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Animal Dreams Paperback – Aug 1991

55 customer reviews

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Paperback, Aug 1991
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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: HarperPerennial; Reprint edition (Aug. 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060921145
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060921149
  • Product Dimensions: 20.4 x 13.8 x 2.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 191,123 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Barbara Kingsolver was born in 1955 and grew up in eastern Kentucky. Her books include poetry, non-fiction and award-winning fiction, and in 1999 she was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for The Poisonwood Bible (recently voted Britain's favourite reading group book). She lives with her husband and daughter in southern Arizona and in the mountains of southern Appalachia.

Product Description

Review

A rich, compassionate book (Alice Hoffman)

If you enjoy prose, you'll treasure ANIMAL DREAMS. A beautiful, memorable novel full of scenes and images that linger in the mind (Tony Hillerman)

ANIMAL DREAMS is one of those rare novels I could not put down and left me wondering whether to go back to the beginning or simply anticipate the next product from this woman's pen (LOS ANGELES TIMES) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

* A wonderful novel about unravelling a young woman's secret past. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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His two girls are curled together like animals whose habit is to sleep underground, in the smallest space possible. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By "alpha2000" on 20 Aug. 2004
Format: Paperback
Like many people, I first encountered Kingsolver's work through the magnificent The Poisonwood Bible. After finishing it, I turned to her other novels - one of which was Animal Dreams. To a certain extent, it's a disappointing read in comparison with the scale of The Poisonwood Bible: it lacks the different narrators with their compelling and individual voices and the epic vision which she brought to the relationship between Africa and the 'First World'. However, Animal Dreams is written with the same compassion, the same insight into the lives and emotions of women, the same understanding of complex parent-child relationships, and the same passionate, fervant and whole-hearted sorrow and anger at humankind's lack of respect for the environment. The book is the story of Codi, returning to her home town where she was an unhappy teenager whose life was marked by two familial deaths, because her father, the town doctor, is losing his memory and becoming confused. Her sister Hallie is in Africa, helping to rebuild a community. Kingsolver charts Codi's relationship with the town, its inhabitants, her father, Hallie and Loyd, whom she dated a few times in high school, with skill and humour. Codi is an utterly believable character, traumatised by unhappy events in the past and unsure if she is willing to risk hurt again. Kingsolver's best writing occurs when she describes the landscape and the damage perpetrated upon it by greedy corporations, although the novel veers towards the didactic at times. I felt that Codi's relationship with Loyd is a little unconvincing. Loyd is never fully realised, and his Native American descent makes him virtuous, in perfect communion with the landscape, and able to heal Codi's emotional wounds; perhaps Kingsolver should have made him less of a paragon. I would love to see Kingsolver tackle her themes on a larger scale and tackle the 'great American novel', but this is certainly a moving and evocative read, which I definitely recommend to everyone.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 14 May 1997
Format: Paperback
I am a displaced Sonoran Desert Dweller (from Tucson) and all I have to do is read Animal Dreams and I am back home in an environment and culture that is familiar and soothing. Barbara's descriptions of other areas of Arizona, Canyon de Chelly and the ancient Indian dwellings in the White Mountains, are as if you are standing there.

The characters are with depth and if you went to Arizona to those places during those times, that is what you would find. Strong women like Emelina, keeping their culture alive, and a big-city community barely aware of the on-goings in Nicaragua. It also describes the not uncommon will to survive of mining towns that no longer have the mine. (I'll wager that Grace is representative of the towns Clifton and Morenci.)

Animal Dreams is always a homecoming.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 3 Sept. 1999
Format: Paperback
Barbara Kingsolver weaves words with the ease and artistry of those who are truly gifted. And Animal Dreams contains some of her most beautiful writing. Her images are so vivid they drew me in and wrapped me in their language. Her characters and relationships are true and as poignant and sad as they are strong and beautiful. I keep this book close by because it inspires me to write and to read beautiful work.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 3 Feb. 1999
Format: Paperback
"Animal Dreams" is one of those books people either love, or just don't get what all the hoopla is about. After the first 50 pages, I found I couldn't put the book away. Barbara Kingsolver writes in such a manner that you forget you are reading text. Her colorful discriptions of the Southwestern landscape and people engulfed all my senses. The characters were very realistic to me, because I know those same people, only by different names. There may be character development flaws and storyline weaknesses, but I am not a literary critic. I read for pleasure, and for me, this book contained many miles of enjoyment. If you want to read a book that will skillfully transport you from where you are, "Animal Dreams" has that magic. I wouldn't recommend this book to everyone, because you have to have a certain kind of vision to see how beautiful the desert and it's people are. If you don't already have a sensability of wonder and affection for the region, then you're probably one of those people who just don't, and won't, ever get it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 11 April 1999
Format: Paperback
The whole story is about the south west and interlocking society between the 'old' traditional ways of the spanish stich and bitch club, the slightly more modern generation of teenagers, and the very traditional and family based society of the indians that surround the small town of Grace are blended together so brilliantly in this masterpiece. I have never read any other work by Barbara Kingslover before, but this book has inspired me to read, something I thought I would never have any interest in. In order to truely appriciate this book though, you must have visited the south west at least once. The book holds a special meaning for each individual reader, instead of one generalized truth or lesson that just anyone can draw from it. That is what makes this book so special, especially to me. I have never even heard anyone talk with such meaning and truth as this book has. I hope that you decide to read it and love it as much as I have!!!!!!!!!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 13 Nov. 1998
Format: Paperback
Barbara Kingsolver deserves recognition and gratitude from the world for writing such a beautiful book as Animal Dreams. The novel mixes the themes of culture, love, and death with a woman's struggle to find herself in life. Her interesting quest seems to be to achieve tranquility with the world around her. Following this woman on her journey to find her place is an exhilirating and invigorating adventure. Animal Dreams is a beautifully written book that should be read by all who are literate.
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