Monday, January 14, 2013

Zoo by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge

            I did not like this book. There were a few moments when I thought I glimpsed some potential, but mostly I just shook my head in disbelief that James Patterson allowed his name to be associated with it.

            The story revolves around Jack Oz. He is so passionately convinced that unprovoked animal attacks against humans are increasing world-wide he drops out of grad school to study the phenomenon and try to inform society. And yet, he chooses to keep a several hundred pound chimpanzee in his New York apartment. Not only that, but he has an elderly woman and his girlfriend come in to the apartment to care for the animal when he travels. Seriously? Seriously?? Does he not listen to his own information???

            Eventually, the global animal attack situation becomes so severe it cannot be ignored any longer. The federal government takes steps to handle the situation and Oz is brought in to consult. At one point a federal officer tells him that the operation has been code named Zoo, but doesn't know what it's supposed to stand for. Seriously? You are going to use the operation's code name for the book title, but you lack the imagination to think up what it stands for??

            And for my last gripe, the problem is never resolved. Human leaders move to Greenland where there are very few animals to worry about and there they sit. No resolution. Neither the humans nor the animals win. No potential solution is found. The story just peters out.

            Animals gone wild is a fine premise, and a convincing reason for their altered behavior is determined, but nothing is resolved. This is just a sad piece of work that needs some heavy editing and revising. Don't bother to read it.

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