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4 Burnside Literature- A to Z

We the Animals

by

We the Animals Cover

ISBN13: 9780547576725
ISBN10: 0547576722
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

 

Staff Pick

If just hearing the phrase "lyrical coming-of-age novel" makes your shoulders sag and your attention lag, hold that thought. Justin Torres has breathed fresh life into a tired form. We the Animals is a deranged rollercoaster careening through the lives of Torres's passionately dysfunctional family, who love one another to pieces — literally. Fun, moving, and, yes, lyrical.
Recommended by Martin, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

An exquisite, blistering debut novel. Three brothers tear their way through childhood smashing tomatoes all over each other, building kites from trash, hiding out when their parents do battle, tiptoeing around the house as their mother sleeps off her graveyard shift. Paps and Ma are from Brooklyn — he's Puerto Rican, she's white — and their love is a serious, dangerous thing that makes and unmakes a family many times. Life in this family is fierce and absorbing, full of chaos and heartbreak and the euphoria of belonging completely to one another. From the intense familial unity felt by a child to the profound alienation he endures as he begins to see the world, this beautiful novel reinvents the coming-of-age story in a way that is sly and punch-in-the-stomach powerful.

Written in magical language with unforgettable images, this is a stunning exploration of the viscerally charged landscape of growing up, how deeply we are formed by our earliest bonds, and how we are ultimately propelled at escape velocity toward our futures.

Review:

"Three brothers and a dueling husband and wife are bound by poverty and love in this debut novel from Stegner Fellow Torres. Manny, Joel, and the unnamed youngest, who narrates, are rambunctious and casually violent. Their petite 'white' mother, with her night-shift job and unstable marriage to the boys' impulsive Puerto Rican father, is left suspended in an abusive yet still often joyous home. Nothing seems to turn out right, whether it's Paps getting fired for bringing the boys to work or Ma loading them in the truck and fleeing into the woods. The short tales that make up this novel are intriguing and beautifully written, but take too long to reach the story's heart, the narrator's struggle to come of age and discover his sexuality in a hostile environment. When the narrator's father catches him dancing like a girl, he remarks: 'Goddamn, I got me a pretty one.' From this point the story picks up momentum, ending on a powerful note, as Torres ratchets up the consequences of being different. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Review:

"We the Animals is a dark jewel of a book. It's heartbreaking. It's beautiful. It resembles no other book I've read. We should all be grateful for Justin Torres, a brilliant, ferocious new voice." Michael Cunningham

Review:

"In language brilliant, poised and pure, We the Animals tells about family love as it is felt when it is frustrated or betrayed or made to stand in the place of too many other needed things, about how precious it becomes in these extremes, about the terrible sense of loss when it fails under duress, and the joy and dread of realizing that there really is no end to it." Marilynne Robinson

Review:

"We the Animals is a dark jewel of a book. Its heartbreaking. Its beautiful. It resembles no other book Ive read. We should all be grateful for Justin Torres, a brilliant, ferocious new voice." Michael Cunningham

Review:

"Some books quicken your pulse. Some slow it. Some burn you inside and send you tearing off to find the author to see who made this thing that can so burn you and quicken you and slow you all at the same time. A miracle in concentrated pages, you are going to read it again and again, and know exactly what I mean." Dorothy Allison

Review:

"We the Animals snatches the reader by the scruff of the heart, tight as teeth, and shakes back and forth — between the human and the animal, the housed and the feral, love and violence, mercy and wrath — and leaves him in the wilderness, ravished by its beauty. It is an indelible and essential work of art." Paul Harding, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Tinkers

Video

About the Author

Justin Torres grew up in upstate New York, where this novel is set. His work has appeared in Granta, Tin House, and Glimmer Train. A graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop, he is a recipient of the Rolón United States Artist Fellowship in Literature, and is now a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford. He has worked as a farmhand, a dog-walker, a creative writing teacher, and a bookseller.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 15 comments:

evelina047, August 4, 2012 (view all comments by evelina047)
Fiercely riveting from the opening. Painfully tender and human. "We the Animals"!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
Lea Anna, March 22, 2012 (view all comments by Lea Anna)
A beautiful coming of age story following three close brothers running around and causing trouble. Torres weaves together a great little novel.
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(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
marymilstead, January 19, 2012 (view all comments by marymilstead)
Simply amazing.
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(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 15 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780547576725
Author:
Torres, Justin
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20110830
Binding:
Hardback
Language:
English
Pages:
144
Dimensions:
8 x 5 in 1 lb

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Cultural Heritage
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Debut Fiction
Gay and Lesbian » Fiction and Poetry » Men's Fiction
History and Social Science » Military » General History

We the Animals Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.95 In Stock
Product details 144 pages Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - English 9780547576725 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

If just hearing the phrase "lyrical coming-of-age novel" makes your shoulders sag and your attention lag, hold that thought. Justin Torres has breathed fresh life into a tired form. We the Animals is a deranged rollercoaster careening through the lives of Torres's passionately dysfunctional family, who love one another to pieces — literally. Fun, moving, and, yes, lyrical.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Three brothers and a dueling husband and wife are bound by poverty and love in this debut novel from Stegner Fellow Torres. Manny, Joel, and the unnamed youngest, who narrates, are rambunctious and casually violent. Their petite 'white' mother, with her night-shift job and unstable marriage to the boys' impulsive Puerto Rican father, is left suspended in an abusive yet still often joyous home. Nothing seems to turn out right, whether it's Paps getting fired for bringing the boys to work or Ma loading them in the truck and fleeing into the woods. The short tales that make up this novel are intriguing and beautifully written, but take too long to reach the story's heart, the narrator's struggle to come of age and discover his sexuality in a hostile environment. When the narrator's father catches him dancing like a girl, he remarks: 'Goddamn, I got me a pretty one.' From this point the story picks up momentum, ending on a powerful note, as Torres ratchets up the consequences of being different. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review" by , "We the Animals is a dark jewel of a book. It's heartbreaking. It's beautiful. It resembles no other book I've read. We should all be grateful for Justin Torres, a brilliant, ferocious new voice."
"Review" by , "In language brilliant, poised and pure, We the Animals tells about family love as it is felt when it is frustrated or betrayed or made to stand in the place of too many other needed things, about how precious it becomes in these extremes, about the terrible sense of loss when it fails under duress, and the joy and dread of realizing that there really is no end to it."
"Review" by , "We the Animals is a dark jewel of a book. Its heartbreaking. Its beautiful. It resembles no other book Ive read. We should all be grateful for Justin Torres, a brilliant, ferocious new voice."
"Review" by , "Some books quicken your pulse. Some slow it. Some burn you inside and send you tearing off to find the author to see who made this thing that can so burn you and quicken you and slow you all at the same time. A miracle in concentrated pages, you are going to read it again and again, and know exactly what I mean."
"Review" by , "We the Animals snatches the reader by the scruff of the heart, tight as teeth, and shakes back and forth — between the human and the animal, the housed and the feral, love and violence, mercy and wrath — and leaves him in the wilderness, ravished by its beauty. It is an indelible and essential work of art."
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