Friday, December 6, 2013
The One and Only Ivan by Kathrine Applegate
This is a work of fiction, about a silver-back gorilla, living in a sideshow tourist trap, and the family he creates there. I remember when gorilla this was based on was rescued from the place he'd lived (Oregon maybe) back in the 90's. At the time, it struck me how awful it must have been for him to have lived something like 34 years never seeing another gorilla. I was only a few years older than Ivan at the time, rich in love, family, health, and friends. The thought of not having those elements in my life was so horrific I wept. But Ivan's story (the real one) got better, because he was moved to the Atlanta Zoo, and was the darling there until his death last year. When I heard about his passing, I felt as if a friend had gone out of my life.
I am overjoyed that the story of Ivan, though fictionalized, is captured in this book. For Iva, as portrayed in this book, is not only the one and only, but he is kind and wise.