Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Name All the Animals: A Memoir Paperback – February 22, 2005
Up to 50% off select Non-Fiction books
Featured titles are up to 50% off for a limited time. See all titles
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Cleanly written and only occasionally maudlin, this memoir reads like a gritty coming of age novel. Included are all of the pieces one would expect in a book that starts with a death--bereft parents, good samaritan neighbors, even a somewhat rote post-funeral scene back at the house--but Smith manages to throw in a few unexpected curveballs. A sweetly scandalous lesbian experience, a pair of skinny-dipping nuns, and a suspiciously undetected bout of anorexia come together with a quiet but ever-present insurance investigation to create a truly original story.
Written in the same vein as The Lovely Bones or The Dogs of Babel, Smiths story manages to convey the beauty that can be found in coming to terms with grief. Ultimately triumphant, this is a great read for anyone searching for meaning after the loss of a loved one. --Vicky Griffith --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
But regardless of how it's categorized, I could NOT put this book down. I read it every second I could and couldn't bear to be away from it when I was at work. The grief made my heart break, but the love story, and Alison's success in figuring out who she is, just made my heart swell. It's such a gorgeous, moving portrait of a family, both in grief and in love. It's told through the 15-year-old eyes of the author, and she just GETS adolescence. I was sent spiralling back to my own memories of high school, and the unique, electric, unforgettable experience of first love. It's one of those unforgettable books that only come along every so often. I highly recommend it to readers everywhere.
Smith has done a masterful job of characterizing the many different emotions which compromise grief; her book is not just about sadness but about anger, confusion, numbness, guilt, embarrassment, and more. The teenaged Allison is a poignant figure who can't help but to ignite compassion, not only in those around her but also in the present-day reader. My one disappointment about this book is that the reader is told little about Allison's future. Although Smith includes an epilogue which takes place 13 years after Roy's death, these final pages add little to Allison's story, leaving the reader to wonder about her health, her relationships, and her life in general. Overall, however, this book is a remarkable acheivement for Smith, who clearly has the makings of a novelist.
Smith gets her period the day before her brother dies. She meets her first love a few months later, goes to her first boy-girl drinking party, grows apart from her prim-and-proper best friend and tries to walk a narrow line between fitting in at school and letting people know what (and whom) she really cares about.
Her parents, who hold things together with devout religious observance, extreme hiking and clucking nervously (but ineffectually) over their only remaining child, fail to notice (or are afraid to mention) her anorexia, even when she drops to 85 pounds. They have only the haziest, uneasy grasp of the tumultuous romantic relationship she's involved in and don't even mention it when their daughter fails to comb her hair for days and leaves for school with her sweater inside out. Smith's parents work so hard just to remain functional after such an unexpected loss that the family becomes dysfunctional -- failing to protect her even as they indulge in overprotective behavior.
She's a subtle enough writer to portray her ambivalence about some of her convent-school friends -- the theatrical Susanna, who wears opera gloves to school (because they're not covered by the uniform code)is seen as fun to watch but insensitive when she presses Smith to use a slumber-party Ouija board to contact her late brother.
The nuns who run the girls' school also are far from stock characters.Read more ›
The book is a moving memoir that reads like a novel. Ms. Smith has seamlessly woven together pieces of her story in a manner reminiscent of a new friend describing her family to you over a period of time - memories that may seem disjointed and out of focus at first begin to take shape until, in the end, the reader realizes a relationship has been formed.
Yes, religion is the backbone of this young girl's family but readers are not beaten over the head with it, it simply is. "Hot button" issues are treated with the subtlety of adolesence and thankfully, never labeled. They too are just part of growing up. I don't think this book was ever meant to address how to deal with the painful aftermath of the death of a sibling. Rather it is a tribute to childhood and growing up in spite of it all.
Recommendation? Read it and decide for yourself!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book changed my life when I read it in middle school. It's poignant, honest, and relatablePublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
Searching for the truth of life -- searching for the truth in ourselves is the harrowing quest thrust upon a young girl when her beloved older brother dies in a meaningless auto... Read morePublished 22 months ago by dhort5
The kind of book that pulls you into the characters making it impossible to put down. I didn't want it to end.Published on March 31, 2013 by dlgm
I really don't know anything about this book because it was used as a gift. But we did have fast shipping and that says alot.Published on December 27, 2012 by Sandra Anderson
Alison Smith has created a wonderful novel of not only the hardships of growing up, but she also recounts the trauma of having a beloved brother die in a car accident. Read morePublished on September 12, 2012 by A.Gaither
Alison Smith narrates her story in a touching way without begging the reader for sympathy. Smith recounts the loss of her brother and takes us though the hardships she faces on the... Read morePublished on September 12, 2012 by Debra Nissman Young
Alison Smith writes her memoir from the heart. As she makes the difficult transition from childhood to adolescence, Alison writes with painstaking honestly about the problems she... Read morePublished on September 12, 2012 by J Strauss
Before I start I would like to say I am deeply sorry Alison Smith lost her brother (and one of her greatest friends) at a young age. Read morePublished on September 12, 2012 by Peter Walsh