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Animals
 
 

Animals [Kindle Edition]

Emma Jane Unsworth
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £12.99
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Product Description

Review

I wish I had written this book . . . Withnail with girls (CAITLIN MORAN)

Savagely funny, clever and wise. If it's not an instant cult classic I'm leaving the cult (NATHAN FILER, author of THE SHOCK OF THE FALL)

Brutally funny and heartfelt. I loved it (LAUREN BEUKES)

A hilarious, madcap meditation on grown ups who are not quite ready to grow up. Her writing is as brilliantly inventive as her characters' transgressions (HELEN WALSH, author of THE LEMON GROVE)

A devilish tale, spun in angelic prose (JOHN NIVEN)

Stunningly brilliant (JENN ASHWORTH)

Animals is a riot. A kind of drunker, swearier Girls. I loved it (MATT HAIG)

Casually high on insight, mercifully low on decorum, Animals is vital, funny, poignant and true. If you're looking for talent, style and the deep wisdom of misbehaviour, read it (GLEN DUNCAN)

A gloriously over-the-top account of female friendship (Guardian)

A fresh, albeit slightly fevered, depiction of female friendships and modern femininity in which traditional romantic entanglements take second place (Observer)

It's not exactly subtle, but there is an irrepressible energy and verve to Animals, a veracity to Unsworth's no-bullshit prose and her main characters' barfly pseudo-philosophising, that makes the whole thing crack along like a Friday night pub crawl. Laura and Tyler are such engaging characters that it's hard to read Animals without cracking open a bottle of wine and joining the madness (Big Issue)

Animals beautifully navigates the complexities of intimate relationships. Never cloying or mawkish, it communicates vulnerability, dependence and tenderness, often in a single dazzling line (Guardian)

A speedy, exciting tale of female friendship (Bath Chronicle)

Hilarious, moving and poetic (Glamour)

Drink, drugs, men, more drink, more drugs. That's the heartbeat of this wham-bam, helter-skelter account of female friendship, featuring two women in their early thirties whose voracious appetite for wine makes Dionysus look like a lightweight (Independent)

Gloriously debauched and wonderfully touching...a gripping, raucous read from one of Britain's most promising young writers (The List)

This is a book that will make you laugh and make you think. It's a story about friendship and growing up, and the fun that can be had and the shit that you sometimes have to leave behind (BookCunt blog)

What also makes Animals so fresh - apart from Emma Jane Unsworth 's lovely turn of phrase and ability to resuscitate the worst hangover you've ever had - is just how filthy these girls are (Stylist)

Animals looks like a New Order record, its narrative fuelled by cheap white wine, the non-logic of the always-intoxicated and the sensuously evocative language of a writer who's been there....but it's ultimately a sobering and tender read (Twin Magazine Blog)

Unsworth is a name to watch . . . Animals is more than a hymn to partygoing - it is a sharp study of the endurance of female friendship over romantic entanglements and life's challenges...alternately bleak and comic, Animals gives us the pain of the morning after the night before in all its unvarnished awfulness (Financial Times)

Unsworth is a bright talent (New Statesman)

Told through wild nights and the chaos of life as a thirty-something, this ode to female friendship is number one on my summer reading wish list (Red Online)

The struggle Unsworth portrays so perceptively is that of the potential for friends, family and partners to have as much of a destructive effect as be supportive (Big Issue)

Book Description

A filthy, funny story of friendship, love and the morning after the night before

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1395 KB
  • Print Length: 257 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 178211212X
  • Publisher: Canongate Books; Main edition (1 May 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00H4E7Y04
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #31,852 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Emma Jane Unsworth's first novel, Hungry, the Stars and Everything, won a Betty Trask Award from the Society of Authors and was shortlisted for the Portico Prize for Fiction 2012. Her short story 'I Arrive First' was included in The Best British Short Stories 2012 (Salt). Her second novel, Animals, will be published by Canongate in May 2014.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Spend your lives in sin and misery 7 July 2014
By MisterHobgoblin TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Animals commits the cardinal sin of being boring.

Most people like novels with sympathetic characters for whom you can wish success. Some people like novels with bad characters you can hate and hope bad things happen to. But Laura Joyce, her girlfriend Tyler and her pianist partner Jim are just dull. They do very little apart from drink (except Jim who doesn’t even drink) and although there is the occasional comic moment, mostly it is just alcohol-fuelled scatalogical dialogue that seems designed to shock but never quite succeeds.

Nothing happens.

And Laura and Tyler are not nearly as bad as they like to think. Laura holds down a job at a call centre; Tyler works at a high street coffee chain. They have done so for many years. Their shared home is broadly spotless except for a particular mess or dirtiness that is the centrepiece of the narrative. They go to the all-night party Manchester scene, snort cocaine and fall asleep in flowerbeds, yet they never really seem to make any enemies, never get in trouble with the police, never struggle to pay the rent. It’s all a bit too sanitised. Maybe you believe in the characters – and for the most part I did – but I just found them very boring.

