Kinship with All Life by J. Allen Boone reviewed by Celine
Publisher: Harper & Row, New York & Evanston
Date of publication: 1954
Genres: Non-fiction, spiritual, animals, philosophy
If I had to take just one book with me, leaving the rest behind, it would be this one. The description of this book on the back cover says: “Simple challenging realistic differences showing how animals communicate with each other and with people who understand them.’ In a nut-shell J Allen Boone takes the reader chapter through chapter on a journey of enthralling observations and perceptions about the uncomplicated lives of animals, ranging from dogs to insects.
If you are open-minded to different subtle forms of communication among animals including human “animals” and curious about the niche of human beings in this fantastic living and non-living world that we live in, then consider reading this book.
Just a few chapters long and 150 pages length, meaning it won’t take long to read this whole book, it opens with “Four-legged Meteor” a chapter about a World War 1 era super-star dog. J Allen Boone, an American journalist (and a descendant of Daniel Boone) was asked to take charge of Strongheart, the first movie star canine (died in 1929). He speaks about how the German Shepherd was treated by his trainer as an intelligent being, and how Strongheart asserted himself. The chapter “Good Man Friday” ends with the words “For the first time I understood how dumb a human can be in the presence of an intelligent animal.”
J Allen Boone said that he learned a silent, unspoken language and communication with Strongheart that enabled him to communicate with other species as well. His books reveal a consciousness of the oneness among all living beings and the soul of the universe. This is powerful writing where the author’s observations and interactions are commentated upon by his thoughts and findings, which are not hallucinations or pretentious observations (which people who have little connection to animals may think), but when you delve in closely, will understand that he is connecting to the “energy” that makes up all of Life and the Universe.
The chapters chronicle his journey with Strongheart and touch upon how rattle-snakes and ants are beings with consciousness and intelligence. There is some personification but I think the author uses it to best describe the pure essence of animals, an essence or underlying energy that he could tap into.
The last chapter “Morning Glory” contains an unforgettable beautiful observation of no less than .. the common house fly. If your heart is open while reading this book, I am sure that you will finish reading this book with a huge lot more respect for non-human animals than you had when starting to read this book.
OTHER BOOK INFORMATION
There are several versions of this book. I am lucky to own a 1954 first edition, shown in the picture at the top of this post. The 1976 re-print from Amazon shows the Chapter titles and the 1976 book cover if you are interested in viewing such. Click on the picture of the book in the link below, to go to the book Contents.
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