Jamrach’s Menagerie by Carol Birch


“This year the Booker Prize got a lot of stick for choosing ‘readable’ books. I applaud them for their choices.
Jamrach’s is one of these on the short list. Never imagined it could win, it didn’t, but is it worthy of reaching the last six? I’m not convinced it is.
The story has elements of truth woven into it, there is indeed a statue of Jaffy Brown and the tiger in East London. The Essex was a whaling ship that encountered disaster. I won’t elaborate the details. Part of this novel I thoroughly enjoyed, others parts felt lifeless and slow, or hurried.
Our book group had mixed feeling with 5.1/10 scored. It was however well debated so a good book club choice.

Score 5/10

Date read October 2011

What would your score for this book be? Please post your comments below.”