Rebecca Ascher-Walsh
December 22, 2004 AT 05:00 AM EST

Animals in Translation

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Temple Grandin, Catherine Johnson
publisher
Scribner
genre
Nonfiction

We gave it an A

Neurology has Oliver Sacks, nature has Annie Dillard, and the lucky animal world has Temple Grandin, a master intermediary between humans and our fellow beasts (and the foremost designer of humane slaughterhouses). In Animals in Translation, with co-writer Catherine Johnson, Grandin argues that her autism enables her to understand how animals think more intuitively than humans with ”normal” functioning frontal lobes. At once hilarious (a parrot who loses patience with his trainer), fascinating (a horse with a phobia of black hats), and just plain weird (rapist roosters, sadistic killer whales), Animals is one of those rare books that elicits a ”wow” on almost every page. The only weakness: a poorly edited, repetitive first chapter that’s no reflection on the rest of this phenomenal book.

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