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