Animal's People
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Animal's People

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  2,048 ratings  ·  208 reviews
"I used to be human once. So I'm told. I don't remember it myself, but people who knew me when I was small say I walked on two feet, just like a human being..."

Ever since he can remember, Animal has gone on all fours, his back twisted beyond repair by the catastrophic events of "that night" when a burning fog of poison smoke from the local factory blazed out over the tow...more
ebook, 384 pages
Published March 4th 2008 by Simon & Schuster (first published 2007)
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 Animal's People, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Animal's People

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

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
jo
Nov 18, 2009 jo rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: hard to understand why some people didn't like it
Recommended to jo by: Merike
Animal is a teenage boy who, as a consequence of the bhopal disaster of 1984, which is here thinly fictionalized maybe for legal reasons, is bent at the bottom of his spine and thus forced to walk on all fours. on the day of the disaster his parents dropped baby Animal in front of a convent of french nuns, almost certainly before going to their death, and it is one of these nuns, Ma Franci, who raised him. Animal developed his deformity when he was no longer a baby, so his early years were norma...more
Nancy Oakes
I wasn't even 30 at the time of the original Union Carbide Bhopal disaster, but remember thinking that this was one of the worst things I'd ever heard about in my life. Now I've revisited a slice of that incident here in Animal's People by Indra
Sinha. And what I think is simply the best part of this novel is that now other people who may not have ever known about what happened when this disaster occurred, or those who weren't even born at the time may gain some interest in the topic.

The story is...more
Beth F.
This book was hard for me to get into. It was one of those books that I was content to read while I was physically holding the open book on my lap. But as soon as I put it down to go do something else, I felt no compulsion whatsoever to pick it up again. Something about the way the characters spoke reminded me of Yoda (it was very silly) and the author’s wordplay fell on deaf ears where I was concerned because I don’t speak French, Hindi OR Urdu. Even with the assistance of the glossary at the b...more
Vanessa
I felt like I was being re-told a the same thread-bare story. Much of what was beautiful about this book felt unoriginal. Oh, look, the crippled narrator is falling in love with an idealistic girl. I bet you $5 he can't have her, but is too noble to do anything else about it, and then is resigned--cheerfully so--about her relationship to another man. What, no bet? Oops.

I bet he rages against his fate and then gratefully accepts it. C'mon, bet me a measly $5. Hosw about $2?

I bet our heart string...more
Deeksha Kapoor
Just put down this book, and I’m left a little confused whether I liked it or not. It is the first time I am reading a fictional story set against the back drop of the Bhopal Gas Tragedy in India. The author does a commendable job describing the life of the main protagonist - Animal - a survivor of the Bhopal gas tragedy; who is forced him move on all fours like an animal due to the poisonous affect on his body. The story is narrated through his eyes and you can very easily visualise the life ar...more
Shanmugam
20 years later, Bhopal Gas Tragedy, the world’s worst industrial disaster, is looked through the eyes of a cripple. Animal, the protagonist and narrator, takes us through the dark alleys, slums and continuing welfare, legal & political activities to bring back normal life.

Guess copywriter genes in Indra Sinha, helped him writing excellent prose for this novel, a few passages here and there brought back ‘Oskar Matzerath’ to my mind. Obscenity as a shock element, was abound in this book. Narr...more
Nancy Werking Poling
This is the kind of book that takes away all the self-confidence I have as a writer: eloquently written with a powerful narrator and an environmental issue that demands attention. American businesses have exported factories that would probably not be permitted here in our country. This story draws inspiration from a real event: the leak of a poisonous gas at the Bhopal, India, plant of Union Carbide. It is considered by some to be the worst industrial accident ever, killing at least 4,000.

In a...more
Sarah
Jul 19, 2007 Sarah rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all!
Intense and beautiful book, based on the story of the Bhopal chemical disaster in India. Read it!
Manu Prasad
"I used to be human once. So I'm told. I don't remember it myself, but people who knew me when I was small say I walked on two feet just like a human being.." That's how the book begins, and sets the tone and perspective for the book.

The title of the book could have been built around Khaufpur (based on Bhopal and its 1984 tragedy) as well, after all, the entire story hinges around the one night that changed life in the city forever. But Indra Sinha's success lies in creating a character whose ve...more
Katrina
Oct 16, 2009 Katrina rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those Who like Their Books a Little Off the Wall
This book was hard for me to get into. Animal's People is a clever book but it was one of those books that, while I was content to read it while I was physically holding the open book on my lap, as soon as I put it down to go do something else, I felt no compulsion whatsoever to pick it up again. However, despite effectively tackling an important issue—the Bhopal chemical disaster of 1984—Animal's People is perhaps too clever for its own good. Unless you have expert knowledge of Urdu, Hindi and...more
Gerund
THIS novel was one of the six shortlisted for the 2007 Man Booker Prize, and it’s not hard to see why.

