Title: The Tusk that Did the Damage
Author: Tania James
Publisher: Vintage, Random House
Genre: Literary Fiction
Initially I was reluctant to read, “The Tusk that Did the Damage” by Tania James. I have been a great fan of her short-story collection, “Aerogrammes” but somehow this one did not strike a chord with the plot glance. I don’t know. Maybe it was the fact that one of the narrators is an elephant or maybe that I was not ready to read a book about poachers and the wildlife situation in the country. Having said that, I picked it up one day because it was right there, staring at me and I am glad I read it.
Yes, the book is about an elephant, a poacher, a film-maker and a vet. But it is so much more than that. There is this element of humanity that is ever-present and it is there on almost every page and then you are made to wonder if animals have that gene in them or not? That of compassion or is it dead because of humans? The narrative is very strong – alternating between the voice of the elephant, the poacher, the film-maker and the vet is present in the film-maker’s parts.
The writing is very strong. Tania James has done her research to the tee and one can’t help but imagine each and every sentence that she carefully lays out for the reader. I know I am not talking much about the plot and that is only because I would rather you read the book and discover it for yourself.
“The Tusk that Did the Damage” is about all of us in it together – animals and humans and how the roles interchange most times without us realizing. I would recommend this book to everyone only because of what is written and not to forget the wondrous style of writing. A sure shot read this summer.