Antof9's Reviews > Wild Animus

Wild Animus by Rich Shapero
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Jan 05, 2009

did not like it
bookshelves: 2004-read, bookcrossed-read, animals, would-like-that-time-back, trashy-is-as-trashy-does, unfulfilling, upsetting, only-book-on-the-plane
Read in April, 2004

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-using student tries to "find himself" in a very odd way. Over the course of his life, in various ways, he has an odd connection with a ram, and over time turns into/worships the ram. Unfortunately, as a messiah figure, Ransom (formerly known as Sam) isn't very messianic, as there is no one to save, no downtrodden, no nothing. Although it does appear that a group of people might be interested in him enough to follow him, he's really just too wacked out to follow.

Odds & Ends: I've always thought it kind of hackneyed when the main character in a book is an author, and ends up writing a book with the same name as the title of the one you're reading. It was cheesy with Judith McNaught; it's too hard to suspend belief for this one. It really bothered me that there is rock climbing while under the influence of LSD. Real mountain/rock climbers wouldn't do something so dangerous, and often speak of the natural high they get sans chemicals. The author loves to "verb" nouns (which bugs me), he uses "alright" a million times, and chooses "regalia" as the description for the animal skin that Ransom wears, every time it is described.

I didn't understand most of what the author was trying to accomplish. At one point, it seems as if he is saying something, but then it wanders away. . .

"Do you mean people shouldn't have children?" Hank wondered.
"That's when we gave up," Calvin acceded with a sigh. "Stopped chasing our dreams and started nurturing theirs."
"I get what you're saying." Wasilla Bill spoke to Ransom with his head bowed. "My heart's cold as stone. Only whiskey warms me. When I'm drunk, I remember."
"This is sad." Doug's gaze darted among them, anxious and uncertain. His comment seemed to include both their malaise and Ransom's unthinkable remedy. "I can't believe having children is the end."

There are passages like this all throughout the book. In other parts, it reads like a write-by-number novel: "You're everything to me now." Sam's voice was meek as a child's. "I want our love to be my religion."
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message 5: by Shannon (new) - added it

Shannon Great review. Those quotes, dear God. Sounds so horrible! I want to meet the author of this, I'm curious.


message 4: by else (new)

else fine Thank you for reviewing this! I'm a used bookseller and I have long since lost track of how many people have tried to sell me an ARC of this book. It is also at every library sale, thrift store, and free box I visit. HOW MANY ARCS ARE THERE? And why????? I have been very curious. Thanks for reading it so that I don't have to.


message 3: by Shannon (new) - added it

Shannon I am really wondering if they SOLD a single copy of this book. I guess they figured the only way to get people to read it was to give it away...


message 2: by else (new)

else fine Shannon wrote: "I am really wondering if they SOLD a single copy of this book. I guess they figured the only way to get people to read it was to give it away..."

I have often wondered the same thing.


Antof9 And all BookCrossers asked the same question. I laugh now when I go to a Goodwill store or any other local charity store -- it's sort of like a fruitcake ... except not, because most of them have 3+ copies! LOL


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