Exhibit 1.3.19

The Authentic Animal

Dave Madden's The Authentic Animal is available today, and you should pick it up even if he did refuse to name the chapter about pet taxidermy "Stay" (or did I want "Play Dead"? I can't even remember). In any case, it's one of many delightful ruminations on animals, death, and our relationship with both to be found underneath that beautiful cover. I've been lucky enough to watch this manuscript grow up and the time, effort, and viscera-witnessing that went into it makes it well worth the wait. You want this book. Buy it today and make Dave's book the number one rated Zoology book on Amazon. Together, we can do this.

(The current number one is a book about animals being friends with each other. Come on, America.)

It's not, of course, a Zoology book, not really. The chapters here are smart and often personal explorations of why we choose to preserve dead animals (but not--or at least not typically--dead humans) and how, beyond that, we've turned it into an art. The best thing about the book is how it isn't for the taxidermy enthusiast or even taxidermy-inclined but for the curious, the sort of reader who wants to understand. Dave's book seems to begin there, with a question over who we are and why we do what we do, and over the next 90,000 words moves toward explaining what compels us. It's not a book stupid enough to turn taxidermy into a metaphor for everything, but it is a book smart enough to acknowledge that even the tiniest subcultures, even taxidermists, are simply one more attempt to know and control our world.

And, on a more personal note, Dave's been my writing best friend, Cupboard co-editor, and title decliner for almost as long as he's been working on this book. He's a brilliant writer, and I'm thrilled to see this book get the publication and attention it deserves. I would consider you helping him out by purchasing it, reading it, loving it, and spreading the word a favor.

Do it.


Dave Madden said...

Visitors this Stock Photography Museum should know that most of the nice things you have to say about this book are owed to a lot of your careful reading and thoughtful comments.

Thanks for those and for this.

jimStock said...

I have the book with the animals that are friends. I love it.

jimStock said...

I joke.
Is this book fiction or non?
In other words, is it more like something Ayn Rand would write or Rand McNally?
(I really like the premise and by premise I mean cover and title)

A. Peterson said...

It's a nonfiction book though there is the occasional "fictionalized" look into the life of Carl Akeley-- you know, the father of modern taxidermy.

And if you read the book, you'd be able to say things like "Carl Akeley--you know, the father of modern taxidermy."