NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE
In this groundbreaking debut, Justin Torres plunges us into the chaotic heart of one family, the intense bonds of three brothers, and the mythic effects of this fierce love on the people we must become.
"We the Animals is a dark jewel of a book. It’s heartbreaking. It’s beautiful. It resembles no other book I’ve read.”—Michael Cunningham
"A miracle in concentrated pages, you are going to read it again and again." —Dorothy Allison
"Rumbles with lyric dynamite . . . Torres is a savage new talent." —Benjamin Percy, Esquire
"A fiery ode to boyhood . . . A welterweight champ of a book." —NPR, Weekend Edition
"A tremendously gifted writer whose highly personal voice should excite us in much the same way that Raymond Carver’s or Jeffrey Eugenides’s voice did when we first heard it." —Washington Post
"A novel so honest, poetic, and tough that it makes you reexamine what it means to love and to hurt." —O, The Oprah Magazine
"The communal howl of three young brothers sustains this sprint of a novel . . . A kind of incantation." —The New Yorker
Three brothers and a dueling husband and wife are bound by poverty and love in this debut novel from Stegner Fellow Torres. Manny, Joel, and the unnamed youngest, who narrates, are rambunctious and casually violent. Their petite "white" mother, with her night-shift job and unstable marriage to the boys' impulsive Puerto Rican father, is left suspended in an abusive yet still often joyous home. Nothing seems to turn out right, whether it's Paps getting fired for bringing the boys to work or Ma loading them in the truck and fleeing into the woods. The short tales that make up this novel are intriguing and beautifully written, but take too long to reach the story's heart, the narrator's struggle to come of age and discover his sexuality in a hostile environment. When the narrator's father catches him dancing like a girl, he remarks: "Goddamn, I got me a pretty one." From this point the story picks up momentum, ending on a powerful note, as Torres ratchets up the consequences of being different.
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100 Words or Less
The realism of this family in all its bare bones brutality makes this novel great. The raw animalistic nature of the three boys is horrible and fascinating at the same time, more like a pack of wolves than siblings.
Yet, don’t get me wrong. This novel is not about violence and hatred. It’s about that sort of familial love that binds itself in even the most abject situations. This is the beauty of the writing. The lure of the characters. In this mess of a family, there is still such love. A bit unforgiving in ways, but present nonetheless. Wow.
A very strange movie.......
A heart clinching novella. It speaks to the heart, while teaching the mind. I familiarize entirely with the novella. The themes and the wild raw imagery that describes carnal emotion and sexual enlightenment is completely riveting. Justin, I'm a life long fan. I recommend reading "Reverting To A Wild State." Another beautifully written narrative by Torres.