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Saving Simon

How a Rescue Donkey Taught Me the Meaning of Compassion
By: Jon Katz
Narrated by: Tom Stechschulte
Length: 6 hrs and 25 mins
Categories: Non-fiction, Philosophy
5 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Summary

When Jon Katz got a call from an animal control officer about Simon, a neglected donkey who had been found on a failing farm in upstate New York, he wasn't expecting to add another animal to his already full life. But when he made the trek out to meet him, he couldn't help falling in love with the skinny, mangy donkey who had already suffered so much, and he ended up taking him into his home. It was Simon who listened in the fields as Jon read to him and discussed philosophy. And it was Simon who forced Jon to confront the most difficult parts of life. And ultimately, it was Simon who brought Jon to a new understanding about mercy and compassion. In this heartwarming and heartrending memoir, Jon Katz plumbs the depths of the human-animal bond with his trademark grace, strength and skill. Jon Katz has written 26 books, including works of nonfiction, novels, short stories, and books for children. He has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Slate, Rolling Stone, and the AKC Gazette, and has worked for CBS News, The Boston Globe, The Washington Post, and The Philadelphia Inquirer; he is also a photographer. He lives on Bedlam Farm, in upstate New York, with his wife, the artist Maria Wulf, and their dogs, donkeys, barn cats, sheep, and chickens.

©2014 Jon Katz (P)2014 Recorded Books

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Profile Image for Pushpa
  • Pushpa
  • 06-04-15

Great story, thought-provoking

This book grabbed me more in the middle to end and had me thinking very philosophically...in a good way. It has made a memorable impact on me. Compassion and all.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jackie Zapatka
  • 02-11-18

Jon Katz

This book by Jon Katz had me on a emotional roller coaster. It was both happy and sad but very inspirational. I looked at my loving pugs in a different way. Domesticated animals depend on us to be dependable and kind to them. Since this is not always the case, those of us who do care must do more. I loved this book

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 29-09-18

book club book

Our book club decided to read this book this year. Not exactly one that I would normally have chosen, but well written and the farther along the story I read the better I enjoyed it. The last couple of chapters created a great deal of emotion. Would I recommend a book? Absolutely! Is it a book I would read again ? Perhaps in the future. The story became more emotional for me when the old blind horse had trouble with the donkey. I have a real affinity for old animals approaching ending their life expectancy.

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  • Kathleen A Koetsier
  • 02-02-17

Excellent

If you could sum up Saving Simon in three words, what would they be?

Heart wrenching, heart warming,

What other book might you compare Saving Simon to and why?

none

Which character – as performed by Tom Stechschulte – was your favorite?

all of them

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Made me do both

Any additional comments?

Love any book on our animal companions

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  • Lizreynolds
  • 31-12-16

LOVE this BOOK!

What another great story by Jon Katz. if you've read his others books you'll love this one. if not you'll want to read them too! I loved learning about donkeys- such an amazing animal.

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  • pat
  • 24-06-16

learning through a relationship

heart touching story and the relationship between a donkey and a man. excellent book.

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  • Joe
  • 25-03-16

Simon....

This is one of those books destined to become beloved ....a thinking personal look at a man's struggle for grace; led to mercy by a spirited animal.

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  • eskimommafl
  • 21-02-15

Another winner from Jon Katz!

I was drawn to this one because my future sister-in-law created a small farm for her family, including an adopted miniature donkey. I've read a few of Katz's dog books and enjoyed them. Although his storytelling style is much the same as in his previous works, Saving Simon moved me more deeply. Katz discusses frankly the misconceptions held by many people about farming and confronts ours and his own inner demons aroused in animal lovers who witness animal neglect and abuse. When reality shows, media and popular culture so often demonize humans accused of animal neglect or cruelty, Katz bravely questions the hero-izing of himself and others who rescue animals. He takes on the much deeper tasking of seeing abusers with compassion by looking through the eyes of this donkey. No mean feat.

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  • amanda
  • 29-02-16

Happy for Simon but not much content

I am grateful that Simon was rescued and so happy he leads a wonderful life. As for the book I feel a lot of assumptions were made by the author on some issues and not enough research To support such statements. The book is long and repetitive. I don't agree that there are people deserving of never ending compassion- at some point people must stand for something regardless of how broken and down trodden. To let this donkey suffer speaks volumes about the heart and soul of the fArmer. I feel our actions are extensions of our inner souls and if you are capable of horrendous acts of cruelty and neglect then it should not be a surprise that people view you in a certain way. Animals have very few laws and organizations when compared to the concern over people's causes. I don't see how much of the authors opinions are supported. Bless you however all the same for saving Simon

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • alexyakkavoo
  • 02-11-14

Narrator did his best. Very thin writing.

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

I could say so much. But then the writer could have, too. His theme of compassion was first introduced lightly and was then repeated until it became annoying and then obnoxious and then down right repulsive. He also kept referring to his abuse(?) he suffered as a child, but I was so bored with the book, I never got to the end.

Would you ever listen to anything by Jon Katz again?

Would have to see more of the printed copy before I take a chance.

Have you listened to any of Tom Stechschulte’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No, I haven't.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Saving Simon?

I would have dramatically cut back on the pondering on compassion.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful