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3.49  ·  Rating details ·  1,502 Ratings  ·  174 Reviews
It is the moment every twenty-something must confront: the time to grow up. Adulthood looms, with all it's numbing tranquility and stifling complacency. The end of prolonged adolescence is near.

Laura and Tyler are two women whose twenties have been a blur of overstayed parties, a fondness for drugs that has shifted from cautious experimentation to catholic indulgence, and
Paperback, 256 pages
Published October 6th 2015 by Europa Editions (first published May 1st 2014)
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Paul Bryant
May 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
This unexpectedly wonderful (and please note extremely vulgar) novel is being bandied around as “Withnail with girls”. That’s the quote on the front. For those who do not know the cult 1987 British movie Withnail and I you should know that Withnail, a skeletal out of work actor, exists in only three conditions; first is drunk, in which he says things like

We've gone on holiday by mistake.

Or (whilst driving)

Look at this : accident blackspot! These aren't accidents, they're throwing themselves into
It is 4º in Brooklyn right now—record-breaking, life-threatening (sez the mayor!), tooth-rattlingly cold. When I walk my poor little pups, the pee arcs out of them already in icicles. I'm a big fan of winter, but this is preposterous.

So I did the only sensible thing: I canceled all my fabulous Saturday-night pre-Valentine's party plans, laid in provisions, roasted a giant panful of veggies, and read a whole book, cover to cover, while eating too much chocolate. It was kind of a fabulously decad
So, I finally read this, after two years of it hovering near the top of my to-read list. It's hard to explain why I didn't make a stab at it before now - something to do with the weight of expectation, I suppose, and perhaps something to do with feeling I needed to be in the right mood or frame of mind. In any case, a holiday seemed like perfect timing. I thought, after all this waiting, I might merely like it, which was in itself a dismaying prospect, but no, I loved it. Here's what I wrote in ...more
May 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
‘You know how it is. Saturday afternoon. You wake up and you can’t move’

Laura is caught between two worlds. One the one hand, she is engaged to Jim, a concert pianist with a budding international career, and a nice flat in the centre of town; on the other, her best friend and housemate Tyler is an uninhibited force of nature, ‘by turns many things: nemesis, ally, co-conspirator, master of persuasion’. Laura is working on a novel, Bacon, about a priest who falls in love with a talking pig, but pr
Feb 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015, library
Originally posted at

Let me start off with a bit of a warning. Animals by Emma Jane Unsworth) is not for everyone, and it is definitely not for the faint of heart. (Mom – you’re not going to like this book…..) Honestly, I am not even sure how much I like it. I mean I do like it, I really like it… but it’s kind of terrifying. It’s like someone took my early 20s and put them on crack and ecstasy and then flipped it all around til all I want to do is vomit. And that’s lit
Julie Poulain
En realidad sería 3,5/5.
Creo que el libro habría ganado mucho si hubiera tenido menos de "alcohol/drogas non stop" y más de autodescubrimiento. Tyler y Laura son dos buenos personajes, pero el punto de inmadurez que alcanzan es tan alto que se me ha hecho muy difícil empatizar con ellas. Por poner un ejemplo, la actitud que mantiene Laura respecto a su delicada situación familiar no la veo justificable excepto si viene de una adolescente de 14 años.
De cualquier forma, el estilo me ha gustado muc
Miryam Artigas |
Me ha gustado el libro aunque en líneas generales me ha parecido un tanto superficial. El libro en si se centra en la búsqueda, el encontrarse a uno mismo. Eso me ha gustado mucho aunque me ha preocupado mucho la adición al alcohol (y otras sustancias) de allá protagonista.
Katie Ward
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mekhala Pande
Mar 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"Way I see it, girls are tied to beds for two reasons: sex and exorcisms. So, which was it with you?"

The coming-of-age tale of our two anti-heroines opens with this wonderfully strange scene and you're hooked.

Laura and Tyler are two women immersed in a mutually-assured-destructive and highly co-dependent relationship with each other fuelled by a zealous love for alcohol, hard drugs and late-night raucous adventures.

