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Tangled Ties to a Manatee Paperback – April 23, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 344 pages
  • Publisher: Kalen Cap (April 23, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0985321008
  • ISBN-13: 978-0985321000
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,540,066 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Kalen Cap is a writer living in Columbus, Ohio. Active in environmental causes, he often brings those concerns into his writing. "Tangled Ties to a Manatee" is his debut novel.

More About the Author

Kalen Cap is a writer living in Columbus, Ohio. Active in animal protection and environmental causes, he often brings such concerns into his fiction writing.

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.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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I came away from this book with a big smile and a feeling I'd just spent time with friends.
Andy Angel
I would have enjoyed this story more if there would have been fewer characters and more cohesiveness.
lprather66
I must again commend Mr. Cap for being able to develop and manage so many characters in one story.
LAS Reviewer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Joseph M Rutter on July 14, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm an avid reader, and when it comes to fiction I enjoy most those stories that draw me into a fully realized reality that I've not as yet experienced, a place populated with people and events that feel new and unexpected to me. Reading Tangled Ties to a Manatee has been a very satisfying time, and I'm happy to recommend the novel to anyone who is looking for a summer read, a book for traveling, or just a thought provoking and enjoyable experience.

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.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By D Brown on July 9, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
I do like books with curious titles and this debut offering from Kalen Cap is no exception. This comedy thriller is built around the manatee of the title that has the luxury of being safely in a tank while outside the rest of the world is very complex indeed. Not that the manatee has an easy time either!

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.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 3, 2012
Format: Paperback
Jerry, a mentally challenged man, who loves the manatee named Ankh. Jerry's Aunt Clara and Vera run the Environmental Retreat Center or ERC, a non-profit organization. Janelle and Cesily are all college students at Bisbee College where Mr. Steven Patterson teaches Environmental Studies. Stan and Craig are planning to make the city have a blackout while pinning the whole on the ERC and Gavin. Steven Patterson's ex-wife Leeanne is lead vet for the manatee Ankh and her unborn pup when Mascoff hires another vet to help her out. Sharon and Elise are both working undercover to investigate a local agency. Jerry is taking hostage by Stan and Craig while preparing for the blackout. Vera feels that there is something missing in the ERC but can't put her finger on it. Emmett, an ERC employee, is hiding something from everyone and Vera wonders what it is. Helen has just received some shocking news and is not sure what to do about it. Will Jerry escape? What will happen to Stan and Craig? Will Emmett come clean? What about Helen? What will Clara and Vera do? Your answers await you in Tangled Ties To A Manatee.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By LAS Reviewer on July 3, 2012
Format: Paperback
Have you ever seen the world through the eyes of a manatee? I started reading Tangled Ties to a Manatee knowing it would be told through multiple viewpoints, but I had no idea I'd be able to glimpse the world through the eyes of Ankh, the manatee, as well as more than a dozen other characters. Mr. Cap does an excellent job of clearly marking the transitions between each of the viewpoints. He even skillfully switches the viewpoint between characters within the same exchange, and I was never confused about what was going on.

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.
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