❮Download❯ ➽ We the Animals Author Justin Torres – Horse-zine.co.uk

We the Animals summary We the Animals, series We the Animals, book We the Animals, pdf We the Animals, We the Animals 47ca7d10e8 An Exquisite, Blistering Debut NovelThree 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 TimesLife 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 PowerfulWritten 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


10 thoughts on “We the Animals

  1. says:

    Harsh, raw, powerful, uplifting, depressing, disappointing, brilliant This tale of three brothers and their parents is told in the form of 19 chapters or short stories and it will generate a response There are times when the writing seems forced, clumsy or uninformed In one story, The Lake, the boys mother, from Brooklyn, claims that no one swims in Brooklyn May I direct your attention to the southern edge of the borough, home to Coney Island, Brighton Beach, Manhattan Beach, and with ready access to Rockaway, Far Rockaway, and should one care to venture eastward, not to mention than one or two public pools for those with an aversion to salt Those massive moving clumps that blot the sand from view every summer are not walruses And there are some of us NYC natives who have ventured into one or of the rivers that entwine the city, although not all having dropped into the questionable waters after swinging out over them on a rope While it is theoretically possible for someone from Brooklyn to claim that no one swims there, one might be tempted to check that person s cranium for recent damage Another tale has a father physically bathe a nearly grown son who has engaged in particularly troubling behavior While we may appreciate the significance of the character s need to cleanse his child of the stains on his soul, and maybe even for that youth to be reborn in some way, that this young man would sit still for such a thing is so inconceivable that spotlights glare onto the author s manipulation of his characters and loudspeakers practically bark Stop that metaphor Clearly this bit was workshopped to death, or maybe not workshopepd enough Don t get me wrong I am a huge fan of imagery, literary reference and all the toys and trickery good writing can employ But don t force characters to behave in ways that are not credible to make a literary point Peg, square, circle, round.These examples sit cheek by jewel with others that sparkle, stories, and ideas that struck me as clever, insightful, sometimes brilliant The boys, in their playing, act out imagined conversations between their parents, clearly informed by what they had overheard In another, the boys are bad little rabbits, stealing from a local farmer s garden, and being nabbed by the equivalent of Mister McGregor Torres uses the boys play with kites to introduce their contemplation of fate and god That their attempts to rise above their dreary existence were constructed of trash adds to the poignance Torres offers a harsh look at life at the economic and social periphery There is much breakage in this coming of age tale, food, belongings, people Their parents are often absent, whether it is dad who takes off for extended periods, or mom who vanishes down a well of depression The boys are nearly feral at times, animals indeed There is violence and sex aplenty, some of it tough to read More importantly there is a picture of what surviving looks like at the lower end, and feeling, a lot of feeling This is than a demonstration of writing technique These stories are alive with emotion.I was reminded at times of David Vann in how harsh, how bleak an image we are offered of this piece of our world, and also of Vann s brilliance in using a challenging environment and dark behavior to illustrate the human condition Also Stephen Graham jones s look at life at the fringes, Mongrels Torres is a gifted writer who needs to hone his creative edges somewhat, maybe engage a demanding editor, or maybe listen to the one he has But the raw material is there Much of his talent shows through in We the Animals I expect that there is masterpiece work ahead for Mister Torres.


  2. says:

    I get it I get why three people Total have recommended this one to me It is the shortest type of experience, the most meaningful for its inherent scarcity a novella It can be read during one dull hour, perhaps two This way, the author is assured at least ONE TRUE reading of his work, which is powerful to say the least But isn t there very much like the wave of Latin music in the late 90 s a new wave of Puerto Rican authors given a voice Junot won the Pulitzer during the last decade there is definitely a niche in the industry for new voices which give to the masses the P.R flavor most contemporary readers seem to crave Therefore we have We the Animals , a novel which does not erase from the public mindset the image of the all Macho, ultra libidinous Latin Man just as all the Irish novels about impoverished families contain one or multiple boozing dads When will we get the heart wrenching portrayal of a Mexican American kid with professionals as parents and a liberal education We can even attach the coming out tableau another one of these I may have to start reading straight romance at the end of it


  3. says:

