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


3.53 of 5 stars 3.53  ·  rating details  ·  339 ratings  ·  24 reviews
Painter is a leo - part man, part lion. The result of a genetic experiment, he is a powerful, beautiful creature deemed a failure and condemned to be hunted down. But he has two advantages: his own strength and integrity and the guile of Reynard, another experiment result and a kingmaker.
Paperback, 211 pages
Published June 1978 by Bantam (first published 1976)
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 Beasts, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Beasts

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

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 591)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
May 02, 2008 David rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: young adult+, moreau/uplift sci-fi fans
Shelves: science-fiction
A good read, particularly if one likes stories about moreaus (moreaux ?), as in The Island of Doctor Moreau by H. G. Wells. More strongly than S. Andrew Swann does in his Moreau Seies, in this novel John Crowley focuses on the non-human psyches of his human-animal hybrid characters. These traits are, admittedly, based on our historical, cultural interpretations of the personalities of lions, foxes and dogs. Still, the author's portrayal of these personalities, and their interactions with humans ...more
-Otra forma de hacer género, pero lejana a los cánones entonces y ahora.-

Género. Ciencia-Ficción.

Lo que nos cuenta. En un futuro indeterminado en el que los Estados Unidos de América están disgregados en diez grandes zonas independientes y otras más pequeñas que son casi ciudades-estado tras una guerra civil, son frecuentes los pequeños incidentes armados entre las diferentes comunidades y contra al gobierno federal venido a menos por la intervención cada vez más influyente del Sistema de Ingeni
Charles Dee Mitchell
In his opening chapters, Crowley sets several stories in motion that show little chance of coming together. But he pulls it off. His near future dystopia has benefited greatly from genetic modifications in agriculture (Sorry, all you anti GMO types), but genetic tampering with animal subjects has been less successful. The one triumph are the leos, a species everyone tends to describe as “half man, half lion.” But as one human character makes clear

…there are no such things as half-beasts. Painter
The plot of this sci-fi novel is rather difficult to describe. At first, I thought it was short stories because none of the chapters had the same characters or even seemed to have much to do with each other, except possibly being set in the same world, although that was even difficult to discern. Reaching the end, when everything starts to link up, I sort of feel like I understand what's going on, but to say so might be considered a spoiler. My conundrum is that I really don't know how to review ...more
John Crowley is the master at world-building through suggestion and intimation over exposition. The worlds in his stories are never revealed, clarified, or narrated, but simply emerge through a series of pseudo-magical experiences in the limited perspectives of his characters. This skill I think is what makes his books so unique and special, what allows him to so vividly invoke experiences that defy description.

Beasts doesn't have so much of a mystical undertone as other Crowley books. Its plot
Would have worked better as a trilogy. Too much political intrigue and too many ideas left not enough room for thorough world-building or hardly any character-building. Too quiet - was intended to be penetrating but I just didn't feel it.
day and night she followed him
her eyes so bright did shine
and he led her over the mountain
did the sly bold Reynardine

and no, actually the Fox in this book is not about seducing fair maids, but he completely won my heart. And he is not even the main character - he is, hmm, a Consigliere...? This a book of valiant desperate hearts: each looking for loyalty that will make them whole and give them agency, each wary of or bruised by love, each confused or constricted. Well, all but the Fox.

(edit: i
It appears as if I am one of those rare people who is capable of enjoying all of John Crowley's novels. This is shown by how much I enjoyed the extremely imaginative and ultimately jarring novel, Beasts.

