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 sanity.
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