Beasts of New York: A Children's Book for Grown-Ups
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Beasts of New York: A Children's Book for Grown-Ups

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4.29 of 5 stars 4.29  ·  rating details  ·  210 ratings  ·  43 reviews
A violent, epic, action-packed urban quest full of very eccentric, often hilarious, extremely dangerous characters who also happen to be animals — the wildlife of New York City, to be exact. Winner of a 2011 ForeWord Book Of The Year Award. Published by the prestigious literary press The Porcupine's Quill.

"Fascinating ... humorous, horrifying ... artfully imagined and cons...more
ebook, 465 pages
Published October 19th 2007 (first published 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 589)
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Hayesy
95/100 This could quite possibly go down as one of my favorite books of all time. The characters, the way the book was written, the tie-ins with New York City and the Point of View all come together to create a literary masterpiece.

I loved this book because of it's world, and it's complexity. Even though the book is set in New York, Evans has created a completely different way of looking at it. In a squirrels eyes, cars become death machines. The sewers and drains become a kingdom beneath. Skys...more
Kate

EPIC!

Beasts of New York is about a squirrel named Patch who, out of desperation and need, adventures beyond his home in Central Kingdom to try and save it. While it seems that fate is conspiring against him, taking him further from his home than any squirrel has traveled, his journey is a necessary step to saving all of Central Kingdom from the evil trying to consume it.

What did I love about this book? Well, first of all, Patch is an amazingly brave squirrel. No one can read this book and not ad...more
Jen
I would recommend this book to anyone who has enjoyed reading the Harry Potter series. While that might seem a bit of a leap, one of the most beloved components to Harry Potter is the wonder that is inspired by the imagination of an entirely different world within our world. Here you find that same wonder by experiencing New York City as seen by squirrels- and it is a completely different world. I cannot stress enough the enjoyment I recieved reading about Patch's adventures and seeing the worl...more
Cathy Speight
Apr 05, 2011 Cathy Speight rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Cathy by: Emma Tyre
This book is superb ! Think Watership Down and this is the squirrel version. Not the sort of book I would have normally chosen to read, but I read it by recommendation and thoroughly enjoyed it. It really was a page turner (or page clicker if you read it on your Kindle!). It's well written and extraordinarily well observed - the view of the world from a squirrel's perspective is ingenious. Without doubt, you will view squirrels quite differently after reading this. It's crying out for a film ver...more
Karen
Nov 01, 2010 Karen rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone including Young Adults
I really enjoyed this story. It's exactly what it says it is, a children's book for adults. If you like action, adventure, and lovable animals all rolled into one you'll love this book. It's well worth the read. Two thumbs up :)

Update Dec/11
When I read this book a year ago it was a free download. I think of this book quite often and smile. How often do you read a book and a year later still think of the antics of the characters involved? Now that the author has finally found a publisher and it i...more
Jennie
I loved this book, in the end; it is exactly what its subtitle says. I couldn't put it down. Although I thought in the beginning the morality lessons were a bit heavy-handed (Kingdom of Madness, dangers of pollution, etc.) for grown-ups, the story just kept sucking me in. After the first hundred pages or so, I stopped noticing the things that had earlier broken my suspension of disbelief. I wish that a few things had been more fleshed out -- the details of the squirrel kingdoms, for example -- b...more
Sam
Sep 22, 2010 Sam rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: fantasy
This is a wonderfully imaginative, entertaining, heart-warming, engrossing and thrilling read that follows Patch a squirrel of the Centre Kingdom as he battles against the army of rats, crows and the many other creatures found in the five boroughs of New York to protect his homeland and his family and friends. This does have some morales woven into the story but so do all of the traditional fairytales we are told as children and this definitely fits into that genre (although this is definitely o...more
I Read
I thought this book was surprisingly long for the subject matter, but then the book does say it’s written for grownups despite the child-like genre, so I guess it does what it says on the label! It did make me wonder whether the story would feel dragged out for the sake of extending it but I didn’t find this at all when reading – the plot carried you well from start to finish. The vocabulary was simple which fitted with the feel of a children's story and allowed you to read without it being taxi...more
Debbie
It's hard to believe Evans couldn't find a publisher for this book -- it's such a well-written and engrossing story. But because it was so different and not easily placed into any genre, a well-established author couldn't sell this book.

The story follows Patch, a squirrel of Central Park, on his quest to return home, win a war, save his home, and rescue his mother. What a scrappy little thing! Along the way, he makes some unconventional friends who all have their role to play in Patch's ultimate...more
Shannon
So this is the story of a young squirrel who goes on the best adventure EVER! It starts in, from what I can tell, Central park aka The Center Kingdom. Patch is transported all over New York it seems meeting unforgettable friends and terrible foes. I really enjoy seeing the world from a squirrel's prospective. One of the best parts is figuring out the things he describes because of course he does not know the human names. Heroic to the end this tale has captured my heart.
Heidi
I'm really enjoying Evans' writing style.
This book reads like a fresh wind, for how often do you get to witness the world from a squirrel's perspective. It's an epic tale of adventures taken, friendships made and wars fought. It's a gripping story that kept me wondering how the squirrels were doing during the day and kept me glued to the actual pages at night. I loved reading it!
Angie
Sep 14, 2009 Angie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: lovers of adventure and suspense
This book was perfect for me. It had animals as the main characters, lots of action and heroic creatures, and best of all it was all based in the best city in all the world... New York City.

