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More About the Author
After having a number of poems and short stories published, as well as original plays produced locally, he took up novel writing.
"Tangled Ties to a Manatee" is his debut novel.
Top Customer Reviews
Tangled Ties to a Manatee follows the viewpoints of several characters that are linked to Ankh, a pregnant manatee that is kept at the Grove City Zoo under careful observation. Staff that deal with closely with Ankh and those that are friends, family and associates all feature in this intricate novel. Leeanne is the lead veterinarian for Ankh while her ex-husband Steven is a lecturer at the local college. Some of Steven's students, such as Cecily (who has a crush on him), and Janelle come into the story. A coffee shop is also key to the narrative with the young but slow Jerry playing a pivotal role as do his aunts Clara and Vera, the latter who runs the Environmental Retreat Centre (ERC). The ERC is under investigation by two women - Elise and Sharon. Elise is undercover as a member of staff in the ERC while Sharon works at the coffee shop. Add to this two men - Stan and Craig - who plan to blackout the area and you have a very busy plot to keep up with.
Due to the wide range of characters Tangled Ties to a Manatee jumps around a lot and you'll have to get used to many characters. Vera that runs the ERC is the aunt of Jerry who cleans at the coffee shop and has a crush on one of the students Janelle. Other staff at the ERC include Emmett who is something of a ladies' man and has been sleeping with colleague Helen but now Elise, who is using him as part of her investigation.Read more ›
The structure of Tangled Ties is unique in my experience. While there are chapters, the story is told in short character-based vignettes that slowly coalesce into a more unified narrative. What was really fun about the reading experience here is that I needed to participate in order to realize the "ties" in the book's title. Nothing is really handed out here on a platter. The reader is engaged directly in realizing and making sense of the action as it unfolds. This kind of participatory experience is rare in first novels, and I expect any future works by Kalen to continue to employ this stylistic device. I certainly hope so and will be watching for a second book.
As a friend of the author I want to thank him for sharing this gift of storytelling with us all.
However, I must admit that the switches between the characters did take a bit of getting used to. I felt like I would just get settled into reading about one character and then I'd have to move on to a different one. This unsettled feeling was brief and it wasn't long before I settled into the rhythm of the book and was able to fully enjoy the windows into the characters' lives. I was also pleasantly surprised that Mr. Cap was able to achieve real character depth with so many viewpoints vying for attention. Some characters are clearly more developed than others, but only a few are strictly "types."
I really enjoyed watching many of the characters grow, or in some cases stay the same, as the story progressed. It was even more fun discovering how all of their lives were intertwined. I would be hard pressed to pick a favorite character from this book, but if I had to make a choice, it would be Jerry. I thought that Mr. Cap presented Jerry's life and developmental disabilities in a very real and yet sensitive way. Jerry knows he has a hard time doing things that other people don't, but he has good heart and a healthy dose of courage and motivation to succeed in life. He is truly an inspiration.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book goes from one character to another, and it is difficult at first to see where they all fit together for the story. It does come together, and it's fun to read. Read morePublished 19 months ago by LovesToRead
Northeast Ohio has been home for most of my life. Imagine my surprise when the story of a manatee is set a short two and a half miles south of me at the Grove City Zoo! Read morePublished on May 28, 2013 by Backyard Horse Tales
This fascinating and delightful story has a bit of everything: humor, mystery, romance, and a manatee. Read morePublished on October 10, 2012 by Mai Ching
Don't let the title Tangled Ties to a Manatee fool you! This is not a children's story it is very much written for adults. Read morePublished on September 3, 2012 by Marie
I was really excited about reading Tangled Ties to a Manatee. I pictured "Free Willy" in my mind (just substitute a manatee for a killer whale). Read morePublished on July 6, 2012 by lprather66
A book with as many view points as this takes a bit of getting used to - but not much. This is a very confidently written story covering several plot strands - a criminal scam, an... Read morePublished on July 3, 2012 by Andy Angel
I have been thinking about how to review Tangled Ties to a Manatee. The title is appropriate, for the story did lead me around in circles. Read morePublished on July 1, 2012 by laurathomas61