by Richard Kalich
With a debt to his spiritual
fathers, Orwell and Swift, Richard Kalich brings us The Zoo
-- the darkly comic allegory of Wise Old Owl's attempt to
animalize Animal World. The story unfolds with a chilling
and all too familiar ring to our own human history. Joining
forces with the likes of Muerte Buzzard, Sly fox, and Michael
Ferret, Wise Old Owl builds a zoo to 'zoo-in' those animals
deemed responsible for the world's plight. First zoo'd are
those animals who look different. Followed by artists and
thinkers. Especially dangerous are animals possessing an inner
life. It's not long before the entire population is at risk.
Some of the more courageous animals rebel. They call upon
the two-faced ferret to organize a revolutionary army with
the guru, Polly Parrot, at the lead. But here the novel takes
an unexpected turn.
Displaying a talent for fantasy and allegory that is endlessly
inventive, funny and savage, by the story's end, Kalich has,
with a master satirist's razor-sharp teeth, picked clean Owl's
oppressive regime, leaving it bereft of reason, purpose, and
Reviews for The Zoo
"The Zoo starts where Animal
Farm leaves off."
- Velon Shuzkeil
"Kalich has written the definitive
novel on the stupidity of intolerance"
- Marion Boyars