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About the Author

JOHN SUTHERLAND is Lord Northcliffe Professor Emeritus, UCL. He has taught at the Universities of Edinburgh, London and at the California Institute of Technology. He is the author of many books on many subjects. He is well known as a journalist (of a high and low kind) and reviewer and was the Chair of the Man Booker Prize committee in 2005.

Reviews

'Sutherland's fascinating and eclectic book is a fitting tribute to Loxodonta africana and it deftly evokes the manifold and ever more pressing threats to the species.' -- Philip Hoare, Samuel Johnson Prize-winning author of Leviathan, or, The Whale. New Statesman 'Elegant cultural history. Jumbo is a compelling portrait of a wonderful creature and less wonderful human motivation.' -- Tristan Quinn TLS 'A wonderfully engaging and learned narrator.' -- Katie Law Evening Standard 'It is a "fantasia". Or rather, an "elephantasia". The word sets the tone. The author, a former professor of English at University College London, is out to entertain-punning, digressing, mixing it up, high and low. But, behind the banter, he has a savage story to tell.' Economist 'It's a fascinating story, told stylishly and wittily.' -- Bernard Porter Guardian 'I can think of nobody better to trumpet the elephant than Sutherland. Academic yet conversational, and at times very funny, he is the perfect guide.' -- Stephen Griffin Sunday Express 'Hugely entertaining survey of Jumbo's sad life and strange legacy.' -- Robert Douglas-Fairhurst Daily Telegraph 'This book is so wonderful, so charming, I promise it will allow everyone to find the little Jumbo inside themselves.' -- Helen Rumbelow The Times 'This isn't just a book about killing elephants; it's a book about being horrible to elephants in more general ways. It's very good. It's one of those books that shows you the world through the lens of a small part of it. Sutherland's tone throughout is one of dry wit; the track where Jumbo died, he points out, was known as 'the grand trunk'. Sutherland makes Jumbo his main character, and shows us that by looking at this elephant's life, and the lives of other captive elephants, you can learn a lot about people too. It's a tall tale. And rather superbly put together.' -- William Leith Spectator 'A treasure trove of elephant ephemera with eye-popping statistics on trunks, dung, sex and characters from Chunee, Jumbo's popular show animal predecessor in London, to Disney's fictional Dumbo. The best of the details are fascinating.' -- Louise Jury Independent

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