Ashlie’s #CBR5 Review #4: Alex and Me by Alex Pepperberg

Alex and Me is the interesting story of Dr. Irene Pepperberg and the life of Alex that parrot, a remarkable bird that proved that birds could do much much more than previously postulated in the scientific community. I found this particularly interesting as it was a relatively current event, as Alex passed away in 2007.

This was a fast and easy read, and learning about Alex that parrot and his capabilities was interesting; however, I can’t give the book a strong recommendation. Pepperberg came across as very preachy and for my taste spent too much time explaining about her own life, and not enough time talking about Alex. It is clear from the writing that she is rather scientifically minded as the book doesn’t flow well and ends a bit abruptly and is structured oddly. It also seems to lack a heartfelt poignancy you might expect from a memoir about an animal. In addition, it was helpful to understand the skepticism of the scientific community but felt like this book was more about Pepperberg’s struggles in the scientific community than Alex. I might not have minded the imbalance except her reflections came across as stilted and heavy handed.

Despite these failings, I still encourage giving it a look, as it is an easy read and thought provoke regarding the treatment of animals, and how we evaluate them in our society.

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