Untamed: The Autobiography of the Circus's Greatest Animal Trainer

Gunther Gebel-Williams, Author, Lisa Drew, Editor, Toni Reinhold, With William Morrow & Company $19.95 (383p) ISBN 978-0-688-08645-9
Having dazzled American circus audiences for 20 years, Gebel-Williams attributes his success as an animal trainer to patience and respect--his for the animals and theirs for him. He grew up in WW II Germany, where at age 13 he was inexplicably sold by his separated parents to Circus Williams. Beginning his career as boy-of-all-work, he cleaned stables, ushered patrons, exercised horses, performed acts and was encouraged to learn every facet of the business by the circus owners who eventually gave him their name. Gebel-Williams reminisces about his favorite and least-favorite beasts (he does not like bears), but reveals little about training them. Written with freelancer Reinhold, this memoir, is emotionally flat, with fewer tales of life with animals than readers may expect. Gebel-Williams comes across as inflexible, intensely loyal, generous, obsessively proud of his family and a workaholic; modesty is not one of his virtues. Photos. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/04/1991
Release date: 03/01/1991
Genre: Nonfiction
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