Friday, October 1, 2010

Review: Kicked, Bitten and Scratched: Life and Lessons at the World's Premier School for Exotic Animal Trainers

Author: Amy Sutherland
Genre: Memoir (2006)
About: The author follows students at the Exotic Animal Training and Management program at California's Moorpark Community College.

Liked...I loved this book. It had me hooked by page 2 when it said "every student must break a pigeon's neck with her hands, what they call pulling a pigeon, or gas a rat before she can graduate." I know, disgusting, but it's like driving by a car accident, I couldn't stop looking reading. Besides talk about sperm, vomit, pee, poop, and maybe some frozen chopped animal parts, that was about as gross as it got. Most people probably won't read this book, but if you have any interest at all in animals, it really is good.  It's like being a fly on the wall and learning the inside scoop of a place you'd more than likely never go.

The writing style was wonderful.  The author focused on enough students and animals to get a realistic picture of what goes on, but not so many that it was hard to keep track of them.  And it was so real.  Not only did a few animals die, not surprisingly, but so did one of the students.

*Wanna know why they have to pull the heads off pigeons and gas rats? It's because birds of prey and reptiles must have fresh prey. They can't hunt at the school facility, obviously, because they're in captivity, so the student caretakers must do it for them. How'd you like to have to do that for a final exam?

Didn't Like...I was disappointed there weren't any pictures and a few typos were distracting. That's it.

Source: I bought this at the Goodwill for 75 cents. A 5-star book for 75 cents...gotta love it.

Why I Chose: 1) I love animal books 2) for a minute when I was younger I wanted to be a dolphin trainer 3) I had never seen a book on this topic.  So basically it was on the shelf calling my name.

Recommend? If you like animals and/or are curious about what all goes on at a school for animal trainers, I absolutely recommend this book.

Rating: 5/5

Next Up:

I just started this last night and the writing is so choppy I'm having a hard time getting used to it.  I'm pluggin' away though, trying to adjust.


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