I loved the story and hope it gets made into a real book, this is one I'd buy and keep for sure.
Lydia
I just couldn't get myself interested in this book at all. It was overly descriptive and childish and incredibly boring for me. I didn't get far, and do not regret leaving it unfinished and moving on to something better.
Cathy
Read this on my kindle. Free from feedbooks.com.
Shonna Froebel
In some ways this book makes my think of Watership Down, but a lighter version ... and with squirrels instead of rabbits. We follow young Patch, son of Silver, of the Seeker clan, of the Treetops tribe, of the Center Kingdom. The Center Kingdom is Central Park in New York City. It is late winter and Patch can't find any of the nuts he buried, and he's not the only one either. Something is going on and Patch is determined to get to the bottom of it. The rats seem to be up to something. In his que...more
Tom Lichtenberg
This story of the adventures of a Central Park squirrel is far darker than you might anticipate. At times it's downright grizzly, when rats and crows engage in a genocidal war against all squirrels. I could have done with a bit less of that because the main thread, a fascinating and realistic portrayal of the human world from its animal occupants' point of view, is quite excellent and even nearly believable, especially early on before the the Great Quest takes over and turns the whole thing into...more
Scott
Meh. Overly self-conscious about narrating from the animal's point of view, the action and the dialogue flatten.The fable falls into stereotype and offers nothing new. Of course, the animals are stand-ins, but the species characteristics are distractingly mischosen. Crows are quite bright, not flock-mind dullard and hawks are very conservative in the use of their hunting skills. Skip this volume and go straight to Dark Places or Blood Price from this author.
Helen
Jul 18, 2012 Helen rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Adults
I greatly enjoyed this fantasy of the life and adventures of a Central Park squirrel in NYC - although I was a little uncomfortable with the occasional violence. Evans is an excellent story-teller and the various strands of the story are skillfully woven together in such a way that you want to keep reading to find out what is going to happen next to the hero of the story. I can see this book being made into an animated feature film -- it's filled with adventure but also has realistic character d...more
Heather Lussier
Short, fast, epic. Watership Down meets Lord of the Rings!
Sarah
I wasn't really sure I wanted to read a book told from the perspective of a squirrel, especially when I realized it was about squirrel politics... a few more pages in and I was hooked! This was a great read about adventure, belonging, community and courage - and yes, it's from the perspective of a squirrel.

Think the Secrets of Nim for adults with lots of power politics, wars and interspecies relations thrown in. Lots of fun, I'm missing Patch already.
Connie
I enjoyed the book. However, I stand by my first review, although the storyline was very neat, the characters lacked depth. For a story to be great for me, I really need the characters to come alive for me. I want to think about them even when I'm not reading the book. This just didn't happen for me. Overall an interesting read, but I feel my time would have been better spent reading something else.
Lasinger711
Fell in Love. Wanted to hold the book close after I finished it. The characters stole my heart.

If you are in love with New York City and revere wildlife, get wrapped up in adventure and are enamored of brave heroes with big hearts, you won't want to miss this one.

Brilliantly written. Took me away in that I-totally-forgot-where-I-was way that fabulous prose does.

Scott
The Changes in pace was annoying. They changed how they acted making things different then the other chapters in the book. The main idea of the book was that main character Patch has to tell the kingdom about what is happening and on the way he meets tons of other friends and soon he helps them out and in the end they find a way to return the favor
Kevin
Simply amazing! This is one that I was reading at every free moment I had.

I loved the characters, the setting, and the dialogue.

I've read several books in the past that had animals as the main characters - none, however have been this good.

Highly recommended 90/100
Lori
I was very impressed with this book. I loved Patch and the fact that he wanted to be friends with the birds and learn to talk to them and that idea helped him help the rest of the squirrels. I was drawn into this story and had a hard time leaving it when I needed to. Great book!
Ian
Jul 23, 2012 Ian rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: free
I'll try to make this short just in case your trying to read the reviews of this book, while reading it(like i do).The book is ... just amazing the ending is convoluted but its satisfying at the same time. Its a fast read and trust me(a stranger on the internet) you'll love it.
Anne
This was a quick but interesting read. The story/plot was engaging with very likeable characters.
It was fun seeing NYC through the eyes of a squirrel named 'Patch' while also getting a lesson in some of the City's interesting animal-related history.
Steve Wenn
watership down for urban squirrels. great book
Jack
I chose this because I'd read Night of Knives and enjoyed it. This is also a thriller with a good plot, but completely different, it's characters being the (sometimes exotic)fauna of New York. Still, I always loved the Wind in the Willows.
Kate
This was written by cousin and it is very different from his other books (which tend to be murder/mystery/travel/thrillers). Lise, I think Asa would enjoy this...it's available through the library :-)
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