THE HIGHER ANIMALS: A Mark Twain Bestiary by Maxwell Geismar

THE HIGHER ANIMALS: A Mark Twain Bestiary

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A slim curiosity featuring the words of Mark Twain on various animals. Culled from his writings, the selections include that celebrated frog and lesser known beasts: a ""lignified"" caterpillar, a chameleon with a ""Congressional expression,"" a moa who can deliver the mail or a kick in the head, among others in an alphabetical order that is less than dutiful. Twain specifies the recalcitrant habits of a retired milk horse, the unexacting tastes of a hungry camel, the diligence of a turkey hen (two years on a porcelain egg), and the difference between an earl and an anaconda. His more pithy observations (""The average ant is a sham,"" the coyote ""is a living, breathing allegory of Want"") are entertaining, and show the conflicted author at his sharpest; others, quoted with no key to context, suffer from missing antecedents or are too tame to matter. The Suares illustrations capture some of the mischief but don't add enough zing to make this more than mildly amusing.

Pub Date: Oct. 29th, 1976
Publisher: T. Y. Crowell