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When the Killing's Done: A Novel por T.C.…
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When the Killing's Done: A Novel (original 2011; edição 2011)

por T.C. Boyle (Autor)

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
6572927,120 (3.66)22
Traces an incrementally violent confrontation between a National Park Service biologist who would eradicate invasive wildlife on the Channel Islands and two locals who are fiercely opposed to the killing of any creatures.
Membro:rynk
Título:When the Killing's Done: A Novel
Autores:T.C. Boyle (Autor)
Informação:Viking (2011), Edition: First Edition, 384 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
Avaliação:
Etiquetas:Nenhum(a)

Pormenores da obra

When the Killing's Done por T. C. Boyle (2011)

  1. 00
    A Friend of the Earth por T. C. Boyle (JuliaMaria)
    JuliaMaria: In beiden Romanen von Boyle steht Umweltschutz bzw. stehen Umweltschützer im Mittelpunkt.
  2. 00
    San Miguel por T. C. Boyle (GCPLreader)
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I registered this book at BookCrossing.com!
http://www.BookCrossing.com/journal/14219284

I sometimes have difficulty reading a book because of my specific sensibilities about animals. This is one of those times.

The main character is Alma Boyd Takesue, a National Park Service biologist working on freeing the channel islands off the coast of Santa Barbara from invasive species. Thus she heads up a project to kill off all the rats from one island, Anacapa. The project uses poisons that also kill off the island's mice, not the target species, but presumably does not harm other species. The poison thins the blood, causing a horrific death. But the rats are rapidly depleting the stores of native birds on the islands, and like other islands this one contains birds that exist nowhere else. To the Park Service killing is necessary for the protection of the remaining rare species.

Opposing the poisoning is Dave LaJoy, called an animal activist, head of an organization he founded, For the Protection of Animals (FPA). His preferred action is to go to court, then sabotage the efforts of the Park Service if possible, illegally if necessary.

Alma is not a cardboard character, but one who thinks about what she does. She also experiences conflicts between what she does and who she is, and what she wants in her own personal life.

Peripherally we meet Rita, who lived on nearby Santa Cruz Island for several years, working as a cook for a sheep ranch there. Her daughter Anise, when a teen, is shaken by the deaths of lambs caused by reckless hunters, and develops a strong need to protect animals, becoming an activist herself and a vegan. At the time of this story Anise is dating LaJoy and working as a singer-songwriter of the folk variety. We follow Rita around the sheep ranch as she works hard to keep it running and to make the most of every food available there. It is easy to like the determined, strong ranch cook and to admire her ability to make the most of the least.

Alma is also an animal lover but of the scientific variety, although as a child she rescued every kind that came her way. Yet she and LaJoy share the ignorance of how their actions, their ways of life, actually affect the planet they want to protect.

Boyle certainly knows something about island ecology. But even there he shows a bizarre lack of understanding, or maybe he just wants us to think about it more. I can hope the latter.

Both Alma and Dave, opposing sides, say they love animals and the protection of animals is a large part of what they do. Alma rids the islands of species that threaten the existence of others more fragile, using whatever means she believes will get the job done, from poison to hunting. She isn't thrilled about the deaths and how the animals die but feels it is necessary. LaJoy protests, speaks up at public meetings, goes to court, and deliberately sabotages killing efforts where he can. This means spreading vitamin K morsels on the ground, where rats can eat them and therefore fortify their systems against the blood thinners in the poisons. This means cutting fences meant to manage the extermination of pigs on Santa Cruz Island. And more.

Alma answers a question about the extermination of the island mice, who are not affecting the bird populations, by telling the questioner that they will be replacing the dead. I was not satisfied that the poisons would not affect other animals, like birds, who eat the dead rats or the poison directly. Perhaps there was an answer in there that I missed. Presumably if it killed others the killing was not in large numbers. Nevertheless, is poison a good thing to have all over the island, seeping into the soil?

LaJoy spreads his vitamin K pellets along with cat food, without looking into the possible effects this action might have on animals other than rats. He does not even know what the material is that holds the pellets together, and doesn't care.

I point out these questions because they are part of what bothered me about this book.

These animal lovers both eat dairy, eggs, and seafood. Are neither of them aware of the depleting populations of seafood or of the fact that fish do in fact feel pain? Do they care about some species and not others? How does LaJoy justify eating cheese that comes from dairy animals that suffer greatly in their short lives? Or eggs from chickens that are so depleted by the calcium loss from pumping out such an abnormal amount of eggs that they can barely stand up? Not that they can, anyway, in battery cages, and so-called cage-free hens fare little better. They say they care about the environment but they don't care about the water use involved in egg laying or especially in dairy farms, or the horrendous pollution caused by the concentrated feeding operations.

