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Animals [Paperback]

Miles Salter
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
RRP: 7.99
Price: 6.90 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Product details

  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Valley Press (21 Sep 2013)
  • ISBN-10: 190885328X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1908853288
  • Product Dimensions: 19.8 x 12.9 x 0.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,620,807 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
Miles Salter's 'Animals' is a fantastic collection of poems. The dark humor and cynicism greatly highlights a social point of the 'most fearsome animal of all' Man. There is a range of poetry from the more humorous such as 'Ten Reasons Why This World Must End Soon' to the more serious poems, such as my favorite one in the collection, 'A Warning'. It's a unique collection that had me laughing and seriously contemplating the state of the world at the same time. I would recommend this collection to anyone from poetry lovers to people trying to get into the genre. A good read!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not for the weak hearted 2 Oct 2013
Format:Paperback
There is `a mess of claw and feather and noise' says the author in `Two by Two' and this image is central to one of the main themes in `Animals' - the cruelty and callousness of all creatures with the human species the worst of all. Here we have Tennyson's `red in tooth and claw' now underpinning an impoverished, urban world.

In this collection animals are mostly used as metaphors for man. A further example in `Two by Two' is conveyed in a blend of humour and brutality when comments about Noah's eyes bulging and cats going `mental' are followed by the image `One hamster was flattened by an elephant ... Ants queued up.' A neat way of suggesting the concept of the little man squashed by the power of the big while mobsters and hangers-on watch and wait.

One of many things I admire in Miles Salter's work is his use of the unexpected and almost casual image such as `a sound track retching from the suburbs' (`The Devil invents Rock and Roll') or the detail in `Lot Remembers Sarah' when the man imagines himself clinging to the woman's `bleached body' and kissing her `frozen mouth' while his tongue accidently dislodges `a crumb of salt'.

The unexpected detail also occurs in the final couplet of `Cat' where the pet is narrator and cosily describes how it finds a bed, curls up and `makes a circle' but then `Later, with eyes full of smell, ears full of dark,/I look for a mouse that will soon be tired.' A perfect juxtaposition of the poignant and the shocking.

Poems in this book depict a grim, dark world where humans as well as dogs `are aimless now, skittering/at pavements, jaws full of yawning/ ... I know they are lost.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Startling and Unsettling Collection 29 May 2014
Format:Paperback
A friend recommended this book and I got hold of a copy. It's an impressive collection of poetry - very wide ranging in style and content. Miles Salter uses language and imagination to great effect. Occasionally, he makes the mistake of being a little too heavy handed - perhaps telling the reader what to think, as in the final lines of 'Jimmy Savile Speaks' or the slightly preachy 'World Without End' - but there is no doubting his command of language and the way he inhabits a voice. The Animals theme is well explored, too - with poems about Noah, and appearances by Lions, Giraffes, Cats and Horses spread throughout the book. On the whole I would recommend this collection to anybody who enjoys contemporary poetry. It's worth reading.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent collection of poetry. 28 Sep 2013
Format:Paperback
This is a terrific collection of poetry. Darkly comic, these poems are located in the real world but peer into a society that may be just around the corner. Several poems deal with climate change and consumer society. Occasionally the poems lose their subtlety but, on the whole, they are tremendously powerful. Great cover too!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
5.0 out of 5 stars Strong writing 2 Oct 2013
By Mandy Pannett - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
There is `a mess of claw and feather and noise' says the author in `Two by Two' and this image is central to one of the main themes in `Animals' - the cruelty and callousness of all creatures with the human species the worst of all. Here we have Tennyson's `red in tooth and claw' now underpinning an impoverished, urban world.

In this collection animals are mostly used as metaphors for man. A further example in `Two by Two' is conveyed in a blend of humour and brutality when comments about Noah's eyes bulging and cats going `mental' are followed by the image `One hamster was flattened by an elephant ... Ants queued up.' A neat way of suggesting the concept of the little man squashed by the power of the big while mobsters and hangers-on watch and wait.

One of many things I admire in Miles Salter's work is his use of the unexpected and almost casual image such as `a sound track retching from the suburbs' (`The Devil invents Rock and Roll') or the detail in `Lot Remembers Sarah' when the man imagines himself clinging to the woman's `bleached body' and kissing her `frozen mouth' while his tongue accidently dislodges `a crumb of salt'.

The unexpected detail also occurs in the final couplet of `Cat' where the pet is narrator and cosily describes how it finds a bed, curls up and `makes a circle' but then `Later, with eyes full of smell, ears full of dark,/I look for a mouse that will soon be tired.' A perfect juxtaposition of the poignant and the shocking.

Poems in this book depict a grim, dark world where humans as well as dogs `are aimless now, skittering/at pavements, jaws full of yawning/ ... I know they are lost.' There is savagery, exploitation and total blindness to everything except `instinct and scent' (The Bull) but also, perhaps worse, is an undercurrent of indifference and detachment from emotion as `Drone Talking' shows so horrifyingly.

Reading this collection I have a sense of counterpoint (there are many musical motifs) - one voice that says `I believe this time things will change'(Knock) and another one that whispers in response `Oh no they won't'. There are echoes of John Lennon's `song `Imagine' and a feeling of yearning in lines such as `Imagine glass repairing itself' (Disrupted) and a possible day when `hedgerows won't harbour fading beer cans' and `Strangers will/open car doors in the rain, say `Hop in'/without causing alarm.' (Futures)

I was going to end this review with the downbeat line `The clocks ticks away without prejudice' but instead I think I'll finish by quoting the poem `Spiders' in full since it epitomises, for me, a mastery of language that is able to convey both menace and beauty, darkness and light:

At the end of the bridge, staking their claim
to a blinding bulb at the edge of Autumn,
I lost count of tiny spiders in overlapping webs,
waiting for flies to fall for the glamour of light.
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