By way of example – I had a friend once who was an alcoholic. His stories used to involve drinking a lot and doing outrageously funny things. Then the drinking a lot became the punchline in itself. Something happened – and then we all got rat-arsed. Boom tish. And it was so boring, so repetitive. So too is Animals. It just goes on and on without getting anywhere; made all the worse by fractures timelines and flashbacks which destroyed any grip on plot that the reader might have been clinging to.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Addictive...which is very apt! 7 May 2014
Format:Paperback
I read Animals over two days, hardly able to put it down. I was gripped, excited, moved and ultimately blown away by this novel. It's such a unique, brilliant book on so many levels. The subject matter draws the reader in - main character Laura and best friend Tyler are hedonistic literary party girls who are still choosing drink and drugs over settling and suburbia. Reading about their escapades will make anyone who had their own heydays crave a cigarette and a cold glass of white wine in a bar in a city, a night where anything might happen. That's what the writer does so well, sums up that feeling that we've all had, but many have lost - the excitement, the call of "the night" as Unsworth calls it.

Animals doesn't glorify all the drink and drugs - that's what's so brilliant about it. It simply lays it all out, the reasons why, and the reasons why not, the highs and the lows of a certain lifestyle choice, the way we all seem to be trying to decide if there is one way to be, in your thirties and onwards, that's 'right.' It makes you remember that, actually, nobody really has a clue whether they're making the right choices in life or not. So good to read a novel that lays that out, rather than spinning us another rescue fantasy fairytale.

And then there's the writing. Wow. It's just stunning. The language is so poetic, and at the same time, so often downright filthy - there really can't be anything else out there like Animals right now.

Buy it, devour it, and recommend it to your friends. We need more novels like this!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great, Unique Writing-Style...OK Story 9 July 2014
By R
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I struggled with the rating- wanted to give it 3.5 stars- 4 stars for the first half + 3 stars for the second half..but 4 it is!

EJU has a unique writing style and an impressive vocabulary. She describes everyday thoughts and things in a such a true and honest way. It's direct yet poetic. I immediately 'got' the two main characters. Some of it is laugh out loud funny, in my opinion. I giggled to myself on the tube over 'HE JUST CAUGHT YOU LOOKING AT HIS BELT BUCKLE'- maybe I'm weird but I can definitely relate to that!

As someone who is attempting to write a book which focuses more on character than plot, and who has an appreciation of such literature, I did find the plot here somewhat lacking. Also, I don't believe every chapter should necessarily be a cliff hanger, but I found the endings to be too abrupt, leaving me cold and not particularly eager to turn the page.

Another little niggle was that although Tyler was a vivid and very believable character, toward the end I found her antics a bit too much, they had wore me out- to the point where my eyes were compelled to roll when she came out with yet another random, off-the-wall statement.

Overall, I enjoyed the first half of the book quite a bit, but sadly due to a lack of plot/variety, not so much the last half of the book.

I'm glad I read it, and I will definitely be reading more EJU in the future because she really is a clever writer, there's just a bit of cleaning up here and there required- IMHO, of course : )
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3.0 out of 5 stars not great 15 Nov 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed the author's second book- 'Hungry, The Stars and Everything' but this was a bit disappointing. Main characters quite unlikeable, not as rebellious as they seem to think they are. You do get a sense of bleakness and lack of hope but not much happens really.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book
Would have been 5 stars if the ending was better.
I especially liked that this book is set in manchester.
Published 2 days ago by Charlotte Black
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
great book
Published 4 months ago by Martin Long
4.0 out of 5 stars relishing victories in life like actually managing to make it home and...
I’m certainly familiar with the experience of waking up with The Fear after a heavy night on the rip. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Kevin Freeburn
3.0 out of 5 stars I wanted intelligent and funny
Just missed the mark for me. I wanted intelligent and funny. It sort of was, but not quite.
Published 4 months ago by RedEGazelle
2.0 out of 5 stars not for everyone...
Laura is torn between on the one hand her friend Tyler and the lifestyle they enjoy together (hedonistic for the most part though they both love poetry and Laura is trying to write... Read more
Published 5 months ago by William Jordan
5.0 out of 5 stars Bloody loved this book.
Imagine what it would be like to have to constantly choose between your fiancé and your soul mate. This is the ever present predicament for Laura Joyce. Read more
Published 5 months ago by LJBentley
5.0 out of 5 stars Crazy bonkers!
I just loved this book. I think I did bits of this waaaaay back, but great to read from the safety of 'middle age'.
Published 6 months ago by Karolina Knapton
5.0 out of 5 stars great read
gritty reflection of real women living full on party lives and all that brings with it - the characters felt very real
Published 6 months ago by louj
5.0 out of 5 stars Is there more to life than partying?
On the cover of this book there's a quote from Caitlin Moran, 'Withnail with girls' and it sums up the spirit of this book perfectly. Read more
Published 7 months ago by J. White
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