Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “All Decent Animals” as Want to Read:
All Decent Animals
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

All Decent Animals

3.09  ·  Rating Details  ·  54 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
Oonya Kempadoo's moving third novel, All Decent Animals, looks at the personal and aesthetic choices of a multifaceted cast of characters on the Caribbean island of Trinidad—a country still developing economically but rich culturally, aiming at "world-class" status amid its poor island cousins. It is a novel about relationships, examined through the distinct rhythms of the ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published May 13th 2014 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (first published April 30th 2013)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about All Decent Animals, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about All Decent Animals

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 754)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jul 04, 2013 Davey rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I wanted so much to love this book. And there were many good things about it. The writing was occasionally sonorous and beautiful - Kempadoo has a great feel for Trinidad dialect. The inclusion of snatches of soca and calypso lyrics were also a nice touch. The subject matter of AIDS and Carnival are both subjects dear to me as a person and an anthropologist, so I was excited to read a book-length work that was attentive to both.

She paints a portrait of divisions of class in Trinidad society in
Almost a little too Trinidadian.
I enjoyed the effort and the familiar descriptions but it's as though the author tried to fit every dynamic of Trinidadian society into the book- queer culture, race, carnival, HIV, inter-racial romantic relationships, violence against women, class disparities, politics, UN & NGO culture, the disapora. I'm tempted to say it was too ambitious, too overwhelming... but in many ways that's what Trinidad can feel like when you're paying attention.

Melissa Andrews
I wanted to like this book. My husband is from Trinidad and I was so excited to find a book that was based on the island. The dialect was pretty authentic. The descriptions of Carnival and other island customs was great. But I couldn't deal with Ata. It's tough when you don't know whether to root for the heroine, or if she actually is the heroine. I just couldn't connect with her. Fraser got more emotion from me. The sub stories didn't always weave together that well. And the ending - well, I wa ...more
This was a 3.5 star book for me.

• After finishing this book – I am trying to put my thoughts together – at times this book was a page turner, then it also confused me, then I wondered what did the author want me to take away from this book, was I getting all of the nuances/cultural references of the story.
• This is the first book by the author that I finished. I tried reading the author’s first novel Buxton Spice when it first came out and remember the first chapter did not work for me so put th
I enjoyed it. There were truly beautiful passages and intriguing, relatable characters. There were a few moments where the different stories connected very cleverly, but in a natural way, which can be difficult to accomplish. It was by no means fast paced, but that's fitting for a story about island life. It was a well written portrayal of a brief period in a few peoples lives, and I found it to be interesting.
I only got through the first chapter, and knew I wouldn't like this book, so moving on to other things
Jul 25, 2013 Kate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2013
I have never read a book quite like this. Love the writing.
Sep 18, 2014 Tammy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful use of literary devices.
Oct 19, 2013 Tonya rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good read
Baltimoregal marked it as to-read
Jun 21, 2016
Anna Joy
Anna Joy marked it as to-read
Jun 28, 2016
Nami marked it as to-read
May 16, 2016
Liz marked it as to-read
May 15, 2016
Sanaz marked it as to-read
May 12, 2016
Mr20170 marked it as to-read
May 02, 2016
emm marked it as to-read
Mar 31, 2016
Sergey Osipov
Sergey Osipov marked it as to-read
Mar 13, 2016
Gloria Torrens-billings
Gloria Torrens-billings marked it as to-read
Mar 10, 2016
Mir marked it as to-read
Feb 21, 2016
Mila Intras
Mila Intras marked it as to-read
Feb 20, 2016
Mandy marked it as to-read
Feb 14, 2016
Karen marked it as to-read
Feb 14, 2016
Cara Capizzi
Cara Capizzi marked it as to-read
Feb 08, 2016
VIctoria marked it as to-read
Feb 06, 2016
Kelly marked it as to-read
Feb 05, 2016
Ztyu marked it as to-read
Feb 02, 2016
Meredith rated it liked it
Jan 31, 2016
Nicole marked it as to-read
Jan 22, 2016
abcdefg marked it as to-read
Jan 20, 2016
Kristina McDowell
Kristina McDowell marked it as to-read
Jan 12, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 25 26 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Celestials
  • Rockaway
  • Note to Self
  • We Are Taking Only What We Need
  • This Is Paradise: Stories
  • Is Just a Movie
  • Fools: Stories
  • Gloria
  • Spectacle: Stories
  • A Year Straight: Confessions of a Boy-Crazy Lesbian Beauty Queen
  • A Horse Named Sorrow
  • Virgin Soul
  • The Butterfly Lady
  • American Honor Killings: Desire and Rage Among Men
  • Body Geographic
  • Deviations: A Gayle Rubin Reader
  • An Arab Melancholia
  • For Colored Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Still Not Enough: Coming of Age, Coming Out, and Coming Home
Oonya Kempadoo is a writer who was born in Sussex, England in 1966 of Guyanese parents. She was brought up in Guyana and has since lived in Europe and various islands in the Caribbean.

Her first novel, Buxton Spice, was published to great acclaim in 1998, and was nominated for the 2000 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Her second book, Tide Running (Picador, 2001), set in Plymouth, Tobago,
More about Oonya Kempadoo...

Share This Book

“When she can’t sleep, she writes. All she remembers is his words. It will soon be dawn, with fire-stoked horses thundering to the humming sky of crickets. I will see you run. And I will run with you. That morning, while Ata ate a dripping mango over the sink, she felt him come up behind her and touch the small of her back, light as a current of air. He kissed the side of her neck, inhaled the steam of bitter cocoa, boiling with bay leaves, cinnamon, and nutmeg, and said it reminded him of his childhood. “You are from the islands,” she said. But then he was gone.” 0 likes
More quotes…