Noah and Me

Antonia Holding Schwed, Author M. Evans and Company $18.95 (167p) ISBN 978-0-87131-664-6
Schwed's whimsical modern fable turns centuries of myths and fairy tales upside-down. Narrator Nathaniel Danzon is an animal psychotherapist who, communicating by telepathy, treats wild and semi-wild animals for a disorder he has identified and named Aesophobia, the ``result of Homo sapiens' stereotyped perceptions and traditions.'' The animals, in Nathaniel's explanation, try either to rebel against the old stories or, worse, attempt against their instincts to live up to them. Disassociating himself from a Dr. Doolittle image, Nathaniel instead compares himself to Noah: ``I could fantasize that one of the things I'm trying to do is build a sort of dream Ark as a refuge for those animal psyches endangered by the flood of human conquest.'' As long as the story sticks to animal psychotherapy, readers, too, can fantasize. The unfortunate addition of an obvious love triangle throws the book off kilter, as first-novelist Schwed's human characters (mostly adults) are too saccharine to be taken seriously, including Nathaniel when he is in human company. That said, this foray into Disney territory will nonetheless please many readers. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 11/04/1991
Release date: 11/01/1991
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