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Sunday, 15 November 2009

Review: Eye of the Wolf

Author: Daniel Pennac
Translator: Sarah Adams
First published: UK 2002
Genre: Animal tale
Taret audience: 8+

Amazon says:
The wolf has lost nearly everything on his journey to the zoo - including his eye and his beloved pack. The boy has lost nearly everything too, and seen many terrible things. As they face each other on either side of the wolf's enclosure they share their stories in this captivating, mysterious and utterly unforgettable tale.

Eye of the Wolf is a short but beautiful story told from two perspectives. Blue Wolf has a sad tale to tell of how he came to be held in captivity in the zoo. The boy - whose name I shall not reveal because it is a part of his story - tells a remarkable tale of survival, hope and friendship. Both stories intertwine beautifully.

The wolf's narrative is incredibly descriptive and expertly communiates the world through an animal's perspective. Blue Wolf's memories of his family are endearing and gentle. He has a very distinctive voice which I found a joy to read. The boy's narrative is a more amusing tale as he finds ingenious ways to ensure his survival. He is a storyteller and there is a folk tale feel to his voice that I really enjoyed.

This novel is very short but in just 110 pages I felt that I understood Alaska from a wolf's viewpoint and that I had travelled the breadth of Africa. Eye of the Wolf will be the other book in my project at work and I use it with my students to discuss cultural differences, animal viewpoints, captivity versus freedom, slavery and literature in translation.

Overall, I highly recommend this book. It is an uplifting tale of friendship and survival. Adams has most skilfully translated Pennac's story so that every word is truly enchanting.



Chicklish said...

I love the idea of a boy and a wolf's stories intertwining. Thanks for a really interesting and thoughtful review.

prophecygirl said...

This sounds like a lovely book, and I've always been fascinated by friendships with wolves. Thanks for the review!

inthehammockblog said...

This looks very good, thank you for the review!

Nina said...

Very good review. This story of wolfs sounds very good. I really think the cover is very cute. :)

Rebecca said...

This sounds like a really good book. I will definitely be adding this to my reading list.