The Authentic Animal by Dave Madden
Inside the Odd and Obsessive World of Taxidermy

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 5 Critic Reviews

unrated

Synopsis

Why would someone want to create or own the mounted skin of a dead animal? That’s the question Dave Madden explores in The Authentic Animal. Madden starts his journey with the life story of Carl Akeley, the father of modern taxidermy. Akeley started small by stuffing a canary, but by the end of his life he had created the astonishing Akeley Hall of African Mammals at The American Museum of Natural History. What Akeley strove for and what fascinates Madden is the attempt by the taxidermist to replicate the authentic animal, looking as though it’s still alive. To get a first-hand glimpse at this world, Madden travels to the World Taxidermy Championships, the garage workplaces of people who mount freeze-dried pets for bereaved owners, and the classrooms of a taxidermy academy where students stretch deer pelts over foam bases. On his travels, he looks at the many forms taxidermy takes—hunting trophies, museum dioramas, roadside novelties, pet memorials—and considers what taxidermy has to tell us about human-animal relationships. The Authentic Animal is an entertaining and thought-provoking blend of history, biology, and philosophy that will make readers think twice the next time they scoff at a moose head hung lovingly on a wall.


 

About Dave Madden

See more books from this Author
DAVE MADDEN is a professor at The University of Alabama. He lives in Tuscaloosa and co-edits The Cupboard, a quarterly pamphlet.
 
Published August 2, 2011 by St. Martin's Press. 285 pages
Genres: History, Nature & Wildlife, Sports & Outdoors, Science & Math, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Authentic Animal

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

However, a “taxidermized animal is a remembered animal, a memorialized animal, and something memorialized is something loved.” Readable, sometimes chilling tour of an intriguing subculture.

| Read Full Review of The Authentic Animal: Inside ...

Publishers Weekly

See more reviews from this publication

Don't let the gory subject matter repel you from this charming account of the cast of kings, artists, biologists, circus performers, and ordinary folks who populate the world of taxidermy.

Mar 21 2011 | Read Full Review of The Authentic Animal: Inside ...

The Wall Street Journal

See more reviews from this publication

"A taxidermized animal," concludes Mr. Madden, "is a remembered animal, a memorialized animal, and something memorialized is something loved."

Sep 03 2011 | Read Full Review of The Authentic Animal: Inside ...

Bookmarks Magazine

To get a first-hand glimpse at this world, Madden travels to the World Taxidermy Championships, the garage workplaces of people who mount freeze-dried pets for bereaved owners, and the classrooms of a taxidermy academy where students stretch deer pelts over foam bases.

Sep 08 2011 | Read Full Review of The Authentic Animal: Inside ...

The Nervous Breakdown

And in this mingling of connections, Madden has made a non-fiction book that sings – bringing in facets of pop-culture to taxidermy, mixing serious research with cleverly recounted stories, and unearthing taxidermy’s history while remembering that even non-fiction must tell a story, and that the ...

May 23 2012 | Read Full Review of The Authentic Animal: Inside ...

Reader Rating for The Authentic Animal
83%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 13 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


Rate this book!

Add Review
×