Elephants are prized possessions in zoos, and now Klos had more of them than Dathe. Courtesy dictated that Dathe be invited to the opening, but when Dathe criticised the elephants for looking 'a little puny', Klos had reached the limit of his patience. 'One word led to another, and eventually a shoving match ensued between the two ageing men — neither much taller than 5ft 5in — right there among the elephants.' J.W. Mohnhaupt is a youngish German journalist and zoo nut, and this is his first book to be translated (by Shelley Frisch). At times it's a little dry and, let's face it, Germanic, but the story he has to tell is so strange and funny that his deadpan style actually suits it rather well. The book is subtitled 'An Incredible True Story From The Cold War', and for once that's no exaggeration.