The True Story of the Greatest Elephant That Ever Lived

Book - 1997
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On a quiet morning in 1896, in a small German circus town, a boy and an elephant were born. The boy was named Bram, the elephant was named Modoc. Bram was the son of a local elephant handler, and even as a child he showed signs of becoming a master handler. Modoc grew impressively beyond anyone's imagination--exceptional intelligence, massive size, and a gentleness surpassing that of even the kindest elephants. The two were raised as siblings, and when news came that the circus was being sold, thirteen-year-old Bram did the only thing he could imagine: He stowed away to be with Modoc.

Weeks into their voyage to the United States, they were caught in a catastrophic storm at sea, and Modoc single-handedly saved the lives of Bram and thirty sailors. Taken to shore in India, Modoc and Bram were heroes to the elephant-loving Indian people. Their unexpected detour lasted many years, as Bram studied under the legendary mahout elephant trainers of the Far East while Modoc--fully grown and with Bram at her side--became a master harvester in the remote teak forests of rural India.

In the 1930s they finally arrived in New York, where for the next two decades Modoc rose to great performing fame in the center ring of the world's most popular circus. Known as "The Golden Elephant," she was the only elephant of her time who could dance and perform without a trainer. Modoc was a major American celebrity.

Then a tragedy stuck, and the lives of Modoc and Bram were forever changed. On a routine stopover between circus towns, Modoc vanished from under Bram's protective watch. Weeks of searching turned into years, but he never lost hope that he would see Modoc again...

Modoc is an epic for the ages, destined to be a classic, and sure to be cherished by readers young and old.

The Greatest elephant story ever told, lovingly recreated by Modoc's owner during the last twenty years of her seventy-eight-year life, Modoc spans eight decades and three continents. It is a tale of love, loss, and the deep spiritual bond between a man and his extraordinary nine-thousand pound companion.

Publisher: New York : HarperCollinsPublishers, c1997.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780060182571
Branch Call Number: 791.32/HELF
Characteristics: viii, 325 p., [8] p. of plates : ill. ; 22 cm.


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Apr 22, 2016

I absolutely loved this book! I read it years ago, and the story stayed with me so much that I read it again.

Mar 04, 2016

This is an awesome book! I loved it so much that I have my own copy. I was so taken in by the story of Modoc that I couldn't put the book down. Loved it!!!

Oct 03, 2015

I wanted to ask if this book was written mainly for adults or if it could be enjoyed also by a 10-year-old child.
Thanks for your great reviews and help.
Sharon M.

Mar 27, 2014

I LOVED THIS BOOK. I laughed, I cried, I laughed some more and then could barely get through to the end. What an amazing story. If it was fiction, it would be amazing but it is the true story of an elephant named Modoc and her companion since birth, Bram. I wish this wasn't the end........... After some research, I can't find out anything about the two main characters. And according to some other reviews, it may not be a true story but a collection of stories about other elephants combined into one story. Whatever, it is still an amazing book and I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys reading about animals and the people who love them.

Aug 28, 2013

One of the most enjoyable books I've had the pleasure of reading. I would include another powerful story about the human spirit. "The Power of One" by Bryce Courtney.


sharonb122 Mar 24, 2012

I loved this well-written book! It had everything a person could want in a novel: adventure, sustense, travel, history, pathos, heroism, amazing coincidence and romance. I just had to keep reminding myself that it was all true! A great read especially for those who appreciate animals.
~Sharon Bullmer

Apr 11, 2009

Incredible and touching!


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