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Beasts

3.47  ·  Rating Details ·  409 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
Beasts describes a world in which genetically engineered animals are given a variety of human characteristics. Painter is a leo, a combination of man and lion. Reynard, a character derived from medieval European fable, is part fox.
Political forces result in the leos being deemed an experimental failure, first resigned to reservations, and later to be hunted down and elim
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Hardcover, 192 pages
Published April 5th 1984 by John Goodchild Publishers (first published 1976)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 749)
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Beatriz
Jul 11, 2016 Beatriz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Una novela en extremo cautivante. No es de prosa liviana, por el contrario, a veces es bastante confusa, como si las ideas estuvieran al revés, sin embargo y sorprendentemente, le da un toque muy sugerente. Tampoco es un libro plagado de acción, pero el desarrollo de los acontecimientos llega en una forma tan hipnotizante, que uno desearía no tener que detener la lectura por ningún motivo. Un final demasiado abierto para mi gusto, pero que también tiene su atractivo.

Me llamó mucho la atención la
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mark monday
stop being racist against yourself!
Adam
Aug 31, 2014 Adam rated it really liked it
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
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Jude
Dec 02, 2008 Jude rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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David
May 02, 2008 David rated it really liked it  ·  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
Olethros
Sep 25, 2014 Olethros rated it liked it
-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
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Charles Dee Mitchell
Oct 05, 2014 Charles Dee Mitchell rated it really liked it
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
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Kevin
May 07, 2013 Kevin rated it really liked it
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
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Emily
Jul 03, 2013 Emily rated it it was ok
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
Ignacio Senao f
Oct 08, 2014 Ignacio Senao f rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Señoras y señores, esto es un coñazo.
Kenzie
Mar 14, 2016 Kenzie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-myth
A compelling fantasy novel about what it would be like to live with "beasts" in community. Crowley looks at this question from a variety of areas: politics, community, family, and religion--he has a broad scope just like in Little, Big, but it just doesn't come together in quite the same way. Crowley's subversion of the story of Jesus was interesting, but the savior figure wasn't as gripping as I hoped he would be. Here's what the book promised to be about:
"Jesus was two natures, God and man, th
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Nicolas
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
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Nicholas
Sep 10, 2016 Nicholas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
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
Angela Rose
Apr 22, 2016 Angela Rose rated it really liked it
Mr. Crowley's books are thick with meaning, hidden and not. I only managed to finish this one because it is somewhat shorter than other books he's written. Despite the discomfort that Mr. Crowley's writing often evokes in me, I found this an enjoyable read. This is not a book to read while on holiday. It will take up nearly, if not all, your attention.
Ed Erwin
I became interested in this book because I thought it would be largely a retelling of the "Reynard the fox" stories. While there is a Reynard the fox in here, and he is an important character, he doesn't appear often. Instead this is more of a dystopic future story where a relatively small population of animal-human hybrids are suppressed and misunderstood by the human majority. Not at all a bad book, but can't hold a candle to Crowley's later, masterful "Little, Big".
Geoffrey
May 24, 2015 Geoffrey rated it it was amazing
The gulf in quality between The Deep and this is mind-boggling. A remarkably sophisticated conception executed just about perfectly.
Adam
Jan 22, 2015 Adam rated it liked it
Shelves: sf
Aslan is a lot less in your face here, but this christogical rehash is still too much.
Rodney Dodig
Feb 03, 2014 Rodney Dodig rated it it was amazing
Amazing writer, thought provoking.
Pamela
Sep 03, 2014 Pamela rated it it was amazing
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
Ankeyt Acharya
Mar 11, 2015 Ankeyt Acharya rated it liked it
Don't know what to make of this book. The concept is great but something feels missing from it. Not totally great but not that bad either.
Darth
Sep 14, 2007 Darth rated it liked it
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.
Olaya Lillmans
Mar 01, 2015 Olaya Lillmans rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Lynne
Mar 28, 2008 Lynne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
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
Oct 12, 2013 James Conrad rated it really liked it
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.
YnY
Jun 14, 2012 YnY rated it liked it
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.
nathaniel
Nov 08, 2007 nathaniel rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fiplus
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.
Samuel
Apr 06, 2010 Samuel rated it liked it
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
Jul 13, 2009 Christopher Sutch rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Erik Graff
Oct 07, 2009 Erik Graff rated it liked it  ·  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
Feb 13, 2011 Matthew Mercier rated it it was amazing
A sci-fi masterpiece! And it's only one-hundred pages! Read this now.
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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
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