything comes to a thrilling climax as London faces the bombings of its underground and bus services in 2005.It was not a quick read but the effort was worthwhile as we unravel Ros s life and simultaneously follow the natural world beyond the characters.If you love nature and have strong views on conservation then you ll love this book

  4. Katrina Tan Katrina Tan says:

    Engaging and interesting, but falls so easily into sentimentality.

  5. Aakanksha Joshi Aakanksha Joshi says:

    Didn t realise I took so long to read this book but it did changed me so much My outlook towards the different shades everyone carries with themselves, the resentment and unexpressed emotions we carry all our lives everything has changed This book is so dark that sometimes you feel that king Cobra is actually circling you An extremely tragic tale of Rosamund and her father who is based out of India, researching about snakes, her husband Tyler who abandons her all his life to sleep with other Didn t realise I took so long to read this book but it did changed me so much My outlook towards the different shades everyone carries with themselves, the resentment and unexpressed emotions we carry all our lives everything has changed This book is so dark that sometimes you feel that king Cobra is actually circling you An extremely tragic tale of Rosamund and her father who is based out of India, researching about snakes, her husband Tyler who abandons her all his life to sleep with other woman, her son Russel who has an imaginary friend Kaa, her best friend Irena s husband Richard who fantasies about Rosamund in Indian forests This book is like walking into a tropical Indian forest where you will find all kinds of animals, wild and beautiful scary at times and mesmerising at other time s but mostly darkness engulfing you

  6. Sue Murdoch Sue Murdoch says:

    I loved the descriptions of animal life, learned a lot Reading this book led me to Ruth s poetry and I found I loved her poetrybeautiful word flow this is definitely evident in her novel too, but links between plot themes and characters sometimes seemed disjointed I will certainly be seekingof Ruth Padel s poetry and am likely to read further novels, as this was her first.

  7. Sasha Martinez Sasha Martinez says:

    Could ve been, if not great, then good enough, a respectable first venture into fiction But it s an ambitious novel that fails There s no doubt where Padel s talents lie Padel who happens to be the great great granddaughter of Charles Darwin turns her narrative eye to nature, assigns her lyricism to the plights of the jungles of India and the odd badger in England So much vividness in her exploration of ecological issues, the characterization of animals here and there.However, I couldn t hel Could ve been, if not great, then good enough, a respectable first venture into fiction But it s an ambitious novel that fails There s no doubt where Padel s talents lie Padel who happens to be the great great granddaughter of Charles Darwin turns her narrative eye to nature, assigns her lyricism to the plights of the jungles of India and the odd badger in England So much vividness in her exploration of ecological issues, the characterization of animals here and there.However, I couldn t help but feel that these were the superior characters in the novel Padel s humans leave a lot to be desired Credibility is one of them Actual personalities, another.There s a sacredness to the depiction of nature Some rare and secret thing we re let in on when we slip into the mind of a snake or a fox But it all gets humdrum and stereotypical with people There s Rosamund, around whom the novel centers on, the annoyingly long suffering wife There s Tyler, charismatic when you ask the blurb, Type A douche if you ask me I will elaborate on this later on, but man, this guy is a dick What else There s the uncommunicative teenager, the estranged father, the guy who was once in love with Rosamund, the random friend and let s not forget the tender hearted Croatian mistress.I am not exaggerating This book points at a depressing lack of imagination when it comes to the human characters considering they re what the novel is about, the animals only scurrying in and out of the picture The human beings have no complexity in them They don t have to be likeable, they just have to be real And the author has to do that for us readers Padel, sadly, doesn t.Take Rosamund The blurb asks, Why is Rosamund so paralyzed by Tyler and his secrets Yes, Dear Novel, why Why do you stay, Rosamund, when the man so audaciously parades his womanizing ways for all and sundry to see Why do you stay with Tyler who says things like How cool, how sexy on the subject of rape Why do you stay when he is so obviously a jerk you have no connection to Why do you insist you love him Why do you stay, dammit I am all for dissatisfaction I am all for paralysis Give me domestic disturbances and those subtle and not so subtle tensions I am all for that I am all for deluding one s self into loving jerks, and staying with charismatic douchebags But, for God s sake, there is no possible reason for Rosamund to be the way she is no possible reason except for The Author Said So I m not even asking for psychoanalysis or motivation I m just asking for believable characters who do not make me roll my eyes, characters who do not make skip to the end.Yes, another book I d skipped to the end Because, frankly, it was getting ridiculous First the characters angered me I can be judgmental, har And then they annoyed me And then they just had me gaping in shock and pity And then I didn t care Augh And the sex scenes are particularly horrid Caviar and nipples hell, anything to do with crass and smarmy Tyler is EW The book s end is crammed with the credibility I was looking for Or attempt of It was really too little, too late The novel spent 200 pages detailing what an insufferable group of people these are, and a couple of pages to the end we re told Oh, not really I am not buying it.With humans Ill timed revelations, shaky plotting, lackluster characters With our animal extras Evocative language, lush descriptions, and vivid characterizations See what I m getting at here