First, the ripped-from-the-headlines premise: The people of Khaufpur, a
poverty-stricken Indian city ravaged by the leak from an American chemical plant, seek justice from the company.

This comes with some big themes: globalisation, culture clashes, self versus society and social responsibility.

Then there’s the cantankerous narrator. Animal is a teenager whose spine has been damaged by the chemica...more
Pallak
Animal's People is an insight into the lives of people of contemporary India. It's about a boy who is on his all fours ever since the Bhopal disaster took place in India and devastated the lives of thousands of innocent people. Even after several years, babies are still born with various disorders. The story is about the fight between the American owners of the company and the innocent people who are still facing the after-effects of the disaster.
This book is a good read as it gives a glimpse o...more
LG
Jul 05, 2013 LG rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: high school and older
Animal is an unforgettable narrator. Foul-mouthed and unapologetic, he is nonetheless capable of lines that make you burst out laughing: “Is it kind to remind a blind man that he could once see? The priests who whisper magic in the ears of corpses, they’re not saying, ‘Cheer up, you used to be alive.’ No one leans down and tenderly reassures the turd lying in the dust, ‘You still resemble the kebab you once were … ’”

He might have been “a beautiful little boy” before “that night,” but the Apocaly...more
Neil
You know the button for five stars, labelled 'amazing". This is probably one of the few books that deserves it. The blurb doesn't say the half of it; the Union Carbide (now Dow Chemical, may God piss in their soup) debacle left hundreds of thousands maimed and killed...and far more born deformed...without restitution, since the victims (being unable to work) can't afford the quality of lawyers that are available to American multinational corporate ogres.
The hero of this story is one such: a rasc...more
Joanna
I really enjoyed Animal as a narrator. The book is told in first-person narration by Animal, a boy whose spine was bent following a factory disaster (transparently based on Bhopol). He is a tough street kid, smart, interested in the world, but touchingly naive about the details of some of what he sees. The writing was a bit uneven - sometimes the voice rang true and authentic and the mixed Hindu words seemed to fit perfectly. But at other times, the frequent inversion of subject and verb just se...more
Chaitra
The book has a great premise - I grew up with stories about the Bhopal Gas tragedy (my family was too far away to be harmed). Animal has a very funny, distinctive voice. The characters are well drawn, and I could see them before my Eyes. I even liked the fact that it sounded exactly as it was described - like it was translated from Animal's version of Hindi, with no attention paid to grammar. That's why I've given the three stars. But I could not relate to Animal - at all.

I guess the repeated-i...more
Colleen Fuller
This is one of the best books I've ever read and helped me understand some of the impact on the people of Bhopal, India, who suffered the consequences of Union Carbide's chemical explosion and its on-going refusal to take responsibility for it or for the pollution from the plant. According to Amnesty Internationl, "UCC continues to refuse to appear before the court in Bhopal to face trial and the Indian Supreme Court-endorsed final settlement has left survivors living in penury." Dow, which took...more
Julia Thomas-Singh
Mind-blowing. I don't know what else to say. Just read it!
Jen
Animal’s People is a novel based on the true story of a chemical factory explosion in Bhopal in 1984 that killed thousands and left countless others with serious medical illnesses. It was a finalist in 2007 of the Man Booker Prize. The book follows the life of “Animal,” a young man whose spine was deformed as a result of his exposure the chemicals and thus has to walk on all fours. The narrative is told in a series of recorded tapes from Animal to a Western journalist, although it reads like reg...more
Lisa
I picked this book up in the library after searching India--fiction. Couldn't have guessed what I was getting into. Turns out to look like its about the shadowed poor but its equally about the quiet giant of American capitalism. Great book. Animal makes a very interesting character. I would reccomend this book to many readers especially those whose tap water stills runs and runs and runs while doing the dishes or brushing their teeth!
marquie
It's been a while since a novel has succeeded in tugging at my heart strings with such vigour and intensity. To say that I merely read this book would be an understatement. If anything, I devoured it - 8 hours straight. The narrative, coupled with the story line is nothing short of perfection. Sinha takes you through an emotional rollercoaster which leads you to the scaffold of despair, through the loops of relief then on to a sense of poetic justice. I'm not going to ruin this novel by dropping...more
Book Wormy
Animals People Indra Sinha
★★★★

"I used to be human once" this is the opening line of a story about a boy Animal whose life was changed forever by an explosion at a factory run by an American company.

