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Extended Audio Sample The Birds of Pandemonium: Life Among the Exotic and the Endangered, by Michele Raffin Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Michele Raffin Narrator: Tamara Marston Publisher: Highbridge Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Eighteen years ago, Stanford MBA Michele Raffin pulled off the road to help an injured dove, a momentary impulse that ignited in her a fervent commitment to saving vulnerable bird species. Today, her suburban home plays host to Pandemonium Aviaries, one of the largest avian rescue sanctuaries and endangered breeding facilities in the country, with a maze of fifty-four individual aviaries that house over forty species, fourteen of which are listed as threatened with extinction. Since its founding, Pandemonium has been savior to over one thousand birds from eighty-nine species.

The Birds of Pandemonium blends the remarkable tale of Raffin’s transformation from MBA/soccer mom to certified aviculturist with the stories of her amazing feathered charges movingly revealing their unique personalities and complex social systems as they fall in love, mourn, sacrifice, and celebrate.

Ultimately, The Birds of Pandemonium tells of one woman’s crusade to save precious lives, bird by bird, providing a rare insight into how rescuing others, regardless of species, can lead to true happiness.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Breezily written and briskly paced.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “Captivating.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “Charming, self-effacing, and extremely reverent.”

    New York Times

  • “Raffin’s engaging account of living with and saving exotic endangered species has the power to enthrall and educate even the most resolute stay-at-home urbanites…Her stories about the interactions of these unique winged creatures remind us that we are human and we are not alone.”

    Barnes&Noble.com, editorial review

  • The Birds of Pandemonium does for rare birds what Susan Orlean’s The Orchid Thief did for rare orchids, Joy Adamson’s Born Free did for lions, and Jane Goodall did for chimpanzees and apes…With vibrant photographs of its spectacularly plumed lead characters, The Birds of Pandemonium is a rich suet, seeded with both hearty information and delectable flights of fancy.”


  • “A remarkable book. Reading about the birds of Pandemonium will make you laugh and cry; it will make you see more clearly the need to take care of our planet; and it will confirm that one person with a passion can make a difference.”

    Jeff Corwin, nature conservationist and host of Animal Planet

  • “[An] anecdotal, entertaining memoir…The author emerges as a knowledgeable and, above all, endearing champion of animals, who practices what she preaches.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Avian ‘personalities’ predominate in the book, but there are human angles, too, such as how Raffin manages the ups and downs of her demanding calling, the funny family dynamics as she wheedles yet one more bird into the menagerie, and the backstory exposing the secretive ‘boys’ club of bird breeders with which she contends…Raffin’s self-deprecating humor endears.”

    Library Journal

  • “A charming memoir about birds and the people who love them.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “A delightful account. Its appeal is ageless, her descriptions riveting, and her devotion to the birds remarkable.”

    Joanna Burger, author of The Parrot Who Owns Me

  • “Raffin’s memoir shares her journey from novice animal lover to knowledgeable conservation breeder in stand-alone chapters, with each one focusing on notable birds Raffin has cared for and what they taught her about aviculture and herself…As a bonus feature of the audiobook, each chapter opens with a brief snippet of birdsong recorded at the sanctuary. Narrator Tamara Marston handles the many bird imitations well…[A] humorous and ecologically minded book. Recommended for all public library collections.”

    Library Journal (audio review)

  • “Marston’s narration is clear and even as she describes the different birds under Raffin’s care, as well as Raffin’s family and how they came to work in the field of bird rescue and breeding. Marston herself provides brief vocal imitations of some of the birds. The audio production is also peppered with background sounds of bird song and chatty talking birds, allowing for aural glimpses of the colorful craziness one can imagine at Pandemonium.”


  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month for October 2014
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About the Author

Michele Raffin was a high-tech executive, venture-capital consultant, and writer before deciding to devote her time to saving animals. Her books include Love That Lasts, The Good Nanny Book, and The Birds of Pandemonium. A lifelong animal lover, she was the cochair of the Board of Directors of a large humane society for five years and served on the board of a companion bird rescue organization. Her passion for conservation and protection of the natural world is focused on saving bird species from extinction. Raffin holds degrees from Tufts University and Stanford University School of Business, and she has also won a gold medal at the Pan-American Masters’ weightlifting games.