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New GeeseReviews

"If you're longing for a book that will make you laugh out loud, then run, don't walk, to the nearest library or bookstore and pick up a copy of Bob Tarte's Fowl Weather. There are animal lovers, and then there are REAL animal lovers, and then there's a higher class altogether, consisting of Bob and his wife, Linda, among very few others. (Among the others is Gerald Durrell – don't miss his comic masterpiece, My Family and Other Animals.) Just take a look at the (much necessary) cast of characters listed at the front of the book; it includes some human animals, true, but it's primarily animals who are winged, feathered and furred."

"Whether he's engaged in an altercation with a duck, dealing with a master gardener who doesn't know his flowers from his weeds, hand-feeding a spider, worrying over the health of Stanley Sue, an African Grey parrot, fretting over Bertie the Bunny's missing puff of a tail, extricating himself from a pesky former classmate who somehow knows the fate of everyone in their old elementary school, as well as unsavory facts about Linda's now long dead pig, Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, or trying to cope with his dad's death and his mother's growing dementia, Bob's tone is self-deprecating, humorous, and totally winsome."
Nancy Pearl
NPR Morning Edition, "Under-the-Radar Books"


"In this moving follow-up to 2003's Enslaved by Ducks, the Michigan-based writer faces the loss of count 'em three ducks, three rabbits, and one beloved African grey Timneh parrot; his father; and essentially, his mother, who's diagnosed with Alzheimer's. (If you find it strange that we list them in that order, you don't know Tarte.) In short, Fowl Weather is not your classic feel-good tale. But Tarte's laughter-through-tears approach is therapeutic and inspirational, especially when he lies defeated on the floor of his childhood home and quips that his parents used to watch 'I've Got a Secret on TV or I've Got a Secretly Depressed Son.' B+"
Entertainment Weekly, March 12, 2007


"Fowl Weather by Bob Tarte is the follow-up to Enslaved by Ducks, and the precursor to Tarte’s soon to be released book, Kitty Cornered. Tarte and his eternally optimistic wife, Linda, are the hapless rescuers of orphaned and abandoned birds, ducks, turkeys, rabbits and cats. In their home, pandemonium is the order of the day and the thirty-nine animals they care for clearly run the show. When life takes a sad and unavoidable turn and Bob must navigate his father’s death, the death of his most beloved pet and his mother’s onset of Alzheimers , he realizes that his nuthouse of animals provides his spiritual anchor. Tarte presents his memoir of this difficult year with grace and offbeat humor."
Ariel Wulff
, December 5, 2011
"Ten Favorite Books for the Holidays"


"This follow-up to Tarte's popular Enslaved by Ducks, which introduced the somewhat neurotic writer; his supportive wife, Linda; and their animals -- first a bunny and then an expanding menagerie of parrots, ducks, turkeys, cats and more bunnies -- has a somewhat darker undertone, but should still delight readers with its humorous 'Dave Barry on a farm' sensibility. Tarte begins with an admission that his life of caring for 30-odd animals had become pretty run-of-the-mill, and that he 'longed for the unexpected, and that was always a mistake.' What he gets, over the next five years, includes his father's death, his mother's diagnosis with Alzheimer's, a garden pest control/philosopher who doesn't really know anything about gardening, and the sudden deaths of some of his favorite pets. Despite the many wacky barnyard moments, Tarte doesn't play it safe: he deftly explores his concern that 'dark undercurrents had risen to the top like worms after a rain, and the worms were now in charge.' But with the help of family, friends and a new parrot named Bella, he overcomes his setbacks and sees that the 'mixture of wildness and comfort' created by his beloved animals 'was life itself in miniature.'"
Publishers Weekly, December 2006


"On the web-footed heels of Enslaved by Ducks (2003), Tarte serves up another helping of his always-interesting life surrounded by animals. From the first chapter, when Stanley Sue, a parrot, is discovered chewing up the wooden breadbox, the reader is plunged into the often-chaotic world of the Tartes, in which Bob is obsessing about the hose demon or the whereabouts of his mother's lost purse and wife Linda is popping another gel pack into the microwave to soothe her bad back. Along the way we meet Lulu, a spoiled Pekin duck; Moobie, a large, white cat who insists on the author holding her water bowl; and Bertie, a rabbit who lost his tail to Stanley Sue. Mixed in with animal adventures are the realities of daily life, of alleged master gardeners who don’t understand soil, and of Bob's mother, whose increasing signs of Alzheimer's disease weave a softly melancholy thread through the narrative. What the author discovers is that his animals give him his center and focus, and that for all the headaches they can cause they also provide a form of sanity."
Booklist, December 2006


"This follow-up to Enslaved by Ducks continues Tarte's tale of household life as directed by a menagerie made up of bird brains-real, honest-to-goodness bird brains. If you think taking care of your pet dog or cat can be amusing, imagine what it must be like sharing your home with 12 ducks, three parrots, six geese, two parakeets, one dove, nine hens, one turkey, two rabbits, and three cats. Things are bound to get exciting on a daily basis. In the first book, Tarte demonstrated how a positive attitude and a good sense of humor can make everyday problems roll off his back, like water off of a duck. Fowl Weather features more tragedy, with the death of Tarte's father, the Alzheimer's diagnosis of his mother, and the death of several of his favorite pets. Nevertheless, Tarte's furry and feathered charges serve as role models for taking life as it comes and keeping perspective in a sometimes insane world. Look no further than Stanley Sue, Hamilton, or Richie to know that even birds have personality. A delightful, one-sitting read; highly recommended.""
Library Journal, January 2007

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