While Animals story is fictional it is based on real events that happened in Bhophal in India.

The reader is constantly referred to by the narrator Animal as eyes he is telling his story for a Jarnaliss by talking to a tape recorder and making pictures for the eyes to see.

Animals story is one of traged...more
sisterimapoet
In Animal Sinha created a character that will stay with the reader for a long long time. He takes you by the hand and leads you through his world, seeing things through his eyes. His distinctive voice will infect your thoughts until you find yourself speaking in his tongue at unexpected moments.
Peta
Finally found a book I could get really absorbed in. The main character is fascinating, the story is eye-opening. The hunger strike was a shocking read for me. The ending was a little unbelievable but I guess it is good to have a happy ending - it makes you feel hopeful.
Richard
I thought this was a truly excellent read. The characterisation is spot on and Animal's love of life is infectious. Loved the ending. Should have won the Booker Prize by a country mile.
Ruth
This book is a remarkable fictionalized re-imagining of the aftermath of Bhopal through the unique voice and perspective of a teenager who was an infant at the time, and whose back was irrevocably bent as a consequence. Animal was raised by a french nun, with whom he still lives, who in her dotage has forgotten all the languages she once knew except for her native French, and moreover, thinks everyone else (except Animal) is speaking gibberish. Animal, who is both remarkably insightful and a lit...more
Maria Magdalena
Another of my list of Booker Prize shortlisted novels.
This one I did love and finish. It did not take me long into the story to realise that the setting was Bhopal and the aftermath of the 1984 explosion at a Union Carbide pesticide plant.
The writing is supurb, the story very disturbing. Again it made search for more info about what happened in Bhopal and the in action of both the 'kampani' and the local government.
Love the way Animal goes 'jamisponding', could do a little less with his sex obs...more
Carly Comtois
While I enjoyed the book, I could not stand the protagonist for most of the book. He was annoying, stubborn, selfish, and talked way too much about his penis if you ask me.

And the end of story felt kind of like a fairy tale to me. Like, (view spoiler)...more
Cat
I did not know anything about the Bhopal tragedy before reading this book, and in spite of its fictionalization here, the visceral realities of living in a poisoned community with little to no recourse or restitution are absolutely vivid. Through his protagonist and narrator, Animal, a young man whose spine was misshapen by exposure to the chemical leak, who runs on all fours with strong arms and hears voices, Sinha vivifies the textures of life permeated by toxicity and loss. When Animal hides...more
Devilyn (Emily)
"I used to be human once".

*Slight Spoilers* For as long as he can remember Animal has walked on all fours. A result of "that night" when the factory caught fire and exploded, releasing chemicals into the air. Now, he tells his story of how it has affected him and the cities on going fight with the kampani, who are responisble for that night. With his dog Jara and the old nun Ma Franci, who has looked afer him since he was small, Animal leads a hand to mouth exsistence and when an american doctor...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Thoughts on this book? 9 41 May 15, 2014 02:46PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Czech edition 3 20 Dec 25, 2013 04:09PM  
  • Carry Me Down
  • Mother's Milk
  • The Book About Blanche and Marie
  • Small Remedies
  • Clear Light of Day
  • The Holder of the World
  • Memories of Rain
  • The Successor
  • Darkmans (Thames Gateway, #3)
  • The Hero's Walk
  • A Golden Age
  • Pavel's Letters
  • Kieron Smith, Boy
  • En busca de Klingsor
  • La dama número trece
  • Bitter Fruit
  • The Triple Mirror of the Self
  • In the Convent of Little Flowers
365388
Indra Sinha (born in 1950 in Colaba, which is part of Mumbai in the state of Maharashtra, India) is a British writer of English and Indian descent. Formerly a copywriter for Collett Dickenson Pearce & Partners, Sinha has the distinction of having been voted one of the top ten British copywriters of all time.

Indra Sinha's books, in addition to his translations of ancient Sanskrit texts into Eng...more
More about Indra Sinha...
The Death of Mr. Love The Cybergypsies The Great Book of Tantra: Translations and Images from the Classic Indian Texts Los amigos de Animal Yokhi

Share This Book

“At the end of time when God judges us humans, I just hope He remembers to judge Himself as well.” 13 likes
“You're well enough looked after now' says Farouq. 'We are your friends. Don't we care about you? All this bitterness, it's in your own mind. To be accepted as a human being, you must behave like one. The more human you act, the more human you'll be.' He spoils the effect of this decent speech by adding with a smirk, 'Four-foot cunt.” 4 likes
More quotes…