West with Giraffes: A Novel

Written by:
Lynda Rutledge
Narrated by:
Danny Campbell

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
February 2021
10 hours 28 minutes
An emotional, rousing novel inspired by the incredible true story of two giraffes who made headlines and won the hearts of Depression-era America.

“Few true friends have I known and two were giraffes…”

Woodrow Wilson Nickel, age 105, feels his life ebbing away. But when he learns giraffes are going extinct, he finds himself recalling the unforgettable experience he cannot take to his grave.

It’s 1938. The Great Depression lingers. Hitler is threatening Europe, and world-weary Americans long for wonder. They find it in two giraffes who miraculously survive a hurricane while crossing the Atlantic. What follows is a twelve-day road trip in a custom truck to deliver Southern California’s first giraffes to the San Diego Zoo. Behind the wheel is the young Dust Bowl rowdy Woodrow. Inspired by true events, the tale weaves real-life figures with fictional ones, including the world’s first female zoo director, a crusty old man with a past, a young female photographer with a secret, and assorted reprobates as spotty as the giraffes.

Part adventure, part historical saga, and part coming-of-age love story, West with Giraffes explores what it means to be changed by the grace of animals, the kindness of strangers, the passing of time, and a story told before it’s too late.
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The book is good but not great 4+/5: kindof vanilla: easy to read, a nice story, not too polarizing or offending. I recommend

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Very enjoyable book! I didn’t know much about the Dust Bowl or giraffes, but I do now. The characters are well developed and likable. I was sorry to reach the tale’s end.

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I couldn't stand listening to this narrator's voice.

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Jim S.

Enjoyed the book immensely.

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Paula P.

Well written and a great story

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I enjoyed the book and its journey. I was disappointed with the narrator. I love a story that spans a lifetime, but the narrator's voice didn't change with the times and/or Woody's age. This made the transitions to his youth less than enjoyable. It was like listening to an older man narrating the current/present life of an older man. It would have been more enjoyable and believable having a younger narrator's voice for Woody's younger years (and having a feminine voice for the females). I listen to a lot of audio books and narrator's voices do change when spanning the years and from male to female and vice versa. .

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Anne N.

Great adventure story and so much more!!

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Nancy K.

Great book!

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Tricia D.

It was a great read. I didn’t want it to end.

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An engaging storyline

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Laurie G.

Delightful and engaging story.

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Donna B.

A pleasant, though heart wrenching journey indeed. The narrator performed beautifully and kept the story flowing without the exaggerated drama during the suspenseful moments.

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Pleasant enjoyable listen!

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Gina M.

Absolutely beautiful and moving story of hope and resilience! I couldn’t put it down. There have to be animals in heaven! Especially giraffes!

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Shelley B.

Thoroughly enjoyed this book, I have recommended it to my book club!

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