Wild Animus
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Wild Animus

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1.9 of 5 stars 1.90  ·  rating details  ·  480 ratings  ·  144 reviews
The book tells the story of Sam, a Berkeley graduate who is drawn to the Alaskan wilderness by a deepening identification with the wild mountain ram. Changing his name to Ransom, Sam and his girlfriend, Lindy, embark on a quest which takes them ever northward as Ransom seeks to understand and harness the animal's passion and wisdom.
Paperback, 315 pages
Published 2004 by Too Far
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Shannon
Aug 10, 2007 Shannon marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Someone handed me a free copy of this book (they were giving away tons, I'm not special) as I was walking on the quad of the college I attend. I have not read it. I have tried to start it, but I was bored by it. Sorry, freebook. Even you being free doesn't make me like you.
Jon
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tim
Nov 03, 2007 Tim rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: hippies?
Was handed this book while walking through a Bay Area (SF CA) street fair. I think they were trying to drum up "word of mouth" business, but really, with a book this lame, I think they were misguided. Perhaps, if you're into drug-fueled hippie shamanistic naturalism, you'll enjoy the book. I did force myself to read the whole novel, but it was poorly written and painful to get through. The first clue it was going to be bad was that the prologue reveals the ending! That removed all tension or sus...more
Sally Wolf
Please note that before you read any more of this review that it does contain a spoiler this is done for a very good reason to save you the effort of reading this book all together. This book is about a man who gets high on drugs then he dresses like a Mountain Goat from head to foot (yes I said Mountain Goat) and goes into the wilderness where he gets eaten by a pack of wolves. From what I can tell the author of this book was trying to portray the power of the wilderness but it was lost in the...more
Catherine
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Eddie Watkins
Venture capitalist puts id firmly in anus. Becomes furry. Blathers.



Cade
Sep 23, 2009 Cade rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one
Worst book ever. As many others have stated, it was also given to me. Got mine in Chicago outside the Art Institute. They had boxes of them. I didn't have anything else to read at the time. Honestly, I didn't finish it. I made it 1/2 way and just didn't care any more about acid trips, wolves, or goat costumes/hallucinations of wolves in goat costumes or whatever. I wanted to find the person that gave it to me and give it back. I actually went out and looked for them. They were gone.

I have kept b...more
Angela
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Antof9
This is an Advance Reading Copy (ARC), received free as the result of a partnership between BookCrossing and the publisher of the book.

Read on the plane from Denver to Newark for a business trip. Unfortunately, I didn't enjoy the subject matter OR the way it was written.

This book was probably written sometime between the 60's and 70's (although not published till recently), as it happily discusses drug use and doesn't refer in any way to current conveniences such as mobile phones.

Summary: an LSD...more
Chana
This is a weird book. My thoughts in the first 3rd of the book: "LSD meets Extreme Sports" , "Farley Mowatt on Acid and Gone Mad", and "I Am Ram, See Me Leap!". In the second 3rd of the book I became very concerned for and creeped out by Lindy. In some way she seemed more the core of this book than Ransom (Sam) and the wolf-gang connection had me feeling spooked. In the last 3rd of the book I was really wondering if I knew what was going on at all and I spent as much time wondering about the aut...more
Matthew
Nov 13, 2011 Matthew rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Masochists and people I hate
(sarcasm alert- I don't actually think this book deserves five stars)

All you people who've been trashing Wild Animus, the fine and revealing work by Mr. Rick Shapero, have been looking at everything the wrong way. Just look at it positively, and you'll feel better about it.

For example, you could think about all the good things about it, like:

* It's shorter than "Atlas Shrugged"!
* If a genetically-modified polar bear attacks you with a flamethrower, you can distract it by throwing the book at it...more
Kim
One of the absolute worst books I've ever read. I do not know why it's still being read. Oh, that's right, our book group got a bunch of copies for FREE from the publisher along with smoked fish. I don't think any of us liked it the book, but the smoked fish was good. Most of us still refer to it as "that book". Kind of like "that woman" regarding an obnoxious woman.

