Thursday, September 22, 2011

Elephant run

So I just finished Elephant Run by Roland Smith. What sort of clothes do you think about when I say, "Elephant Run"?
Olive top - Arden B., Necklace - Can't remember, somewhere Charlotte Russe-esque, Belt - Target, Gray maxi skirt - Express, Bracelet - I've had it forever, Green espadrilles - Franco Sarto
You think gray maxi skirt, don't you? Totally what I thought too. I actually thought, Completely gray outfit, but I only had a gray sweater dress and a gray dress with a way too short and swing skirt.
So, right, then I thought, Gray maxi skirt!
Do you also think, time to experiment and try the fishtail braid?
Man, we are psychically connected, aren't we?
The braid wasn't hard to do at all! But I also felt like it didn't look that crazy good. Am I missing something? Maybe it's just having really dark hair so you can't see it too well anyway. Or maybe it was too chunky and I should have done thinner strands? More experimentation then.
And how was the book, you ask?
I gave Elephant Run by Roland Smith a 3/5 rating. FYI, I have this year reached my quota on elephant books and books set in the jungle. I don't mean that in a bad way, it's just weird, right?, that this is my second elephant book in the past few months? And my previous book I was in the Amazon and now I'm in a Burmese jungle. Just a bit much. Bad timing on my part, like when I OD'ed on Charlaine Harris.

Anyhoodle, Burma was at least new for me. And any book set during WWII is usually A-OK with me. This novel begins with a boy, Nick, who moves from regularly-bombed London to his father's teak plantation in Burma. He's only just arrived, sees a couple of elephants, meets their trainers/keepers, the mahouts, when Japanese soldiers take over the plantation. He's a prisoner in his own home, while his father is sent to a camp. He works for months in the garden, picking up Japanese and, apparently, a tan so significant, that he is able to

**SPOILER** pass for a Burmese novice monk (you know, once he shaves his head) when he escapes to save his father. Did I mention that Nick's father is English, and his mother's American (or maybe she's English too)? There are so many things I liked about this story, but I thought that was a wee bit of a stretch. Mainly because I pictured him having the whitest scalp ever once he shaved his hair off.

Also, not the book's problem either, but I need to read a positive book about Japanese people. Not a book where the monarch system is cruelly crushing a young woman's confidence and dreams (I also read about that a few months ago), not a book where Japanese people are cutting off people's heads with samurai swords and shooting tigers for fun (this book). There was at least one soldier in this book, though, who felt greatly conflicted because of his love for his country, but need to do right by people (and he did, for Nick and his father, and apparently others during the war). Thank goodness.

What was I talking about? Oh, right, so I enjoyed the story itself, the setting, and the pace. It made me want to read a nonfiction book about this topic--what was it like in Burma during WWII? Were there elephant handlers trying to keep their animals safe? What role did animals play in the war? Etc. If anybody can suggest a good book on those topics, I would love to hear it!


  1. This is such a beautiful outfit Michelle, the maxi skirt looks fantastic on you especially with the army green. The book sounds interesting, I'm reading Unbroken right now and while fantastic, I think I've OD'd on WWII related books for awhile. Will add this to my reading list for later.

  2. Thanks, Cara, that's so sweet. I'm really digging the maxi skirts lately.

    Ooooh, I put Unbroken on my to-read list. It's probably difficult too because it's non-fiction. At least with this book I could feel like it's fiction, children's fiction at that. Helps to keep the WWII OD'd feeling down.

  3. Very cute outfit, looks cool but not too much effort. I'll have to try out the fishtail braid too

  4. Definitely try the braid! I want to hear your thoughts. I feel like I've pretty much mastered the milk braids now, so I'm looking for variations of it, and other braids.