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Animal Crackers: Stories MP3 CD – Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged
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Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
"Animal Crackers" is a fitting introduction to the ten stories that follow, all of which explore characters' relationships with various animals and how they locate meaning in giraffes at the zoo, a neighbor's cat, a stuffed bear in a museum, or an ex-boyfriend's snake. Tinti, who co-founded and edits the literary magazine One Story, mines these human/animal interactions for surprisingly effective metaphors that eloquently reveal her characters' views of themselves and the world around them.
In "Reasonable Terms," three giraffes go on strike for better habitat conditions. Lying prone on the ground, their eyes rolled back and their tongues lolling out, they play dead and refuse to entertain their audiences. The predicament causes the zookeeper to reflect on his own marriage: "The zookeeper looked at the animals prostrate in the dirt and was reminded of pre-Darwinian concepts of evolution --- that the length of giraffes' necks was determined by stretching to obtain what they desire. He wondered if this kind of despair was inside Matilda.Read more ›
Animal Crackers is bound together by the idea of animals in the lives of Hannah Tinti's characters, and what I did like about this collection was the way that Tinti shows the ways her characters are coping with the problems in their lives. Tinti's characters are all strange people, but in a depressing way. There's a desperately lonely woman who tries to curb the loneliness with the snake her ex-boyfriend left behind and makes a list of the snake's favorite things. A housewife murders her husband's lover, but turns off the stove and oven before leaving the house. A hitman waits for a couple to finish their dessert before shooting the woman, and then shoots the man before he notices that she's dead (a lovely act, in a twisted way). When a mother sees her son throwing his rabbit out of a window for the last time, she doesn't ever think, "My son is a wretched little demon-spawn", she's wondering if the rabbit remembered the last time he was thrown out of a window, if he was afraid, or if he was having fun. It's these little details that add so much to characters.
Overall, I enjoyed Tinti's writing. It wasn't pretentious or flowery, and her style doesn't make the stories drag. It's an enjoyable debut collection, it just wasn't memorable or mind-blowing to me.
Unlike most of the animals in her stories, there seems to be something just not right about the human species. She skilfully hints around the prevalence of sociopathic behavior in her human characters, suggesting it may be more innate, and thus common, whether exhibited in unattended little boys or refined hitmen, than we would like to admit. We're more interested in self-absorption than the self-preservation exhibited by her non-human characters.
It's a curious contrast. Her non-human characters, including easily bored pet snakes, wild red jungle chickens of Southeast Asia, mobilized and striking zoo giraffes, Slim the ragdoll white rabbit, and stuffed museum bears exhibit just as much, if not more, personality and civility we would normally expect from ourselves.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
"Animal Crackers" is a thematic collection of short stories, connected by motifs of animals that affect the characters on various levels. Read morePublished on December 17, 2013 by lachap2
"Animal Crackers" is a collection of short stories written by Hannah Tinti, author of "The Good Thief". This collection has 11 tales. Read morePublished on November 8, 2009 by BJ
I have found a lost diamond...........vivid and full of color.
Roy the Magic Man
The first time I picked up this book, I put it down after the second chapter. Now, a few years later, needing something to read, I picked it up again, but after about a third into... Read morePublished on August 5, 2008 by B Heyden
I'm not a big fan of short stories, but I really enjoyed Hannah Tinti's debut work. Each story involves animals, sometimes as main characters, sometimes just barely. Read morePublished on June 7, 2005 by E. V. Holland
Reviewed by Felicia C. Sullivan, Small Spiral Notebook
Animals take center stage in the bewitching debut story collection, Animal Crackers. Read more
Hannah Tinti has written an array of entertaining dark stories. She is very talented and obviously has the gift of a very imaginative mind. Read morePublished on July 16, 2004 by Ruben Acoca