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Download The Penguin Lessons: What I Learned from a Remarkable Bird Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Penguin Lessons: What I Learned from a Remarkable Bird, by Tom Michell 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: Tom Michell Narrator: Bill Nighy Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2015 ISBN: 9780399569005
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A unique and moving real-life story of the extraordinary bond between a young teacher and a penguin, this book will delight readers who loved Marley & Me, Dewey the Library Cat, The Good Good Pig, and any book by Jon Katz.

In 1975, twenty-three-year-old Englishman Tom Michell follows his wanderlust to Argentina, where he becomes assistant master at a prestigious boarding school. But Michell’s adventures really begin when, on a weekend in Uraguay, he rescues a penguin covered in oil from an ocean spill, cleans the bird up, and attempts to return him to the sea. But the penguin refuses to leave his rescuer’s side. “That was the moment at which he became my penguin, and whatever the future held, we’d face it together,” says Michell in this charming memoir.

Michell names the penguin Juan Salvador (“John Saved”), but Juan Salvador, as it turns out, is the one who saves Michell.

After Michell smuggles the bird back to Argentina and into his campus apartment, word spreads about the young Englishman’s unusual roommate. Juan Salvador is suddenly the center of attention—as mascot of the rugby team, confidant to the dorm housekeeper, cohost of Michell’s parties, and an unprecedented swimming coach to a shy boy. Even through the collapse of the Perónist government and amid the country’s economic and political strife, Juan Salvador brings joy to everyone around him—especially Michell, who considers the affectionate animal a compadre and kindred spirit.

Witty and heartwarming, The Penguin Lessons is a classic in the making, a story that is both absurd and wonderful, exactly like Juan Salvador.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “In this lively and endearing memoir, Britain-born Michell narrates an unexpected encounter on a Uruguayan sojourn in the 1970s, and its surprising consequences…Michell, now a grandfather living in Cornwall, interweaves introspection, travel tales, and penguin facts in a charming story that also reveals the charismatic nature of this gregarious and increasingly endangered species.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Bill Nighy so completely becomes author Tom Michell that listeners may well forget they’re not hearing these reminiscences of a young Brit in South America in the 1970s straight from the author himself. But Michell isn’t the star of this book—that would be Juan Salvador, the Magellanic penguin Michell rescues and accidentally adopts. Juan Salvador is a larger-than-life bird and a fully realized character in his own right who unerringly charms everyone he comes into contact with. Listeners will be charmed, too. Nighy voices the penguin’s occasional thoughts (yes, there’s a bit of anthropomorphism at work here) and gives an accent to the Argentine locals. The story meanders, but it hardly matters. Your very own pet penguin is not included, but you’ll wish it were.”


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