Chuck Lowry's Reviews > We the Animals

We the Animals by Justin Torres
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's review
Jul 03, 12

liked it
Recommended to Chuck by: My Friends at Faulkner House
Read in June, 2012

This is another spot where half a star would be a convenience. I just did not become involved in this book, I guess because it did not present characters with whom I easily identified. There are some books that present familial relationships that are not easy but which ring true. I think here mostly, I suppose, of the intensity of the husband-wife relationship in Paul Auster's Oracle Night, or the incredible tenderness of the brother-sister relationship in Tom Piazza's City of Refuge, or the frank puzzlement of the mother-son relationship of Walker Percy's The Moviegoer, perhaps even more impressive because it is not the main story line. The narrator's sexual identity is sometimes crucial and sometimes irrelevant, and we are never sure why. The author seems to have written this book for himself, not for his readers.

Not that anyone asked, by the way, but I think that the two most impressive family relationship novels are surely Cormac McCarthy's The Road and Richard Ford's The Lay of the Land. What fathers and sons!

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