It is more than 100 years in the future and the horrors of factory farming, combined with the widespread abuse of antibiotics, have led to mass extinctions. The majority of all mammals, birds, and fish that humans have eaten for millennia no longer exist. Add to that an ever-widening gap between rich and poor and an overtaxed healthcare system. Those not fully capable — the handicapped, those with birth defects and congenital illness — are deemed undeserving of an equal share of scarce medical resources and are ultimately classified as less than human. As paranoia about our food supplies spreads, a forceful new logic takes hold; in the blink of a millennial eye the disenfranchised have become our food.
Don LePan’s powerful and compelling novel shows us a world at once eerily foreign and disturbingly familiar. It follows the Stinsons — Carrie, Zayne, and their daughter Naomi — and the dramatic events that unfold within their family after they take in an abandoned mongrel boy. In the sharp-edged poignancy of the ethical questions it poses, in the striking narrative techniques it employs, and above all, in the remarkable power of the story it tells, Animals proves itself a transformative work of fiction.
A powerful piece of writing, and a disturbing call to conscience.
LePan’s storytelling skills are on full display and the narrative brims with tension.... Animals is a brave and frequently fascinating novel, wrought with painful choices, harrowing journeys, and a deep passion for its subject matter.
An engaging story that asks deep and challenging questions.
An engrossing, elegantly written, and timely contribution to the great tradition of dystopic fiction.
Devastating. Animals is a powerful novel, and a fully convincing one.
Well written and engrossing. I found that the story hooked me from the start.
Provocative, original, beautifully crafted and achingly human, this is a novel that illuminates what we so called ’higher beings’ strive to keep darkly hidden from our consciousness. No more, no more...destined to become a classic.
A deeply moving narrative that can change your life--it did mine.
Immediately gripping and deeply moving, Animals imagines a future in which nonhuman animals have become extinct, and ’defective’ once-human beings called mongrels have replaced them . . . In this powerful tale of a mongrel boy named Sam, Don LePan compels us to consider our own relationship to the fellow creatures that we love, abuse, and eat. Animals is an engrossing, elegantly written, and timely contribution to the great tradition of dystopic fiction.
Animals is an impressive book that makes a powerful statement--I think it is the Animal Farm of these times. It’s also an accomplished work formally; a flowing narrative forms its central current, but brilliant shifts in style and narrative voice keep swirling within that current, and strong commentaries that are moral yet not homiletic keep forming eddies around it.
As an analysis of the human capacity to reconcile sentiment with savagery, it’s spot on: psychologically incisive, admirably disquieting . . . LePan may openly grind his axe, but what makes the book powerful is just how keenly that axe cuts through our ethical hypocrisy.