However, our narrator, Laura is at a crossroad in her life now, as she tries to j
Amanda Gegg
Having found myself in many a situation not too dissimilar to Tyler and Laura - albeit notably less extreme - I found that 'Animals' was everything I expected it to be but in some ways a complete surprise.

I was absolutely blown away by the artistic yet abstract prose, which was clearly thought out with the utmost strategy to define these characters' personalities despite the whirlwind of their drink and drug-fuelled lives. This is definitely a book that makes you want to put pen to paper and rec
Jul 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book features some really funny moments and was generally a great read. Its humour didn't take anything away from its emotional depth and dealings with conflicting relationships. Also, as a Manchester resident, I really enjoyed its references to the city and nightlife.

My only real criticism would be Unsworth's writing style. Whilst the book is a generally laid-back read and Unsworth is a good writer, the writing seems a bit 'try hard'. I feel Unsworth should have allowed the characters and
Jan 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nailed it. "It"= that crazy insidious friend dynamic between young, unattached women who've become, essentially, life partners who enable each other's fuckups even as they're getting way too old for it. And then one becomes attached, and the shiz hits the fan. On top of all the prurient interest of reading about two codependent train wrecks, the writing is beautiful. Can't wait to read more from Unsworth.
Pickle Farmer
A fun cathartic read. I like that the protagonist was still drinking in the end and that her journey as a character didn't necessarily equal complete 100% sobriety. The shameless energy and unabashed drive in this book was very refreshing to me.
Nov 05, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I have no idea what this book was about.
Norae Lebowski
En la misma línea de «Dulceagrio» (Stephanie Danler), la trama me parece un poco tonta y simple, pero los personajes son arrolladores y tienen personalidades muy definidas. Además, es un libro muy divertido, con pequeños repuntes amargos, que acaban calándote. No es un libro que vaya a cambiarte la vida, pero sí que se disfruta leyendo en los ratos libres.
Lo mejor, sin duda, es cómo está representada la amistad entre las chicas. El sentimiento de hermandad, la sororidad ante todo. Me gusta, tamb
Jan 29, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, library
Really enjoyed the style of writing, and found parts of it incredibly relatable (in a bad way). If you have been a teenager/university student in the UK then the drinking culture and relentless going out portrayed here along with the things Tyler and Lo get up to may hit a bit close to home, albeit a bit more extreme than my own experience.

I have to say it did take a while to feel like all of this was going anywhere when probably around 3/4 of the book was spent following Tyler and Lo either get
'Shall we get another drink?' I said.
'Yes, more drink. More everything. There's a party going on not too far away if you fancy it. New friend of mine. An artist. I've got something in my pocket.' I looked at her. Of course: the whole conversation had been an elaborate preamble. Tyler
was good: talking about parties made you want to party. I felt like it by then--I felt as though (oh, the justifications, they come like flying monkeys through the window) getting lost somewhere together might be go
Yashoda Sampath
Excuse me while I take a minute to let out a long breath. I first picked this one up after hearing an interview on NPR. The way Unsworth described the book - two young women with a complex, destructive friendship, tearing each other apart as one of them grows past the incessant drugs and partying - just sounded like a great time.

It was fantastic and funny, but then it got real. The book transforms from a sort of fun party romp into a sort of cautionary tale for how my life could have gone if I h
May 31, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: bookcon-2015, owned
It took me awhile to get into this book, almost half the book. I don't usually give up on books but I was tempted to quit until the story started picking up in the middle. I found the first half to be disjointed and it was difficult for me to get engaged with the story. Also, there were often references to things that I either didn't understand or were just not explained well, which was a little frustrating. The second half of the book was more cohesive and the story flowed better. I liked how t ...more
Maria Teresa
La reseña completa en

“Para mí, el fin de la embriaguez no era crear sino destruir esa parte de mí misma a la que le importaba si creaba o no”.