So Boyle knows something of the natural world but is ignorant of the wider picture of our lives today. He raises the question of how far should we go in imposing our values upon other species but fails to offer any kind of backup information that would help us think about it in a productive way. Further, his example of an animal rights activist, Dave LaJoy, is so far out of sync with any that I have ever met - and I've met many - that it is simply insulting. LaJoy is a jerk, and a self-centered one at that. How does a person of this nature come to appreciate animals at all? It appears that his main motivation is the treatment of animals by people, and he doesn't generally like people, so he attacks them. His feelings, then, are not so much for the animals as against the people. This does not describe any typical animal activist I know.

Thus I found it difficult to keep reading about this missed opportunity. I think it would have been a far more powerful book if LaJoy had been a more sympathetic and realistic character. I am sad that many readers may take this representation as a good example of "those crazy PETA people" when it is not. ( )
  slojudy | Sep 8, 2020 |
To me, this book was basically another example of humankind's ineptness in dealing with the natural world that sustains us, both in creating problems and attempting to solve them.

It is well written, pulling the reader into the story. ( )
  LGCullens | Apr 13, 2020 |
Die grundsätzliche Idee des Buches fand ich ziemlich klasse: Darf man Tiere töten (in diesem Fall z.B. Ratten) weil sie auf einer Insel die Ausrottung anderer autochtoner Tierarten verantworten? Welches Leben hat mehr Lebensrecht, das autochthone oder das sogenannte 'invasive'? Natürlich ist die Frage von Dave LaJoy berechtigt: "Diese Ratten sind schon seit 250 Jahren auf der Insel!", ruft LaJoy (...). "Welche Welt wollen Sie wiederherstellen? Die von vor hundert Jahren? Tausend? Zehntausend? Warum (...) nicht gleich ein Zwergmammut klonen und auf der Insel aussetzen, wie in Jurassic Park?"
Letztendlich ist es ja immer der Mensch, der Verantwortung trägt für die Verbreitung diverser Spezies, konsequent zu Ende gedacht ist der Mensch der schlimmste Eindringling in Ökosysteme.
"Denn dieses empfindliche Ökosystem, dessen Ineinandergreifen unvorhersehbar ist, wird durch kleinste Eingriffe gestört. Als Folge des Einsatzes von DDT nahm in seinem Roman sekundär die Population der Schafe überhand. Die Schafe wurden eliminiert, was den Fenchelstauden ungebremstes Wachstum ermöglichte. Das wiederum bot den Schweinen eine ideale Deckung, die sich so in der Folge rasant vermehren konnten. Nun begann die Jagd auf die Schweine, die nach den Tierschutzgesetzen „sauber“ getötet wurden und die Kadaver hat man einfach liegengelassen, weil das Einfangen der Tiere zu gefährlich gewesen wäre." schreibt Beatrix Petrikowski auf buchaviso.
Je länger man liest, desto unklarer wird, wer Recht hat. Deshalb ist es ein bisschen schade, dass Dave LaJoy, der radikale Tierschützer, sehr unsympathisch ist in seiner stets aggressiven Art, in seiner Selbstherrlichkeit. Denn mein Verständnis lag dann eher bei der Einstellung seiner Gegenspielerin, der staatlich angestellte Artenschützerin Alma Boyd Takesue ( )
  Wassilissa | Oct 25, 2018 |
Somehow I expected more. I'd give it 3.5 stars. ( )
  Thebrownbookloft | Jun 29, 2018 |
This is the first TC Boyle book I've read and I really didn't enjoy it. I started off confused about why the first 38 pages of the book was of something else and I didn't understand that he was connecting all the characters to the islands until way later in the book. All the "A" names confused me as well. ( )
  Martha.Louise.Owen | Apr 23, 2018 |
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If Boyle intended to suggest any ambiguity on whose path is wisest, he failed, but When The Killing’s Done nonetheless feels true to its characters and startlingly clear-eyed in its assessment of a tough environmental issue. The book’s strongest passages reveal a Werner Herzog-esque view of the natural and unnatural world, from predatory ravens dive-bombing flocks of sheep to the blood sport of courtroom showdowns and organized sabotage. Ideals don’t survive in those arenas; it’s kill or be killed.
adicionada por sduff222 | editarThe A.V. Club, Scott Tobias (Feb 17, 2011)
 
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Traces an incrementally violent confrontation between a National Park Service biologist who would eradicate invasive wildlife on the Channel Islands and two locals who are fiercely opposed to the killing of any creatures.

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