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Animal Magnet

4.44  ·  Rating details ·  18 ratings  ·  10 reviews
Told from numerous and at times oblique perspectives, while employing various literary forms and styles, ANIMAL MAGNET probes the notion of humanness, human identity, and humanity.

Spanning centuries and continents, the story jumps generationally if erratically down the family tree, beginning in 18th century Hungary with the forbidden love affair of manor tutor Péter Montg
Paperback, First, 218 pages
Published July 5th 2011 by Emmerson Street Press
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4.44  · 
Rating details
 ·  18 ratings  ·  10 reviews

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David Lentz
Aug 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
"Animal Magnet" by Gary Anderson offers one of the most innovative and readable new novels that I've read in years: is it Barth or is it Pynchon? Each chapter represents a generation in the life of a man whom we first meet as Ernest Wilhelm Syfert, a stableboy's stableboy in the 1700s and we follow his offspring through several generations until we reach one generation beyond the current day. The narrative voice changes to reflect the writing styles of novels of that day and age. In Chapter One ...more
Oct 14, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This work is a knockout and is the most original piece I have read since the early 90's. I was fully committed to the tale of the stableboy's stableboy and following his family through the generations was an amazing read. Frequently, the style of Anderson's writing changed to reflect the new reality in which the characters resided. He remained funny and tempered difficult subject matter with veiled humor.

Disclaimer: I received this copy from the Good Reads First Reads Giveaway.
Oct 14, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
This book got better the further I got into it. In the earlier chapters I found it a bit of a hard read (a little above my reading capabilities). But towards the middle and ending I really started to get into it and enjoy the book. The book connects several generations of a family, and watching the connections grow was quite interesting. The book spans several centuries, exploring different sides of humanity, events, and behaviours. This span of several hundred years is why there are several dif ...more
G.w. Davies
Aug 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This was a wonderfully strange book. At first, I didn't know quite what to make of it. But the thing really grows on you, and by the end, you're head-over-heels. If this was a movie, I'd call it the sleeper hit of the year, or maybe decade. The many voices and and perspectives are exhilarating and the language is delightful. Highly recommended.
Jacqueline Valencia
Dec 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everybody.
You can find my full review on my personal site:
Stuart Aken
Oct 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A remarkable book, this. And one that makes several demands of its readers. It tells the story of a family through a number of centuries, dipping into significant life events and back-referencing to identify the particular family member placed under the microscope.
Starting in Hungary and ending in USA, via France and Mexico, it travels from the 1700s to the mid 2000s in short leaps of fertile imagination. Along the route, the reader is treated to short phrases in some of the languages of the ho
Apr 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Different than I would have expected, had I expectations to begin with. Indescribable. While I intersect with the target audience only in part, I would encourage this reading experience for mature readers who want one of the increasingly hard-to-find books that are a memorable read that reflects independent thought and which provide something to think about.
Daniel Casey
Aug 12, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviews
Fans of speculative fiction will find Animal Magnet engaging and pleasant. Anderson is an adroit novelist with perhaps one of the most acute and unique senses of humor I’ve seen in print.

Full review:
Chico Picante
Aug 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I love this book. As soon as I finished it I wanted to start it again. The sort of book I wished I could forget so I could read it again for the first time.

It is one of the best novels I have read in a very long time and I look forward to reading Mr. Anderson's next book, which I hope will come out soon!

Be warned: it's a strange and perhaps even a challenging book, but that's a great thing isn't it? In this era of dull derivitave novels isn't it nice to stumble across a book that makes you go "
Jan 12, 2013 rated it it was ok
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Jul 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
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After taking an MA in Literature at the University of Victoria, I moved to Korea to work in educational publishing. I now live and work in NJ, with my wife and children.
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“. . . I spent much of my youth wondering about the verticality of my own biological progenitors. So that when I reached the age of majority, I set out to discover who they were, only to uncover a shameful parade of bastards, miscreants, and foolhardy eccentrics” 3 likes
“Does being self-aware magically negate all our other predatory instincts? After all, humans put the ape in apex predator. We are the best of the best. Top drawer. Our only natural enemy is, well, God, and he’s really quite wishy-washy when it comes to predation. The whole mercy and forgiveness thing weakens his predatory resolve.” 2 likes
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