Beasts is divided up in what can amount to a few story strands that eventually come together in the end. It takes place after a civil war has caused the United States to split up into several districts. The Federal still exists and is trying to reunite these districts together under its tyrannica
Ce roman est l’un des plus étranges qu’il m’ait été donné de lire.
En effet, on est là dans une science-fiction très minimaliste, où le décor est réduit à d’immenses plaines, et où les éléments d’imaginaire se résument quasiment à l’intégration de quasi-humains que sont ces léos(1). Et heureusement, du reste, car le sujet de cette histoire n’est absolument pas l’existence de ces léos, ou leur survie en tant que telle. En effet, comme l’indique clairement l’auteur dans une partie du roman (à moin
Intriguing premise is carried through a well plotted story stocked with memorable characters, both human and animal. John Crowley's prose carries the reader through a story that is episodic but not choppy and manages to surprise you when you find yourself reading from the point of view of an animal suddenly. The central character of Painter, the leo, one of a race of genetically created human/lion hybrids, is the standout character, along with his relationship with the human, Caddie. Crowley's d ...more
La forma de narrar es confusa incluso cuando te acostumbras a ella, y quizá por eso, a pesar de que la trama me resultaba interesante, no logró atraparme salvo en contadísimas ocasiones.
No me dejaba con ganas de continuar leyendo y estaba deseando terminarlo, por si el final me quitaba la razón, pero tampoco fue así.
Rodney Dodig
Amazing writer, thought provoking.
Pamela Deters
I think I may have a new favorite author. This is my favorite type of sci-fi that is more like speculative fiction. In this book Crowley explores a near future where the US has begun to fracture into pieces. In this framework, genetic engineering has been used to create human/animal hybrids with no forethought on how such a creature would mesh into the world. So are these creatures part of the world of man with inherent rights? Or are they experimental subjects with no rights, to be terminated a ...more
Not great, but not terrible either. Crowley lays out a future with genetic engineered human animal composites, that are being hunted down. Once again I came away feeling that perhaps the best part of this story were the parts Crowley DIDNT tell, although perhaps that is his way, making us think of all the interesting things that could be.
An interesting book. Written in the early 70's it deals with the issue of genetic engineering. Scientists have created human-animal hybrids, and they have become outcasts in society, especially the Leos, part man part lion. I quite liked it but felt it was a bit patchy, and it ended quite abruptly.
James Conrad
The intriguing premise drew me in, and the plot (and, ok, cool descriptions of the animals) kept me reading. I did have a little trouble figuring out how everything connected (or if it was supposed to) so minus one star. Probably just a matter of taste.
No me gustó, tiene partes muy interesantes y entretenidas pero también tiene otras partes que me impulsaban a dejar de leerlo, pues ahondan mucho en cavilaciones difíciles de seguir y que no estuve muy segura de entender.
Sci Fi from one of my favorite authors. Saying it has half man/lions in it--and a half man/fox makes it sound pretty lame, but Crowley powerfully delivers the unique kinds of minds these creatures might have.
Very indirect method of writing...telling you what's going on without doing it...a bit reminiscent of Robert Louis Stephenson. Was good for short bouts of reading while waiting in the car.
Christopher Sutch
A very interesting take on The Island of Dr. Moreau. Crowley still hasn't found his voice, but the promise is implicit in the prose.
Ignacio Senao f
Señoras y señores, esto es un coñazo.
Erik Graff
Oct 07, 2009 Erik Graff rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Crowley fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: sf
John Crowley appears to be a respected writer. Well, at least H. Bloom respects him. I wasn't terribly impressed.
Matthew Mercier
A sci-fi masterpiece! And it's only one-hundred pages! Read this now.
Zscribbles marked it as to-read
Nov 16, 2014
Sam Padman
Sam Padman is currently reading it
Nov 13, 2014
Marissa Modesto
Marissa Modesto marked it as to-read
Nov 03, 2014
Jimmy Rumple
Jimmy Rumple marked it as to-read
Nov 02, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 19 20 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Sirius: A Fantasy of Love and Discord
  • There Are Doors
  • The Beyond
  • Limbo
  • On Wings of Song
  • Becoming Alien (Saga of Tom Red-Clay, #1)
  • Rubicon Beach
  • Floating Worlds
  • Soldiers of Paradise (The Starbridge Chronicles, #1)
  • Hawksbill Station
  • The Reproductive System
  • The Syndic
  • The MaddAddam Trilogy: Oryx and Crake; The Year of the Flood; MaddAddam
  • The Mount
  • Star Songs of an Old Primate
  • Ecology Without Nature: Rethinking Environmental Aesthetics
  • Buffalo Gals, Won't You Come Out Tonight
  • Lord Tophet (Shadowbridge, #2)
Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

John Crowley was born in Presque Isle, Maine, in 1942; his father was then an officer in the US Army Air Corps. He grew up in Vermont, northeastern Kentucky and (for the longest stretch) Indiana, where he went to high school and college. He moved to New York City after colle
More about John Crowley...
Little, Big Aegypt (The Aegypt Cycle, #1) Engine Summer The Translator Love & Sleep (The Aegypt Cycle, #2)

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »