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Wild Animus: A Novel Hardcover – January 1, 2004


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From Publishers Weekly

Shapero unwisely uses the prologue of his debut novel to divulge the ending, so the remaining 300 pages do little more than track one man's tedious journey toward acid-induced madness. Drug dealer Sam Altman, an unhappy and lonely student at the University of California–Berkeley in the late 1960s, meets and falls in love with equally unhappy and lonely Lindy at an antiwar protest. Attempting to evade arrest for drug dealing, the couple flee to Washington State, where Sam's chronic use of LSD leads him to cut himself off from his friends, change his name to Ransom and yearn to become "a fur-covered shaman, a wild ram-man, chanting the liturgy of surrender." The pair end up in Alaska, where she waitresses to support him while he writes a novel, masquerades as a mountain ram and imagines he's being chased by a rout of wolves. Though Ransom's hallucinations worsen by the day, Lindy and his few remaining friends are too intimidated by his behavior and unhappy themselves to intervene, leaving him to his tragic and inevitable end (which, of course, has already been divulged). Shapero does have a talent for vivid imagery, but this is still just a sad tale of a man whose drug addiction drives him and everyone around him crazy.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Review

"A powerful and complex book." -- Library Journal, September 1, 2004

"Reading WILD ANIMUS is like climbing, skiing, or intense adventuring. It puts you in the 'time is now' state." -- Mike Libecki, World-Class Mountain Climber/Contributing Writer, Climbing Magazine

Fans who want something different . . . will take immense pelasure with the well-written, deep WILD ANUIMUS. -- www.blether.com by Harriet Klausner #1 Ranked Amazon Reviewer --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 315 pages
  • Publisher: Too Far; 1st edition (January 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0971880107
  • ISBN-13: 978-0971880108
  • ASIN: B000HWYQX8
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.4 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (152 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,789,539 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Rich Shapero is a writer and musician whose multimedia storytelling projects pioneer unseen worlds. At the heart of his stories are vast wildernesses, populated by mercurial private gods who promise deliverance to truer, more profound states of being. But transcendence demands sacrifice, and the paths of his protagonists are fraught with danger, dread and violence. Combining lucid prose with entrancing music, Rich conjures immersive visionary landscapes and characters who struggle to achieve summits of personal fulfillment.

Customer Reviews

This is the worst book I've ever read.
Greg Carroll
I'm embarrased that I finished it but I just kept thinking, "It's got to get better. There has to a point to this drivel."
C. C. Reed
Like everyone other review, I agree this book is awful.
Katrina Stewart

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

346 of 358 people found the following review helpful By Brian M Wise on February 27, 2005
Format: Paperback
I, like many others, received this book for free. But unlike others, I found this book a delight to have around the house.

It served quite well as a monitor riser for my LCD screen.

My friend and I needed a book to add weight for a tofu press.

Pages 200 to 225 made wonderful firestarters when covered in paraffin wax.

One night, we took the cover and walked around the downtown Seattle area hiding our faces behind it and saying "Wooo, wolf eyes, scawwy wolf eyes", while three people behind us kept asking people "Have you seen the walruses?" in Scooby-Doo voices.

One night we drank too much and began reading the worst prose we could find in voices like Darth Vader and Mickey Mouse over a microphone to loud techno music. People apparently loved this prose more than Lynne Cheney's book on lesbian sexual relationships.

The cat ate pages 123 to 127 when we ran out of catgrass for him to chew.

The door below sometimes slams shut when coming in and out of the apartment, so rather than going out to buy a doorstop, we use the book!

Every so often you can pick a random phrase out of it that makes you howl with laughter.

Handing it to someone who's taken more than six hits of acid in their lifetime and asking them whether it's accurate in the description is highly amusing - especially when you get their faces to screw up like you've just asked them to kill the baby Jesus with a rusty spork.

It is an excellent candidate for book frisbee on a sunny afternoon in the park.

I take it with me when camping in the case that I run out of toilet paper.

Gosh, I'm sure I could find more excellent uses for this most entertaining book.
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144 of 149 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Burnett on June 10, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is easily one of the worst books I have ever read. It's difficult to believe that a publisher can have read this manuscript and thought it was publishable. Why, wait a minute! The publishing house, Too Far, was founded by this book's author, Richard Shapero! Well, that explains the lack of serious editing or promotion.
"Wild Animus" is a fantasy about the 60's. By "fantasy", I mean that it is a story written by someone who knows nothing about the 60's and made things up as he went along. The main characters, Sam and Lindy, are fictional hippies who speak in stilted diatribes about enlightenment, empowerment and oppression. All written by an author who apparently has never been enlightened, empowered or oppressed.
The dialog throughout reads like someone who has never heard a conversation, and has only read bad poetry in translation. The actions are those of people who have no sense.
I canot, cannot believe anyone would consider this book publishable, let alone start his own company with the intention of publishing it. Please do not read this book.
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77 of 84 people found the following review helpful By J. COMER on May 28, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is just awful. I know the author travels in the Alaska wilderness, etc, but he can't write worth a damn.
Animus means "mind" or "hostility". It does not mean what this clown thinks it means.
This is about a man who goes crazy and thinks he's a wild mountain sheep. His girlfriend supports him by waiting tables while he hikes around Mount Wrangell, working up the nerve to throw himself in and hallucinating that he is a sheep, and that his girlfriend is a pack of wolves who chase him, and that inside the (volcanic) mountain there is a god who will somehow save everyone by releasing their emotions.
None of the characters seem real. The prose is turgid and wordy, adejective laden and irksome. How many times do I need to be told about a meadow full of Alaska wildflowers? And why would I CARE about this idiot who mutilates himself and dances around on a mountain. In addition, the 1960s "setting" is totally unconvincing. This maniac belongs in the men's movement, "shaman" and "power animal" craze of the 1990s. No one in the 60s talked or acted like that. The author knows nothing about LSD, which is the excuse for most of the sheep segments of the novel (sorry, can't think of something else to call them.)
I will never read anything by this guy again. No wonder the book was free. Who would pay for this trash?
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45 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Alex Falcone on November 3, 2011
Format: Hardcover
"Wild Animus" is clearly Rich Shapero's life's work. According to his website, it's been his obsession since the 1960s. It is his opus, if you will, and Mr. Holland taught me that people who have opuses care about them a lot.

Now, I guess technically it's not very well written. It's not really enjoyable to read, and it doesn't exactly make sense. I suppose that's all true. But let's realize that this isn't just a book, it's also a man's dream, his whole life. And look where it's gotten him. He's only got 32 "Likes" on Facebook. Some people make Facebook pages for their cats and they have more fans. That has to hurt for a writer. Currently Amazon sells the "Wild Animus Box Set" and they have 29 new from $.10 and 10 used from $.75. If my book actually gained value when people used it, I would be crushed.

How would you feel if your life's work was crappy and everybody knew it? You'd be pretty blue, I'm guessing. We live in a society that is constantly telling people to "Do what you love." "Trust your instincts." "Be true to yourself." "Follow your heart." But what happens if what's in your heart sucks? Then what? So what if Rich Shapero's intincts are terrible writers. Wasn't he supposed to follow them anyway?

In fact, the idea of following your heart and doing what you love is a main theme of "Wild Animus." But just like the main character's desire to wear a sheep costume and do drugs in remote Alaskan mountains, Rich Shapero's desire to write a book was misguided. Normally we love stories about people persevering despite the obstacles. Every great book was turned down by 30 or 40 publishers before it found mainstream success, and so we tell young writers to press on despite the criticism and the naysaying.
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