Modoc: The True Story of the Greatest Elephant That Ever Lived by Ralph HelferModoc: The True Story of the Greatest Elephant That Ever Lived by Ralph Helfer

Modoc: The True Story of the Greatest Elephant That Ever Lived

byRalph Helfer

Paperback | September 1, 1998

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Spanning several decades and three continents, Modoc is one of the most amazing true animal stories ever told. Raised together in a small German circus town, a boy and an elephant formed a bond that would last their entire lives, and would be tested time and again; through a near-fatal shipwreck in the Indian Ocean, an apprenticeship with the legendary Mahout elephant trainers in the Indian teak forests, and their eventual rise to circus stardom in 1940s New York City.

Modoc is a captivating true story of loyalty, friendship, and high adventure, to be treasured by animal lovers everywhere.

Spanning several decades and three continents, Modoc is one of the most amazing true animal stories ever told. Raised together in a small German circus town, a boy and an elephant formed a bond that would last their entire lives, and would be tested time and again; through a near-fatal shipwreck in the Indian Ocean, an apprenticeship w...
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Title:Modoc: The True Story of the Greatest Elephant That Ever LivedFormat:PaperbackDimensions:352 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 0.79 inPublished:September 1, 1998Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0060929510

ISBN - 13:9780060929510

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Dazzling Story! Story Description: Modoc is the joint biography of a man and an elephant born in a small German circus town on the same day in 1896. Bram was the son of an elephant trainer, Modoc the daughter of his prize performer. The boy and animal grew up devoted to each other. When the Wunderzircus was sold to an American, with no provision to take along the human staff, Bram stowed away on the ship to prevent being separated from his beloved Modoc. A shipwreck off the Indian coast and a sojourn with a maharajah were only the beginning of the pair's incredible adventures. They battled bandits, armed revolutionaries, cruel animal trainers, and greedy circus owners in their quest to stay together. They triumphed against the odds and thrilled American circus audiences with Modoc's dazzling solo performances, only to be torn apart with brutal suddenness, seemingly never to meet again. Hollywood animal trainer Ralph Helfer rescued Modoc from ill-treatment and learned her astonishing story when Bram rediscovered her at Helfer's company. His emotional retelling of this true-life adventure epic will make pulses race and bring tears to readers' eyes. My Review: “Modoc is a love story, a gut-wrenching afternoon kind of love story that should not be attempted without a full box if tissues within easy reach.” –Detroit Free Free “…sweeping across the timber land into the gray, misty valleys of the Black Forest…baby sounds! Below the fog layer, the insistent waits a baby could be heard, their temerity as if from Mother Earth herself. And then another voice arose. Deeper, brassy, trumpety, but still a…baby sound.” Thus begins the true story of Modoc. Bram, borne to Josef and Katrina Gutterstein, and named after Josef’s father, was a beautiful baby boy with blonde hair. Bram’s blonde hair and features came from the strong Nordic ide of Katrina’s family, and the sweet and gentle warmth radiated so strongly from Josef’s heritage. They lived in Hangendorf Valley, Germany and Josef just knew that Bram would be would become: “a fine elephant trainer. Josef himself is an elelphant trainer working for a small circus in the nearby town of Hassengross. Emma, had just given birth to her elephant up, “Modoc” and Josef was determined to make Emma’s baby the best trained elephant the world has even seen. If anyone could do it, he could as his whole family was circus and the last three generations were all elephant trainers when Josef’s own son Bram, was old enough, he would be turned over to him from training and he’d follow in his father’s footsteps. I immediately fell in love in love with “Modoc’ and “Bram”. This large mammal and young boy had a bond like no other I’ve ever seen. The closeness, the love, the depth of the relationship was beyond anything I had ever encountered. A most mesmerizing story not to be missed!
Date published: 2011-09-30
Rated 2 out of 5 by from For those who love elephants. Modoc is an interesting book about an elephant and her trainer's relationship of 78 years. The book, however, is badly written, claims to be true, but is not, and left me wondering why read it. The children's version of the book seems to be a better fit. It was chosen as a book club selection, and our club had a lively discussion about the book, even though none of us will recommend it to anyone else.
Date published: 2011-09-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Modoc: A Great Novel About A Magnificent Elephant This is an amazing book of trust, friendship and love, among other things. Modoc had some truly spectacular adventures and it's based on a true story which makes it even more moving, at parts I cried and parts I laughed. This book was great but one thing I find annoying is how Ralph Helfer always mentions"affection training", I know it is so much better then "fear or reward training" and I wouldn't have minded if he hadn't of used it so many times in "Beauty of the Beasts" but what I found completely out of place and annoying was the use of it in the poem for Modoc at the end of the book. The poem was terrible as well, possibly the worst poem I've ever read. Anyway despite the horrible attempt at a poem, this book kept me entranced until the end. It even had some pictures, which weren't amazing (but under the circumstances I'm surprised there are any pictures at all) I do wish there had been a little caption for the pictures though, just to explain which were taken in Germany or India or America. This book is definately worth a read, although the graphic details of elephant fornication were unexpected and slightly disturbing. I keep bringing up the not-so-good parts! Read this, it's as great as the elephant it's about.
Date published: 2008-10-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fabulous This book had everything. Romance, insight, adventure, it left me breathless and excited that my teething baby had me up so much at the cottage I couldn't put it down. Loved it.
Date published: 2008-08-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Heart-wrenching story I loved this book! My sister loaned it to me and I couldn't put it down. A truly heart-wrenching story of love, survival, trust and adventure. One of a kind. I will recommend this to everyone I know!
Date published: 2005-08-08

From Our Editors

This is an unusual biography intertwining two lives — that of a man and an elephant born in a small German town on the same day in 1896. The man was the son of an elephant trainer and Modoc — the elephant — was the daughter of the prize performer in the circus. Bram and the elephant grew up together and Modoc: The True Story of the Greatest Elephant That Ever Lived by Ralph Helfer chronicles their story, from when Bram stowed away on a ship taking Modoc to the United States to battling bandits, armed revolutionaries, cruel animal trainers and incredible adventures. They triumphed in adverse circumstances and thrilled American audiences. A genuinely heartwarming story of a boy and his best friend.  

Editorial Reviews

"A captivating tale." (Publishers Weekly)