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The Entire Animal Paperback – 7 Jun 2006

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Product details

  • Paperback: 156 pages
  • Publisher: Waywiser Press (7 Jun. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1904130216
  • ISBN-13: 978-1904130215
  • Product Dimensions: 1.3 x 13.3 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 960,002 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I'm a British writer from a little town called Melbourne, in Derbyshire, England. My poems and short stories appear frequently in literary magazines and I have published two novels.

The main theme of my work is people's inability to communicate in a meaningful way with those whom they love, and this idea forms the basis of my first novel, 'The Entire Animal', which was published in 2006 by The Waywiser Press.

My second novel, 'Thoughts of Maria', published in 2013 by Open Books, continues this theme, but also touches on wider issues such as drugs, arranged marriages and sexual obsession.

I love to hear from my readers - visit my website at or tweet me!

Product Description


Gregory Heath's captivating debut novel is about Michael, a highly regarded taxidermist, whose personal life is at a standstill. With a string of failed relationships behind him, he dedicates his days to work and his nights to alcohol. When love arrives in the shape of a beautiful young art student, he needs someone to confide in. But the only person he can talk to is the mother he lost as a child, until an unexpected friend challenges him to face his demons. "The Entire Animal" is a moving meditation on the harm that is done when people cannot communicate with each other. It is as well an exploration of our relationship with art. Life and death - in nature's world and ours - hover on the edges of every page, lending to this fine book their pain and their beauty, their demands and their solace.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Andy Cope on 11 July 2006
Format: Paperback
This book is amazing.

Ok, at first glance it may not seem very appealing. I can't think of any other novel that has a depressed, alcoholic taxidermist as its lead character! But the author's ability to weave a story around this central character (Michael) is awesome. I had to re-read several lines, paragraphs...chapters even...because it was so beautifully written. The author consistently chooses the right words and phrases - not always the obvious ones - but exactly and spectacularly right. Crucially, the description isn't overdone. There are too many novels out there that are trying to be clever. They fall over themselves with description that doesn't go anywhere. `The Entire Animal' goes to plenty of places, most notably the man's feelings of loneliness and frustration at his inability to communicate. Ultimately though it goes deeper, into all our failings of communication. We come to realise that his brother and father are equally impotent when it comes to branching out into anything other than small talk. And as for discussing `feelings' - not a hope! Can Michael change? I won't spoil the ending as you should go and buy this book yourself.

I doubt there's a better debut novel out there. Highly recommended.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By ALA on 29 Aug. 2006
Format: Paperback
The Entire Animal is a moving novel with beautifully detailed and descriptive writing. Gregory Heath has the ability to captivate the reader with his sophisticated style in this debut novel. I highly recommend The Entire Animal and eagerly await further publications from this talented author.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A. Ward on 15 Mar. 2008
Format: Paperback
An utterly absorbing novel; I cared what happened to these characters from page one. I was moved to laughter and tears by the pure emotional realness of it. Highly recommended.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 1 review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Not Skin Deep 25 Jan. 2013
By Kelly Huddleston - Published on
Format: Paperback
In The Entire Animal, Heath masterfully handles one man's struggle to communicate and connect with those around him in a meaningful way. Michael is a skilled taxidermist, an alcoholic and a troubled soul. Emotionally stunted because of the death of his mother at a young age, Michael feels most comfortable at work, skillfully stuffing the skins of animals during the day and, at night, drinking and talking to the one remaining connection he has with his mother--a preserved dead pike with a blue button for an eye. Everything changes for Michael, however, when a young and beautiful art school student named Clare enters his world. As his feelings grow for Clare, Michael must reexamine his own emotional and psychological inner-workings with as much care, love and devotion as he does while practicing the art of preparing, stuffing and mounting the skins of animals. Richly metaphorical, The Entire Animal goes underneath the skin and delves into the fragile complexities of the human heart and mind. First rate fiction by talented author. Highly recommended.
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