¿En qué momento nos volvemos adultos? ¿Cuándo es tiempo de dejar las fiestas, con sus resacas y el arrepentimiento del día después? En Animales de Emma Jane Unsworth, Laura, nuestra protagonista, se planteará éstas y muchas preguntas más. Al fin y al cabo, nadie dijo que la vida venía con instrucciones.
Colleen C
May 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
This novel came into my life through a clever marketing scheme from Kramerbooks in DC. As part of their "blind date book" project, the book was neatly wrapped in plain brown paper with a short sentence description to entice a reader into buying the book sight unseen. I'm really pleased with my purchase! While the book flap might suggest a chick lit plot, Unsworth's solid writing and clear-sighted wisdom make this small British novel a worthwhile read. Would definitely recommend to a friend, espe ...more
Apr 03, 2018 rated it it was ok
I put this on my list after reading in the New York Times that it was fresh and funny. I should know by now not to trust those book reviews written by randoms. Sometimes I feel like they will let anyone review a book. Well, I fell for it again.

Boring prose, boring/uncompelling narrator, annoying characters it's very difficult to care for...I'm just waiting for this one to fade out of my memory.

1.5 inebriated stars.
Sam Still Reading
May 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Sam Still Reading by: UK bloggers
I’m really not sure where to start with this review. Animals for me was an incredibly brilliant read and I’m certain my musings on it will not do it justice. I’ve had this book on my radar since a number of my favourite UK bloggers read and recommended it on release last year and then I saw that the book has been longlisted for the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered prize. I think this was a good cue to read it, even though I’m in Australia (I feel like I’m in the UK sometimes though because the time dif ...more
Lisa Bentley
Jun 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Imagine what it would be like to have to constantly choose between your fiancé and your soul mate. This is the ever present predicament for Laura Joyce. She is engaged to Jim, dependable, clever and creative yet her best friend (and resident wild child) Tyler keeps pulling her to the dark (and arguably more fun) side.

The lifestyles chosen by Tyler and Jim couldn’t be more different and whilst Laura should be a natural balance between the both of them things just do not work out that way. When La
Jan 04, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Do we really grow up at the age of 18? Or maybe 21? I don't think so.

This book deals with two women around the age of thirty who are going to lots of partys, drinking a lot of booze and taking all kinds of drugs. They are not what you may consider a mature grownup person. I thought that the topic was really interesting and those Goodreads studies from last year showed me that I hardly read any books by female authors so I ordered Animals by Emma Jane Unsworth.

Now I am not sure how to review th
Kate Brown
Apr 15, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
That difficult second novel proves to be anything but - Unsworth's 'Animals' has been hailed as girls behaving badly but this is more than a superficial booze and drug fuelled romp.

Yes, there is enough alcohol to give you a sympathetic hangover just reading the novel, (if this tale reaches the screen, good luck to anyone trying to keep pace drink for drink with Laura and Tyler as people do with 'Withnail'), but these self-charming women have depth and truth to them. Laura's a sympathetic narrat
Slight. Wanted to be like Girls or perhaps NW by Zadie Smith but lacked subtlety. I didn't quite buy Tyler or Laura, who were more or less just alcoholics who couldn't get it together. In a predictable fashion Laura eventually sees how bad all that journeying to the end of the night can be via Tyler and punishes herself by living a solitary and Spartan existence, but with her wine glass not too far from her hand. Tyler merely finds another patsy to lead around. She was an utter nihilist, but of ...more
Freesiab (Bookish Review)
I listened on audiobook and its narrated by Caitlin Moran and its brilliant! According to the back of the book I got a lot more than I was expecting! It's not just a story of best friend party girls, even if they are. It turns into a complex story about new stages in life (marriage, death and new beginnings) and how that can effect everything, it tap dances around addiction issues but it's fairly obvious it's there. It's about damaged women. This is NSFW or if you offend easily. Quite explicit. ...more
Jaclyn Crupi
Bit of a heartbreaker. This book is completely up my alley: female friendship as the greatest love story. But these women are also toxic and complicated and real. They could also drink me under the table. So much drinking, so many drugs. Great writing, truly great. Young British and Irish authors are killing it at the moment. I loved reading a 30-something book instead of all the 20-something books that are around at the moment.
Kwaku Osei-Afrifa
Mar 28, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not my kind of book, they said. What do 'they' know? This book is incredibly well-written, funny, poetic in places, heartbreaking and accessible despite my not being the target audience. I defy anyone not to be swept along with Unsworth's protagonist Laura; to find parallels, have mental disagreements, and laugh with her.
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