    I usually find something to commend on most every book I read, some aspect that strikes the right note Sadly, this is one of two books I ve read to completion in the past five years that was hailed and cooed by the titans of publishing that I thought was trash This unimpressive debut generated out of the gate praise because of politics, a pretense of social importance The racial theme, the gay theme As stereotypical as it is, it is surprisingly anointed I have to wonder who is praising Caucasians If there are any black or Puerto Rican readers that loved this book, I d love to hear from you The voice of the wide eyed narrator is twee and over precious, self conscious to a point where it distracts, and beseeches the audience to sympathize I kept hearing, Don t you just want to hug me Look at how casually I present the facts There is no nuance to the text the narrator abrades with ongoing exposition, telegraphing characteristics, disallowing the reader to form any conclusions through the spaces between words, the place where readers reside As pin thin as the characters are, Torres uses an insistency to grind in the message, Look at this poverty Look how these kids persist despite their circumstances How utterly they play The prose, paradoxically, is workshopped to death, overbaked, yet undercooked, flat and borrowed Every phrase, sentence, passage is filled with clich s and shopworn images The prose, like the characters and voice, is derivative, a copy and paste fulfillment that cloyingly coated my tongue with artificial grime This is an amateurish YA book, but rated R The graphic parts are sure to elicit oohs and ahs, but are gratuitous, attempting the pretense of natural The text was dull, and droned like a metronome, without the peaks and valleys that subtle prose provides A weak story is not strengthened by exaggeration and melodrama It is difficult to specifically point out these problems and yet circumnavigate spoilers But, Torres fabricated medical law as a story contrivance I know the law and procedures, and the laws at the time of this story The fact that VCRs were around, even in poverty stricken sectors, allows a rough time estimate He presented it as if it were the Draconian laws of the 50 s That was irresponsible It reduced this story from a 1.75 to a 1.25.I suspect Torres is a one book wonder, unless he refines his writing skills Each chapter, or vignette, was repetitive I learned nothing new between page 29 and page 99, other than graphic, shock value facts, told without subtlety The denouement was simply UN shocking and flaccid It felt like he was saying, I m edgy and unconventional, and that makes it literature He was coy and gimmicky, leaving out facts like dates and ages without purpose His disjointed integration was to synthetically sway, rather than convey, another artifice that undermined the work The finale read as if someone in the bookbinding department accidentally left out some pages, and then the editors embraced its edginess Reductive, pointless, not even emotionally evocative, because he didn t create any atmosphere, tone, or texture What is this book about It s about 144 unoriginal pages.


  4. says:

    Find all of my reviews at my daily commute is so short and I only listen to audio books in the car Monday Friday, I m always struggling to find a selection that works for me When I saw my friend Matthew s review of We the Animals, I thought it might be a good fit I also thought it was a young adult book for some reason, but soon realized While the characters in this story are children, the content most definitely is not and focuses on growing up in a poor, mixed race, abusive family in Brooklyn Confession I still thought it was a YA story until the parents had sex in front of their children, at which point And logged onto Goodreads to confirm that this was not a children s book.This was a mixed bag for me I enjoyed the vignette style of storytelling that presented snapshots of time rather than a flowing story so probably due to this being such a short book I appreciate storytellers who don t pull punches and are as brutal as necessary for the subject matter that they are presenting But I don t like writing that doesn t feel effortless and Justin Torres most certainly was trying VERY HARD here Almost like it was the last requirement before receiving his Masters in Fine Arts The timeline also was hard to wrap my brain around The reader is informed at the beginning that the children are stair steps of a sort with the youngest our narrator being around 7 By the end of the book and the couple of big shock and awe entries which focus on a completely different subject matter than the first 80 90% of the book , I thought that same child might be around 16 There aren t really any in between sort of selections to indicate age progression you just make the hop That was jarring enough, but it would make the older brothers of adult age and yet they are still present in the family home I didn t buy that one bit and it made other moments jump back to the forefront of my mind that had rang out as inauthentic as well In the end, this falls under And receives a satisfactory 3 Star rating.


  5. says:

    I reviewed We The Animals for Guernica Magazine over the years, it has become a very important book in my understanding of contemporary fiction The film comes out this month, so now it is a perfect time to read it


  6. says:

    Pretty damn tremendous A lyrical evocation of a strange, violent, impoverished childhood, with the rough edges sanded off by language so that the whole book has the feel of a fever dream The chapters are each self contained short stories, or less, each like a stiff shot of whiskey, each a glimpse of some event in the lives of a poor family growing up in Northern New York a few decades past Some readers complain about the language being over workshopped, but I think that s a bunk bit of whining The language here is strong and powerful and, sure, consistently keeps the reader off balance But so what A straightforward, transparent style would have made this story unbearable and like a crappy Wally Lamb book Instead, the relentless intensity of the writing creates a quality of distant events recalled and transformed by memory, given a mythic sheen by the brain to make the events safer and less toxic A few other readers complain that the book indulges in stereotypes poor Puerto Rican family domestic violence etc etc but that s a bit of an empty accusation Stereotypes are the shorthand lazy writers use to manipulate readers, and nowhere does this book feel lazy or manipulative It s not a social expose, no, but it s not trucking in easy stereotypes, either The troubling things in this story just are They re not deployed to curry reader sympathy or explain character actions or any such thing they are just part of the world this narrator survives The one weakness may be the ending, which does feel a bit unforeshadowed So a flawed masterpiece.


  7. says:

    This is a gorgeous book with fierce ideas The family is exceptionally rendered and race and sexuality are approached in new ways here Torres does a fine job of capturing the rambunctious energy of young boys being raised rough by parents who don t quite get it right with their children or each other Where this book falters is in that it is meager It is not as fleshed out as it needs to be and there s a bit of a twist at the end of the book that is rushed and out of place when it doesn t need to be that way I highly recommend this book, but I wish I could have read the book that was twice as long, and twice as well considered.


