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Three Bags Full: A Sheep Detective Story Paperback – June 3, 2008
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Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Things kick off with the shepherd dead in his field with a spade through his heart. It's certainly amusing to watch the sheep try and understand the reactions of the various humans who discover the body and the reactions the killing provokes amongst the townspeople. In homage to their beloved master and inspired by a detective story he read to them, they vow to see justice done (even if they are somewhat hazy on what that means). The sheep are greatly handicapped by their limited exposure to human affairs, not to mention generally poor memories and short attention spans. However, this is somewhat balanced by their noses, which can scent lies, fear, and other human qualities. Led by the inquisitive ewe Miss Maple (that's Ms. Marple, in case you missed it...), they are soon skulking around the village, peering in windows, and eavesdropping left and right.
The book runs into a little bit of trouble in its need to maintain the sheep's perspective on events -- which makes things somewhat more oblique and drawn out than might be ideal. The central story is also sidetracked somewhat when the long-lost brother of the flock's lead ram mysteriously reappears and starts making all manner of enigmatic statements. But it's all generally entertaining enough to maintain the reader's interest until the end.Read more ›
The best part is how human behavior is interpreted from the sheep perspective. Through the course of their investigation they make some revelations of humans and their motivations that are both sheepy and accurate. Despite the mystery, the book is very relaxing and fun. A perfect choice for readers who love quirky stories from alternate perspectives.
Though the flock agrees that George wasn't the best shepherd in the world, he wasn't all that bad, and he was theirs. When his body is found lying in their meadow with a spade stuck through it, they decide they need justice. Working together with their variety of skills, the sheep decide to investigate George's murder themselves. Their suspects include the local butcher, the vicar (amusingly referred to as God by the sheep, as he occupies God's house), George's estranged wife, a neighbor named Beth who was always trying to save his soul, and another shepherd named Gabriel whom the sheep look up to at first, until they find out some very unpleasant things about him. The author did a fine job with the sheep's often warped comprehension of human conversations and actions, as well as creating very amusing interplay among the sheep. It was also a lot of fun watching the reactions of the human characters when they realized that George's sheep were no ordinary flock.
The pace is a bit slow for the first half of the book, and I was a bit disappointed by the outcome of the murder mystery aspect, but overall, it was a very enjoyable, highly creative book. There were several spots where I laughed out loud, and the author did a wonderful job in crafting the personalities of sheep. For a fun, quirky mystery tale quite different from the norm, this book is a winner.
Delightfully literal insights abound here, as the text is told from the viewpoint of the sheep. For example, they misunderstand an early conversation among the humans; and from that point on, they think the local minister's name is "God." Though the book bogs down about three-quarters of the way through, another reviewer was right on the mark by saying that the text meanders just like its main characters do. The denouement at the Mad Boar paints a scene of the senses that can only be imagined and laughed at.
This is a magnificent first novel for this German author, and the English translation seems to do justice to the original text, as it is never clumsy or stilted.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A rather odd book, but I really enjoyed it. Sorry it ended before the sheep went to Europe though.Published 1 day ago by Eliza Pattie
A rather odd book, but I really enjoyed it. Sorry it ended before the sheep went to Europe though.Published 2 days ago by John Myers
Unusual idea and really well done. Sweet but not cloying. I liked these sheep and they did solve the mystery.Published 10 days ago by Rufusme
If you are a fan of animals thinking and acting somewhat like humans you will enjoy this book. There were a couple of highlights in how the sheep would interpret humans and their... Read morePublished 14 days ago by nursey
I found the book confusing and garbled. Apparently it is a translation. Perhaps in the original language there might not have been as much confusion. Read morePublished 16 days ago by jbpiers
A rather odd book, but I really enjoyed it. Sorry it ended before the sheep went to Europe though.Published 19 days ago by Judith
The sheep aren't as smart as they think, but then neither are the humans. The story is engaging and sly.Published 1 month ago by EGilbride
In which the sheep set out to solve the murder of their shepherd. They are unusually clever and knowledgeable because their shepherd read to them every night. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Grandma Sandy