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Monday, December 10, 2012

Book Review and Feature: The Old Man & The Monkey by George Polley

This is a delightful read!
The Old Man and the Monkey
by George Polley  

  • Paperback: 60 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (March 25, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451543778
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451543773
Genre: Adventure, Inspirational, Legend
My Rating: 5.0

The Old Man and The Monkey is about a village elder in Japan and the large monkey who became his friend over the last five years of his life. Since the villagers don't like monkeys, none of them approve of the friendship between the old man Genjiro Yamada and Yukitaro ("snow monkey" in Japanese).
But Genjiro refuses to give up the friendship, even when his wife objects to it. After all, monkeys are nuisances and thieves. But over time, both Genjiro’s wife and the villagers come to grudgingly accept him, especially when, on several occasions, they receive a special blessing from him.

'The Old Man & The Monkey' is a stunningly beautiful story of a relationship which develops between an old man and a creature which is regarded as a dangerous pest in Japan, a snow monkey, in George Polley's moving allegory of dignity in the face of prejudice and racism.

This is such a lovely little story. It is so short that it reads in one sitting. It is sweet, peaceful and charming.  The development of the friendship is the focus of the story. The writing is gentle and I was quickly wrapped into the beauty of the friendship. I like how the tender feelings ripple out beyond the old man when they spread to his wife and children. I also like how the relationship breaks down some of the bigotry and antipathy of the community. The example of the quiet acceptance shows others that they can overcome their fears of those they don’t really know or trust. I recommend this for a quick, sweet read to help remind you how beautiful friendship and companionship can be; how it enriches our lives, at any age.


About the Author:
George Polley was born in Santa Barbara, California and raised in Seattle, Washington. He has lived in California (Berkeley and Stockton), Illinois (Cooks Mills  and Villa Grove), Minnesota (Luverne, Marshal and Minneapolis), and from 1984 until early in 2008, in Seattle, when he and his wife moved to Sapporo, Japan so that she could fulfill her dream of returning to the land of her birth.

His work has appeared in the South Dakota Review, Crow's Nest, Expanding Horizons, The Enchanted Self, Community Mental Health Journal, Maturing, The Lyon County (Minnesota) Review  Wine Rings, North Country Anvil, North American Mentor Magazine, the McLean County (Illinois) Poetry Review, River Bottom, Tower Talks and Foundations.

He has also authored several booklets in the mental health field, two of them co-authored with Ana Dvoredsky, M.D. in 2007.

George's e-book 'The Old Man & The Monkey' poses one of the most elegant and powerful arguments against racism of all time, and his 'Grandfather & The Raven' argues equally compellingly against violence in all its forms.
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  1. Thanks for the giveaway. I would love to read this book.

    Hope to win a print copy - but I'm collecting e-copies of books for when I get my wife a kindle or something similar.


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