  8. Meghan Meghan says:

    Well that was depressing.There is a lot of very graphic scenes in this book about the state of endangered species in India and the corruption of the law and guards protecting them as well as the plight of wild animals living in urban spaces, and a brief mention of endangered animal black market imports to china, I won t go into detail as It was very upsetting to read, especially the badger hunting scene, and made me angry that money isimportant than preserving a species and that animals al Well that was depressing.There is a lot of very graphic scenes in this book about the state of endangered species in India and the corruption of the law and guards protecting them as well as the plight of wild animals living in urban spaces, and a brief mention of endangered animal black market imports to china, I won t go into detail as It was very upsetting to read, especially the badger hunting scene, and made me angry that money isimportant than preserving a species and that animals always lose to man because they have no voice we understand I understand that this is how the world is right now but it doesn t make for pleasant reading and this aspect of the book often made me feel despondent and bleak, it was very sobering What ll they do when the only animals left are disease bearing insects with no birds and frogs to eat them, rats with no snakes to eat those The story about rosamund, Tyler and Russell was OK, I didn t like any of the characters in the book so didn t care about their problems Rosamund was so annoying she frustrated me no end The other characters, Anka, Richard etc were also quite bland, I considered giving up on this book half way through as I was getting annoyed with Russell surliness and rosamunds fretting but I m glad I kept going as I did enjoy the latter half of the book, after the bombing, It still wasn t amazing but it was muchentertaining to read and not as hopeless as the rest of it.An OK book, The plot is pretty run of the mill and easy to predict whats going to happen, e.g Russell stopping the teen angst crap, Anka and rosamund meeting, Rosamund and scott etc The animal and nature writing is really well done and evokes a lot of emotion, a lot of it is sadness for the plight of wild animals and evokes just how serious the problem is, This book will not cheer you up and will most likely leave you feeling quite sad about the state of the world

  9. Ryan Ryan says:

    Rather disappointing coming after Tigers in Red Weather , which was an excellent non fiction account of her travels in Asia researching the status of wild tigers Being the author s first work of fiction, it shows in the often inappropriate similes and descriptions she uses for her characters behavior and thoughts I expected muchof the story to be in India given the title and the author s background as a Nature Science writer, but we only get mere glimpses and nothan a couple doze Rather disappointing coming after Tigers in Red Weather , which was an excellent non fiction account of her travels in Asia researching the status of wild tigers Being the author s first work of fiction, it shows in the often inappropriate similes and descriptions she uses for her characters behavior and thoughts I expected muchof the story to be in India given the title and the author s background as a Nature Science writer, but we only get mere glimpses and nothan a couple dozen pages of the story actually taking place there A pity as her descriptions of the raw beauty of the untamed Indian forest are quite evocative Instead, this turned out to be an ordinary story about a dysfunctional family of Londoners going about their unexciting and typical lives The additional impact of the story taking place during the London train and bus bombings of 2005 unfortunately failed to add any level of depth The Indian angle comes across as merely incidental to the main plot If only Padel can come up with ainteresting story to base off her detailed knowledge of natural history, this could ve been muchenjoyable I would hesitate to plunge into her next novel without doing some research, thats for sure

  10. Bronwyn Hegarty Bronwyn Hegarty says:

    This is an intriguing book seemingly about snakes in the jungle it is also about human snakes, in particular a philandering husband and his wife who suffers his infidelities for the opulent lifestyle he provides.Richard the snake man studies serpents in India in particular the cobra The story switches between India and London and two families It was a really interesting and a very sad book.

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