I saw a bunch of copies in the Friends of the Library saleroom. I take that as a sign we were not the only ones who found it icky....more
Jeruen
This perhaps is the most pathetic and corniest book that I have ever read. I thought this was the worst book I have ever encountered, and I pondered on whether it even deserves a review or not, but hey, if I didn't like it, I better review it to save other people from the 315 pages of corny pretentious prose that it contains.

This novel tells the tale of Sam, a Berkeley student who suddenly gets a fascination about rams. As the novel progresses, he and his girlfriend Lindy decide to leave Berkele...more
melydia
Nov 14, 2008 melydia rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
I want to say something nice about this book, but I'm having trouble. I will admit that heavy drug-usage and self-centered obsession with finding oneself are not things I can relate to, but that was the least of my complaints. The prose was overwrought with awkward metaphors and obscure adjectives, so bad that I could just see the author congratulating himself on his cleverness and originality. The dialogue was so forced that it made soap operas sound Oscar-worthy. The description was so flowery...more
Myridian
This book was self indulgent dribble. It was just interesting enough for me to actually finish, but I really disliked most of the characters, and felt no sympathy for their story or their struggles. In essence I thought they were all tragically stupid, and it's people like this that waste most of the resources of the world. Essentially the story is about a young man who is convinced that he's tapped into God (through acid, of course), and he does get a number of people (including a dependent per...more
Susan
Nov 10, 2008 Susan rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like wolves
Recommended to Susan by: advance copy I failed to read until now
It had so much potential with topics like disillusionment, relationships, nature, emotions, running away from it all, a gorgeous setting in the Alaskan wilderness. And then it just went way beyond odd when the main character evolved into a wolf.

This was no tale of the macabre, instead what it was likely supposed to be was a story full of hidden meaning and messages. Unfortunately it became instead simply a novel that was lost when the writer hurled us over the edge.

Disappointment was my overall...more
Jason Whittington
The main character is often taking drugs to induce visions. Throughout the book, I felt the author was also heavily involved with drugs during the conceptualization and writing. I did not become attached to any characters. I never comprehended any sort of overall message, lesson, or value to the story. I only finished reading it because I couldn't believe the book could be as bad as it was, and I convinced myself there must be some twist before the end of the story that would make it all better,...more
Manday
I understand why this is the worst rated book on Good Reads (that is also why I read it, but that is a different story).

What starts out as indulgent hippie drivel turns into ridiculous nonsense. The main characters are an acid-dropping mentally ill man who is convinced he is becoming a ram and a submissive pathetic enabling girlfriend who blindly follows him, sex being to be the only thing that holds their relationship together in any way shape or form.

I seriously don't even know why this book...more
bup
Dec 05, 2007 bup rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people I hate
The poorly told story of a self-absorbed, girlfriend-dragging-down-with-him narcissist, and the people that fall in love with him.
Krysti
I picked up this book hoping it would be something along the lines of Hatchet or Into the Wild, and since the reader was the same as the one who read for Hatchet, I thought I was on the right track. The back of the book made me think it was going to be about wilderness survival...an adventure. Well, this book was really disapointing and I could not wait for it to be over. The main character in the book was a sefish, self-absorbed jerk! He practically forced his girlfriend to take the "acid tabs"...more
Eric
To start, I will acknowledge off the bat that I didn't finish it. I read only the first of three parts. That said I initially intended to at least get through it despite my dislike. For those who think my opinion isn't valid because of this fact, consider this: if a book doesn't get "good" until more than one-hundred pages in (1/3 of the entire book) can it even be called a good book? This novel fails essentially every level. The prose is over-wordy, completely telling, vague and melodramatic. T...more
Angela
I tried. I really tried. But I gave up on Wild Animus at page 189.

