In Bob Tarte's home, pandemonium is the order of the day, and animals literally rule the roost—thirty-nine of them at last count. Whether it's the knot-tying African grey parrot, or the overweight cat who's trained Bob to hold her water bowl just above the floor, or the nightmarish duck who challenges him to a shoving match, this menagerie, along with his endlessly optimistic wife, Linda, provides daily lessons on the chaos inherent in our lives. But not until this modern-day Noah's Ark hits stormy weather—and Bob's world spins out of control—does he realize that this exuberant gaggle of animals provides his spiritual anchor. It is their alien presence, their sense of humor, and their impulsive behavior that both drive Bob crazy and paradoxically return him to sanity.
With the same sly humor and dead-on character portraits that made Enslaved by Ducks such a rousing success, Tarte proves that life with animals offers a wholly different perspective on the world.
|Publisher:||Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill|
|Product dimensions:||5.60(w) x 8.76(h) x 1.17(d)|
About the Author
Bob Tarte wrote for The Beat magazine for twenty years. He has also written for the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the Miami New Times, the Whole Earth Review, and other publications. He hosts the What Were You Thinking? podcast for petliferadio.com. He and his wife Linda live in Lowell, Michigan, and currently serve the whims of parrots, ducks, geese, parakeets, a rabbit, doves, hens, one turkey, and way too many cats.
Table of Contents
Cast of Characters viii
Alien Abduction 1
Ask an Expert 40
A Duck Out of Water 61
Wild Things 82
Fowl Weather 106
Bobo's Back in Town 128
Golden Orb Weaver 148
Somebody Left Something Somewhere 167
Travels with Stinky 207
Elbow Room 223
Muskegon Wastewater 261
The Creature in the Woods 303
Acknowledgments and Culpability 307
What People are Saying About This
"Bob Tarte's writing is as delightful as Gerald Durrell's, and his humor is as quirky and smart as a Gary Larson cartoon. Yet Tarte has a voice all his own, and his unforgettable family—feathered, furred, and (the human ones, mostly) flummoxed—is one you'll love visiting. I couldn't put this book down (though I did pause to laugh out loud), and when I finished, I read it all over again!" — Sy Montgomery, author of The Good Good Pig
"More than just a hilarious and raucous romp (which it is), Fowl Weather shows how a parrot, or a rabbit, or a duck, or a cat, can teach us more about ourselves and about the chaos of the world than any therapist or philosopher. Bob Tarte is clearly a man after my own heart." - Sara Gruen, author of Water for Elephants
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I was disappointed in this book, because I thought it was heavily mis-advertised. Based on the title, blurbs, etc. this book was supposed to be a funny look at the superiority of animals when they're encountered a well-meaning but less savvy human, much like Gerald Durrell and James Herriott. I have all the books those two authors wrote, and this is nothing like them. It is far more about the author dealing with depression and some sort of belief in the paranormal and, frankly, I ended the book wishing he and his wife would find good home for the animals and focus on fixing themselves (his wife has chronic back problems) before taking in any more animals. I didn't find a good laugh in the book and had to force myself to finish, since I found it so depressing.
This isn't the kind of book I normally read, but the cover was intriguing and since we've populated our current lives with cats, dogs and chickens, it looked as if it might be an entertainig read. The protagonist, I assume this is all about Bob, is a character frought with foibles and genetic limitations and attributes far too common. I truly feel for his long suffering wife and enjoyed the fact that the creatures populating his tale shine with individualism. Each of our chickens, bird brains that they be, have their own personalities, likes and dislikes. While the story didn't contain a true story arc and actually seemed to end simply because Bob chose to stop writing, it was entertaining, often light hearted, but often depressingly real. I didn't feel a strong compunction to pick up the book, but did enjoy each moment I spent with it. I won't seek out his other works, but if I stumble across one at a used book sale, I'll surely pick it up.
"How 39 animals and 1 sock monkey took over my life."Bob Tarte opens a window into his world, a world of feathers, whiskers and floppy ears. Bob and his wife, Linda, live in Michigan with countless ducks, geese, rabbits and cats and are plagued by an old schoolmate who enjoys funerals, butting in and rehousing pampered ducks. Bob Tarte shares 5 years with us, some moments laugh-out-loud funny and others heart breakingly poinant.From the first page I was hooked. I found myself laughing, crying and unable to put this book down. Through the loss of his father and his mother's battle with alzheimer's disease, Bob clings to his sanity with the help of Linda and the zoo they live in. This book is a must read for all animal lovers, whether you are owned by a single goldfish or "39 animals and 1 sock monkey".
Bob Tarte's second book about his life with ducks, ( cats, parrots, bunnies and more) was just as compelling as the first. I enjoyed learning more about his wife Linda and his best friend Bob. This book was a little more about finding his way in in the world while in the throes of depression after losing his father and more members of his animal kingdom. He appears more vulnerable and unsure, but never fails to have his life brightened and gilded by Linda and his pet family. Those of us who have grappled with depression can find many ways to connect with his feelings, and the occasional feeling that his life was whirling out of control. He is more fortunate than some, with a good support system of family and friends. Both of these books will make you laugh out loud, and shed a tear. I know that they did that for me.
Uneven non-fiction that looked like it might be a fun read. Bob Tarte and his wife are overloaded with birds and animals at their home in western Michigan, so the starting premise could be promising. But I felt that the writing fluctuated between clever and amusing to morose and meandering. I'd not be interested in reading more by this author.
This was a harder read than its predecessor, "Enslaved by Ducks." The author seemed to be dealing with a lot, so the mood was very dismal through most of the book. I could empathize, having gone through many human and animal sickness and losses myself. My complaint is that the line above the title "How thirty nine animals and one sock monkey took over my life" was misleading here. This has less to do with his pets than the people in his life.
Firsty first first
It's like stepping into another world -- strange, silly and far away yet so very much like my own household having a pet population of just one -- a single Golden Retriever dog. After finishing Bob Tarte's first book about his menagerie, "Enslaved By Ducks", I rushed down to my local Barnes and Nobel to order "Foul Weather". When it arrived I started reading and was again immersed in Bob-and-Linda-world and their homestead full of (mostly) feathered friends. It's a strange world but also very comfortable. Anyone who has ever loved a pet will intimately identify with the Tartes. And yet, these folks share their home with an assortment of critters that I could never imagine in my suburban neighborhood. In Foul Weather Bob also writes about the many human critters in his life and shares his weaknesses, anger, fears, frustration and gratitude toward parents, siblings and friends. I am looking forward reading Bob Tarte's next installment that I hope will feature more of his feline friends including Moobie the size x-large but lovable house cat.
Fowl Weather is a very, very, very funny book but that is almost misleading. In these days, when meanness is mistaken for wit, it is a startling work of art that sees the great and small passages of life, with humor. Bob Tarte has written a very brave, funny book. It is very difficult to say precisely what it¿s about because it is about life unfolding or maybe unraveling. It¿s about those moments, parents, pets or even things that make up our notion of self and how they can be taken away and the little things, like the sound of a bird or a spider¿s web, that can make it endurable. It¿s a book that deals with daunting issues like mortality with graceful wit. Many of the incidents in this book, say sock monkeys, a purse, or parrots, have never been juxtaposed in the history of literature. It is an outstanding read.