We the Animals
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We the Animals

3.69 (18,472 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

A NATIONAL BESTSELLER and an award-winning novel in stories surrounding a young, half-white, half-Puerto Rican boy grappling with life, love, and identity as he comes of age.
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.
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.--The Washington Post

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 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
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Product details

  • Paperback | 144 pages
  • 135 x 201 x 10mm | 145g
  • HOUGHTON MIFFLIN
  • Boston, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0547844190
  • 9780547844190
  • 177,268

Flap copy

""We the Animals" is a gorgeous, deeply humane book. Every page sings, and every scene startles."--Daniel Alarcon
Three 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 times.
Life in this home is fierce and absorbing, full of chaos and heartbreak and the euphoria of belonging completely to one another. From the intense family unity that surrounds a child to the resilience and permanence of brotherhood to the profound alienation a young man endures as he begins to see himself in the world, this novel reinvents the coming-of-age story in a way that is sucker-punch powerful. It leaves us reminded that our madness is both caused by, and alleviated by, our families, and that we might not reconcile who we are with who our loved ones see, or who we want to be for them.
Written in magical language with unforgettable images, We the Animals 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.
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Back cover copy

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
JUSTIN TORRES is a graduate of the Iowa Writers Workshop and a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford. Among many other things, he has worked as a farmhand, a dog walker, a creative writing teacher, and a bookseller.
Author photograph (c) Gregory Crowley
Look for the Reader s Guide at www.marinerbooks.com
"
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Review quote

We the Animals is a dark jewel of a book. It's heartbreaking. It's beautiful. It resembles no other book I've read. We should all be grateful for Justin Torres, a brilliant, ferocious new voice.
--Michael Cunningham Some books quicken your pulse. Some slow it. Some burn you inside and send you tearing off to find the author to see who made this thing that can so burn you and quicken you and slow you all at the same time. A miracle in concentrated pages, you are going to read it again and again, and know exactly what I mean.
--Dorothy Allison In language brilliant, poised and pure, We the Animals tells about family love as it is felt when it is frustrated or betrayed or made to stand in the place of too many other needed things, about how precious it becomes in these extremes, about the terrible sense of loss when it fails under duress, and the joy and dread of realizing that there really is no end to it.
--Marilynne Robinson We the Animals snatches the reader by the scruff of the heart, tight as teeth, and shakes back and forth--between the human and the animal, the housed and the feral, love and violence, mercy and wrath--and leaves him in the wilderness, ravished by its beauty. It is an indelible and essential work of art.
--Paul Harding, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Tinkers We the Animals marks the debut of an astonishing new voice in American Literature. In an intense coming-of-age story that brings to mind the early work of Jeffrey Eugenides and Sandra Cisneros, Torres's concentrated prose goes down hot like strong liquor. His beautifully flawed characters worked their way into my heart on the very first page and have been there ever since.
--Tayari Jones, author of Silver Sparrow We the Animals is a gorgeous, deeply humane book. Every page sings, and every scene startles. I think we'll all be reading Justin Torres for years to come.
--Daniel Alarcon, author of Lost City Radio and War by Candlelight A strobe light of a story...I wanted more of Torres's haunting word-torn world...
--New York Times Book Review Justin Torres' debut novel is a welterweight champ of a book. It's short but it's also taut, elegant, lean -- and it delivers a knockout.
--NPR's Weekend Edition A slender but affecting debut novel by Justin Torres...[a] sensitive, carefully wrought autobiographical first novel...The scenes have the jumbled feel of homemade movies spliced together a little haphazardly, echoing the way memory works: moments of fear or excitement sting with bright clarity years later, while the long passages in between dissolve into nothingness. From the patchwork emerges a narrative of emotional maturing and sexual awakening that is in many ways familiar...but is freshened by the ethnicity of the characters and their background, and the blunt economy of Mr. Torres's writing, lit up by sudden flashes of pained insight.
--New York Times The communal howl of three young brothers sustains this sprint of a novel, which clocks in at a hundred and twenty-five pages. The boys, who imagine themselves the Musketeers, the Stooges, and the Holy Trinity all at once, are the wisecracking, lamenting chorus who bear witness to their parents' wild-ride marriage. Ma got pregnant at fourteen--she tells her oldest son she could feel him growing inside her, 'heart ticking like a bomb'--and now sleeps for days at a time and weeps whenever she tells her children she loves them; Paps, occasionally AWOL, surfaces to deliver meticulous, leisurely spankings. The collage of vignettes is elevated by Torres's twitchy prose, in which the pummel of hard consonants and slant rhymes becomes a kind of incantation: 'They hunched and they skulked. They jittered. They scratched...T
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About Justin Torres

JUSTIN TORRES is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, a recipient of a Rolón Fellowship in Literature from United States Artists, and a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford.
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Rating details

18,472 ratings
3.69 out of 5 stars
5 24% (4,401)
4 37% (6,774)
3 27% (4,994)
2 9% (1,753)
1 3% (550)
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