The story starts out with some promise, and even has one or two well-constructed sentences here and there, which leads me to believe that author Rich Shapero may learn to write someday. But the multitude of awfulness by far outweighed the few good bits. Execrable writing for the most part plus the gaping holes in the plot pushed the generous leeway I allow a first-time author past its outermost limit.

Ultimately I did not like Rans...more
Lark  KerBerethrou
I had never heard of this book when I picked it up, but as one who's always been intrigued by hippie culture, it seemed interesting. After reading he other reviews here on Goodreads I'm actually quite shocked that more people didn't like it. I barely noticed the drug use in this book, because to me that was not the author's intent. To me, this book was about finding yourself and exploring whatever strange routes that journey may lead you upon. Yes, there happened to be some drugs. But overall th...more
Elizabeth Lyon
Remember that annoying "profounder than thou" guy in college who made you think that, maybe, there must be something to the acid trip experience that was beyond your mediocre, unexpanded mind? I thought that Rich Shapero's purpose in writing this might be to enlighten us mere mortals about what goes on in the mind of such a superior being.

Guess what? Apparently, he's just that annoying, drugged out navel gazer that you suspected he was all along. Shapero's Sam and Lindy have no appealing qualiti...more
Babs
I picked up this book at the library without knowing its background. I shouldn't have bothered to waste my time. This may be the second book in my entire life that I didn't finish. Well, I actually got through about half and then read the ending just to satisfy my curiosity. Tedious and uninteresting is a good description that I've seen other reviewers say. I had absolutely no interest in caring about the acid induced transformation of the main character or the reactions of his weak girlfriend....more
Nathan
I was given a free copy as I was walking to University. I read through the whole book but I tend to do that anyway no matter how terrible the book is. It's not the worst book I've read, there were some good parts, but it's not one I would recommend nor did it make me want to buy the three music CDs that are meant to go with it. I skimmed through the parts where it was meant to be the character's written works, much of it didn't make sense but perhaps that was the intention since he spends much o...more
Nozomi
Apr 14, 2010 Nozomi marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sold
Like so many others here, I got this book for free--it was being given away on my campus. (Honestly, doesn't that freak anyone else out that it was given away on so many college campuses nationwide, or am I just being paranoid?)

The fact the main character is apparently on an acid trip and thinks he's a ram throughout the whole book has made me want to read it. I'm a little scared.

--

Whatttt the fuckkkk?
Judy
Jan 19, 2010 Judy rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
Recommended to Judy by: no one
OMG, this was truly awful! I can't say anything good about the actual story -- it consists of one long acid trip that ends, naturally, in disaster. But since Shapero uses the prologue of his novel to divulge the ending, the remaining 300 pages are totally not worth the trouble. Don't waste your time. The one redeeming aspect of the audio version is that Peter Coyote is doing the reading. I only got to page 85.
Erika
***Disclaimer***
If I were to recommend this book to a spiritual Shaman, I would give it 5 stars. However...

I found the book somewhat ridiculous. It showcased stereotypical male self-centerdness even in the midst of a sacrificial relationship. The story was a complete disappointment without any overarching philosophical take-aways.
Laura
I couldn't stand this book. The descriptions of the scenes were way too detailed and the main character's thoughts and writings were tedious and not interesting. I couldn't relate to the what he was saying. I found the entire book tedious and painful to read and ended up skimming to actually finish it.
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Anyone seen the (free) iPad App for this book? 2 15 May 15, 2012 03:33PM  
What did you make of the ending? (SPOILER ALERT!) 3 12 May 15, 2012 03:13PM  
Why rich hippies-cum-VCs can't write 1 17 Jun 13, 2011 05:17PM  
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Rich Shapero is a writer and musician whose multimedia storytelling projects pioneer unseen worlds. At the heart of his stories are vast wildernesses, populated by mercurial private gods who promise deliverance to truer, more profound states of being. But transcendence demands sacrifice, and the paths of his protagonists are fraught with danger, dread and violence. Combining lucid prose with entra...more
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