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The Zoo Where You're Fed to God
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The Zoo Where You're Fed to God

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  68 ratings  ·  14 reviews
The acclaimed screenwriter of Echo Park offers a riveting novel of a man's descent into madness. After a painful divorce, Michael Ventura finds himself at the zoo--hearing voices and seeing into the souls of animals. Through the love of an extraordinary woman, he slowly begins to reconnect with himself and his past.
Hardcover, 255 pages
Published September 1st 1994 by Simon & Schuster
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i was just reading my delight of a book, readers' advisory service in the public library, and the chapter i was reading was the one on "appeal". basically, appeal is how you describe a book to a patron based on its salient elements: pacing, characterization, story line, frame/tone, and style. the idea is that by using these descriptive elements, we can recommend any book to any person, whether we have read the book or not, whether we know anything about the genre, based on the appeal of these el ...more
This took me nearly a year to finish, partly because I'm distractable but also because it has a heaviness that saddened and slowed. I think I technically read this 3 or 4 times, since I moved back and forth with my re-reading, to remember and to re-think. Not much activity happens in the story and if you outlined the events it would only be a few points long. But wow. How to describe this?

I once knew a misguided young man who talked incessantly about "connection" and sought to "connect" with the
This book kept reminding me of Ron Loewinsohn's Where All the Ladders Start, but I think it was the just a superficial resemblance between the younger girls who become romantically involved with the older protagonist.

Karen recommended this book to the world in her review.

A friend of a friend calls it maybe his favorite book.

Some reviews call this a mid-life crisis book, I don't think it is one. It's more like an existential crisis book, but existential is such a dirty little word, maybe it's b
Jul 31, 2014 Ademption rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Ademption by: karen
Shelves: novels

Sort of, not really, kidding.

The Zoo Where You're Fed to God (ZWYFTG) features a surgeon who might be going insane, or possibly having a mid-life crisis, having a spiritual awakening, or having a bad staycation in which he stops being himself. There's a sort of punk pixie girl and she might be manic, but less so than the surgeon. And there is the zoo, the surgeon's ex-wife and his son.

I liked how Ventura poetically explained that the surgeon's ex
Nov 28, 2010 Josh rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Josh by: karen
Shelves: 2010
Apparently, Eve Babitz said this about the novel:

'This book is just dreamy. It rolls by in a dream.'

I don't know who the hell this Eve Babitz character is, but she's got it right. This book just flows. One scene moves to the next so fluidly as to make chapters almost unnecessary. Some sections are almost trance-like.

I'm not sure if I can give it five stars, but I did really like it, and it has some absolutely beautiful passages. My only complaint is that a few sections (ones where Ventura went
There are only two books that I've memorized the first paragraph to, and of the two, this is the only one that I memorized out of sheer love. Also, I read this book every six months or so and it never loses even a square inch of its charm.
Jeff Falzone
Maybe my favorite book
Kyle Muntz
probably the best novel i've ever read that was set in something close to the real world
I couldn't get through this book. I gave it 3 stars because while it was well written and engaging, I'm not so sure i can handle another 'mid life crisis' book right now. They all seem to bleed together in my mind. I'd like to come back to it as I'm sure it offers something different from the last; I just don't have the energy to sympathize with a middle aged, financially successful, divorcee.
Something tells me that after some time the four stars I've given this book will become three. I think I'm on a high from this book.

for a more thorough review

The book has a curious kind of heaviness, fitting for the title I guess. It was a good read.
Winter Rose
Beautiful, Poetic, Powerful Masterpiece!
Bruce Loewenthal
one of my favorites of all time
Saliym Cooper
Absolutely Mesmerizing!
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Michael Ventura is the author of WE'VE HAD A HUNDRED YEARS OF PSYCHOTHERAPY AND THE WORLD'S GETTING WORSE (with James Hillman) and LETTERS AT 3A.M.--REPORTS ON ENDARKENMENT. THE ZOO WHERE YOU'RE FED TO GOD is the first book of a trilogy titled THE TIGER, THE ROCK AND THE ROSE. Ventura has also embarked on a series of novels about Las Vegas. He divides his time between Austin and Los Angeles.

From t
More about Michael Ventura...
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“All paths cause pain, so to chose the safe over the audacious will not give you less pain, only less beauty.” 9 likes
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