Thursday, August 2, 2012

Review: That Bear Ate My Pants! by Tony James Slater

That Bear Ate My Pants! is an entertaining coming of age story involving more wild things of the non-partying variety than those that drink beer.

After some introspection admitting his acting abilities weren't the best and examining his options, Tony decided that a trip to Ecuador as a volunteer at the Santa Martha Animal Rescue Center was in order. At any given time, the rescue center is home to a variety of animals from monkeys, parrots, tortoises, big cats, to the bear that ate his pants and more. And according to Tony most of them seemed to want a piece of him, including the plant life.

The coming of age part involves the motivation that the ranch owner used on Tony on multiple occasions. When he wanted Tony to do something that he was reluctant to do, he asked him, "Are you a man?" And Tony would find himself doing whatever it was, no matter how absurdly dangerous he thought it was. And the funny thing is, by the end of his time at Santa Martha, after doing all these manly things and from some of his other experiences, he might find that he had indeed become more mature.

Honestly there is a lot more to it than that. His descriptions of their activities on and off the ranch are humorous for the most part and at the same time fascinating. He also makes a good case for learning more Spanish before a trip like that to Ecuador. There is a definite language barrier that he has to fight.

You need to read the book for the humor, the adventure and for the gems of characters such as Lady, Machita, Jimmy, and Toby. I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars for making me laugh out loud on more than one occasion.