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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
Animals: A Novel
Format: Paperback|Change
Price:$9.85+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on June 18, 2015
This book was great- gripping and thought-provoking. It's partially a fascinating dystopian history lesson, partially an emotionally poignant narrative about a boy destroyed by the dystopian circumstances. The book's clear purpose is to give a look at the idea of factory farming (and even meat consumption) from a different angle. I will be entirely honest: this book made me fully commit to vegetarianism. Before, I had dabbled (my girlfriend is vegetarian, so much of our cooking together is meatless), but this book provided me a perspective I could not ignore.
If you're dipping your toes in animal empathy or leaning towards vegetarianism, I highly recommend this book. Hell, if you're even remotely concerned about the idea of factory farming, please give Animals a read.
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on December 12, 2013
Great product! Thought I was buying a used book, but it's currently the shiniest/cleanest book I've ever owned! Which is saying something cause I rarely buy used books (which I'm trying to change).

As for the read? Decent. Interesting, thought provoking, though hard to read sometimes. I have some issues with the structure, but good perspective, either way. I would recommend it to everyone except my aunt (well, okay, and anyone who's particularly sensitive and squeamish) for the perspective alone. It's worth noting that the argument is against factory farming and animal cruelty, not against consuming animal products.
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on December 5, 2010
read the other reviews and decided to purchase the book. from the moment I picked it up, I could not put it down. Brilliant and disturbing, I feel compelled to give the book as gifts to a few special people. It's the kind of book that will stay with you and change the way you think about people and animals. Haunting.
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on April 17, 2011
Animals, A Novel is an engrossing tale that everyone should read. The characters draw you into the story and you can't put it down. It completely changed my view on the animals in my life and made me think twice about everything I put on my plate. I have bought this book not only for myself but another half dozen friends and family members too because I feel very strongly about the subject matter. Don LePan's concise writing style makes me feel like I know these characters and my heart aches from their struggles. It's an important story for our times and an absolute "must read". If you love animals, if you've ever contemplated becoming vegetarian or vegan, if you are a vegetarian and if you want to challenge your views on the subject, buy this book.
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on September 6, 2013
I was required to read this novel for a philosophy class. I Hated every page of it. It's the vegan/vegetarian/animal rights manifesto, and the human rights nightmare. I'm sure I will catch flack for my review, but it is how I honestly feel.
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on August 1, 2010
As gripping as it is important, LePan's brilliant first novel tackles the largest moral issue of our time while scarcely mentioning its victims at all. Instead, a century into the future, cognitively challenged humans called "mongrels" take the place of now-extinct factory farmed animals--grown in crowded sheds, mutilated, fattened in finishing pens then prodded into chutes for slaughter. We meet one of these unfortunates, Sam, who is loved early in life but finds himself caught up in the future of meat ("yurn") production. By creating a subhuman category, LePan blurs the line we draw between ourselves and other sentient animals. Lest anyone fail to connect this story with our appalling current treatment of animals destined for our plates, the author includes an unambiguous afterword.
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on July 22, 2010
If you read any novel, read this! Animals is one of the most important Canadian novels to have emerged in many years. Utterly disturbing and gripping and incredibly well told, it poses difficult questions and highlights in unsettling ways our capacity for complicity in a whole range of practices that we would rather simply not know about. LePan's dystopian satire is poignant and dark and always absolutely bang on. It is set somewhere around the end of the twenty-first century. The livestock industry has collapsed as a result of increasingly barbaric practices so meat is no longer available. Worse, there has been a rapidly growing rate of children born with severe disabilities, so much so that these children have become classified as mongrels -- as creatures rather than humans. Things get worse when people realize that the answer is obvious: these mongrels could be consumed as meat. All that is needed is a name change. They come to be referred to as chattel, and their meat as yurn or fland. The story itself is extraordinarily well conceived -- it is so easy to go overboard with this kind of writing but LePan never does. Quite the opposite, a great part of its power lies in what LePan manages to avoid; the narrative is suggestive rather than graphic or confrontational. Somewhere Jonathan Swift is grinning wryly. But what can get lost in the brilliance of the satire is just how beautiful the writing is -- always at its most poetic at all the most awful moments. It was horrible and yet I couldn't stop reading as the plot moves inexorably forward. The final sections were about the saddest thing that I have read, but never in a way that seemed needless or opportunistic or excessive. This is a major addition to Canadian literature.
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on September 17, 2010
Animals, Don LePlan's first novel, is a near bull's-eye critique of factory farming and the public's apparent willful ignorance of the scope and extent of the animals' near around-the-clock misery.

Set in some not-too-distant future, cows, pigs, chickens, and most other animals have gone extinct in a pandemic of our own making -- the result of super germs evolving in response to the widespread chronic use of antibiotics in feedlots and other animal agriculture confinement systems. Coincidentally, or perhaps not, at about the same time, the number of children born with mental deficits and other problems skyrockets.

The absence of animals and the increase in handicapped children lead to these children being redefined as subhuman animals. In LePlan's dark vision of the future, these "mongrels" take the place of pets and reminiscent of Soylent Green or Swift's modest proposal, come to be intensively farmed for meat.

The central character is a boy who is deaf; his language difficulties result in him being classified as a mongrel. The novel's main themes are developed through the other characters' relationships with him as he moves in and out of their lives.

Animals misses the bull's-eye though because, like some of the novel's characters, the author admits his own continued consumption of some animals. LePlan builds a compelling case that simply designating some animals human and others not doesn't mean that the things we do to those not human aren't barbaric or infinitely callous, yet like most of the characters in his novel, in some circumstances, he admits eating as if he doesn't know. This fact will allow some readers to dismiss their own inconsistencies toward animals and perhaps view the work as just another work of science fiction horror.

In spite of this unfortunate weakness, the story and the characters are likely to captivate some readers even if they have to skip through the more graphic scenes. Somewhere in the book, some readers might even give a moment's thought to the implications of their own dietary decisions.

Well worth reading.
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on October 31, 2017
I couldn't put this book down. It's a must read if you are concerned about our planets resources and people!
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on May 18, 2012
It's unfortunate that more people aren't aware of this disturbing novel. I picked it up on a whim from a bookstore that was closing. Once I began to read, I couldn't put the book down. Don Le Pan writes a story almost too horrible to imagine -- almost. I recommend Animals to everyone I know.
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