  8. says:

    Here s a review in keeping with the half baked animal theme supposedly running through this novel this book is horseshit As both a homosexual and a publishing professional, I am ashamed that this is what is considered laudable queer literature these days This is an intermittently interesting but preciously overwrought series of writing exercises in that unpleasant, twee, self fellating MFA style we know and hate, haphazardly strung together so it eventually gags on its own crap like in The Human Centipede At the end there is of course a convoluted, manhandled, and cliched moment of sexual awakening of a never before alluded to sexuality that was so pointless and inept it made me want to go back in the closet I m not ashamed I bought this glorified bit of firewood trivia faggot is an olde English term for a bundle of kindling because I am always happy to give 18 to the wonderful Spoonbill Sugartown Books, but I m telling you now, you re an idiot if you drop the cost of a round of beers for 3 friends on this If I see you out in the world even eyeing this book, I will first take 5 from your pocket as a moron tax and then make you spend the balance on the new Dennis Cooper novel.PS I know two does not a trend make, but with this book by Justin Torres and Tango by Justin Vivian Bond both battling it out for the crown of Queen of the Overhyped Gay Short Story Masquerading As an Actual Novel, it s clear one should give a wide berth to anything by queers named Justin.


  9. says:

    We the Animals is about three half breed brothers being brought up in Brooklyn by a Puerto Rican dad and a white mother Why animals, you ask As one might expect in these dysfunctional families equal sales times, Paps likes to beat the ever living purgatory out of Ma and occasionally, for good measure, out of his little hellions, too At the novella s talking 125 pp., folks start, the narrator son is, at age 7, the youngest, and the three amigos are separated by three years.This fact carries some weight, considering the voice of the book It is, for a first person plural we as in the boys collectively which transitions to a first person singular I as in the youngest son point of view, quite sophisticated TOO sophisticated Author Justin Torres might take refuge in the fact that he is an adult looking back, but that wouldn t explain some of the mature and clever words the boys mutter in the dialogue By the rules of narrative, dialogue is embedded in time, after all.This is one of those vignettes strung together as an excuse for a novel books that have increased in popularity of late In fact, the whole time I was reading it, I kept saying, Torres is writing a boys POV version of Sandra Cisneros s The House on Mango Street, only not as well The language certainly has that sometimes poetic, sometimes workshop colony air to it Torres is a product of the famous and, in publishing circles, self perpetuating Iowa Writers Workshop among others He thanks many at the end, including one of his writing teachers, the famous Michael Cunningham Surprise, surprise on the cover we get a blurb from this well known writer his initials are Michael Cunningham that states, we the animals is a dark jewel of a book It s heartbreaking It s beautiful It resembles no other book I ve read Editor s Note Apparently he hasn t read The House on Mango Street We should all be grateful for a brilliant, ferocious new voice Apparently cut off during printing was the ending, who I happened to mentor, thus making him easier to discover Looking at Cunningham s blurb, I see that Torres comes by his penchant for anaphora honestly Another Torres strength, when kept in check, is cascading participial phrases, sometimes in twos, sometimes in threes or fours I m not saying the book lacks good writing It s in there, if you care to pan for it What really jolts the reader, taking this book as a whole, is how it shifts from a coming of age story with rather violent parents say, for 85% of the short way to an entirely different kind of coming of age story at the end That s right In the last three or four vignettes, Torres springs some new information on us and this causes the family to act in ways that not all will buy, whether they re packing plastic or not Honestly I had the literary equivalent of American Express in my pocket and I was rolling my eyes No, no, no In the first place, you re shifting gears too late and too suddenly If you WANT to try and pull this off, you might need an additional 50 pp to transition us to it But no one listens to readers reading in a void The writer reader transaction is a mute one, alas Anyway, I guess this new information might be considered a spoiler, so I ll leave it at that What I won t leave is how it became a spoiler of another sort the type that spoils a book that was actually trying to be something.


  10. says:

    Self regardingly box ticking like a preening popinjay of American literary workshops oh how I loathe that word , We the Animals bounds into our readerly arena like a snow leopard but it turns out to be your neighbour s moggy with an off white rug draped over it I thought it wasn t anywhere near the five star foams nor yet the one star fleshtearing burn the witch gnashes neither It was a damned 3 star not bad what else have you got kind of God damned normally novelised autobiography shortstorycollection bookmeld which has been going on since at least Dandelion Wine by Ray now there was a writer Bradbury in 1957 and prolly way back b4 that too, I could wiki that but I dint.The thing is, we is totally spoiled with great current American writers of Heisenbergian crystal blue prose, you have heard me radiate on this subject many times so I will just mention in passing MatthewKlamRustyBarnesJunotDiazDonaldRayPollockHarperJordanGeorgeSaundersAlissaNuttingthat s enough but I could GO ON and Justin Torres is all right but not there yet Boxes ticked in this novel Voice of an ethnic minority checkGay checkExtreme poverty checkWorking class checkArse end of America checkElliptical style beloved by little magazines and award ceremonies checkWe will see about Mr Torres when he produces his Difficult Second Album.


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