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The Elephant Keepers' Children - Peter Høeg, Martin Aitken I really liked this book. And, yes I do understand that it was very coincidental and that the actions were too convenient and that looking at it completely objectively I should only give it two stars. But I absolutely loved the tone. I found Peter to be hysterically funny and his quest for enlightenment while also rescuing his parents from themselves was just pure entertainment. And so, possibly hypocritically, I am giving this book 4 stars despite the transparency and implausibility of the plot.

I am always trying to figure out the secret to happiness and contentment and discover better ways to live in the moment. I loved the way that Peter and Tilde were also trying to figure this out: "I'm going to ask you if you can recall a moment of your life at which you were happy. Not just in a good mood. Not just content. But so happy that everything was totally one hundred percent perfect."

"I'm trying to make you aware of the seconds just before you realize how special a situation is and then begin to think. Be cause the moment the thoughts come, you're back in the cage again."

"The question of whether God exists is the most crucial in any person's life. Whether we believe, whether we know, or whether we remain in doubt, each one of us seeks to bring to light the meaning of our own existence. Each one of us strives to discover whether there is something outside the prison, something that made the world come into existence and to assume the form it has assumed. All of us want to know what happens we. We die,vans whether we were anywhere else before we were born,band for that reason no one should ever meddle with that place inside us all."

"There is only one thing more far-fetched than the grounds given for religious rules, and that is the grounds given fir breaking them."

"The self is a room inside the prison, a room that will always be different from other rooms. For this reason the self will in some way always be alone, and always inside the building of which it is a part."

As an agnostic, I found this book and it's catch-all version of religious pursuit to be refreshing and comical.

And even though the whole thing was Disneyified with regards to the relationships, I still liked: "Finding something as good as heroin is a bit like falling in love, because it means you've got no time to attend to such trifling needs as hunger."

I also liked the psychological commentary, such as: "speaking directly to the deepest desires of a person will be sufficient to trigger the complete shutdown of all other cognitive systems."

The main characters were all kids and the concept follows other young adult novels in which kids save the day both for their bumbling parents and the idiots in charge (church leaders and police alike in this case). And yet I would not quite characterize it as a young adult novel. It made me think of Lemony Snicket, but a bit more risqué.

Overall it was a great read. I found it captivating and entertaining and funny and ever so slightly enlightening.