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Wild Animus

1.92  ·  Rating details ·  710 ratings  ·  212 reviews
Newly graduated from college, Sam Altman is gripped by an inexplicable urge to lose himself in the wilderness and teams up with an enigmatic young woman who seems bent on helping him realize his dreams.
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Hardcover, 315 pages
Published September 1st 2004 by Too Far (first published January 1st 2004)
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Alan Smithee Because the author hasn't gotten around to hiring undergrad students to make fake accounts and drive up the rating.
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1.92  · 
Rating details
 ·  710 ratings  ·  212 reviews

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Nov 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Aug 10, 2007 marked it as to-read
Shelves: own, giveaways
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.
Eddie Watkins
Mar 05, 2010 rated it did not like it
Shelves: american-fiction
Venture capitalist puts id firmly in anus. Becomes furry. Blathers.

Nov 03, 2007 rated it did not like it
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
Feb 25, 2011 rated it did not like it
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
Jul 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 10, 2016 rated it did not like it
I really thought this book was going to fall into the "so bad it's good" category. I mean, come on, the tagline is basically "guy takes tons of drugs and thinks he's a sheep," it doesn't get better than that. I prepared myself for a twisted romp I could discuss with my friends and they would shake their heads, saying "gosh, Dorothy, you read the strangest things."

Instead I found the disheartening tale of a mentally unstable, drug addicted sociopath who abuses and manipulates a damaged young girl
Mar 22, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: bookcrossing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 23, 2009 rated it did not like it
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
Feb 17, 2008 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 15, 2010 rated it did not like it
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.
Jun 09, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 24, 2008 rated it did not like it
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
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
Jan 26, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: trippy-fiction
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
Nathan Oliphant
Apr 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It was perfect, worth every penny I paid for it! My favorite chair leg was broken, and this provided just the right height to stop the wobble, so getting it handed to me for free as I walked across the quad was definitely worth it. As for the words in it, I can attest that they are in fact words, even though the order they are presented in makes for a terrible story. If I had to rate it based on the contents rather than its functionality, I would have to find a way to give it negative 8.3 stars. ...more
Jun 09, 2010 rated it did not like it
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.
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
Jul 09, 2009 rated it did not like it
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
Peter Derk
Mar 05, 2015 marked it as did-not-finish
Shelves: projectbook
I barely read it. I mean, it doesn't seem like it's for me. Way too mystical.

I DID write a pretty long column about just what the hell this book is and why it shows up EVERYWHERE.

The Legend of Zelda: A Link To My Column

Lark  KerBerethrou
Jul 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Nov 10, 2008 rated it did not like it
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
Apr 24, 2018 rated it did not like it
I, like many other people rating this book, received a free copy at a book festival.

We all overpaid.
JD Newick
Jun 14, 2013 rated it did not like it
(I originally wrote this in 2010)

It is my belief that the last decade, (2000-2010), will be looked at as a golden age of unsolicited attention-seeking. Reality TV was the watchword, and the internet finally came of age- with Big Brother, Pop Idol, Youtube, Myspace, Livejournal, Facebook, and the “blogosphere“, any untalented loser could put their lack of abilities to use and, in many remarkable cases, see their narcissism paid off with 15 minutes of fame- luckily with the ghost of Andy Warhol al
M.M. Strawberry Reviews
Jan 01, 2019 rated it did not like it
Drugs are bad, mmkay.

This book is an incomprehensible mess. Some people might be able to produce nice art when they're high, but this author is NOT one of them. This stuff might have made sense to him when he was high and being a furry, but there's really nothing funny about this book, and honestly comes across as more sad and desperate than anything else. It seems like this guy needs therapy more than anything else, and I say that in a honest and kind way.
Aug 21, 2017 rated it did not like it
I picked up this book from a University Book Exchange shelf solely because I thought the name and the cover of the book were cool. I also was intrigued by the shamanistic-mystic journey of self-discovery that the back cover of the book promised.

In the end that promise fell several steps short. While the basic idea, attempting to get closer to nature and your "true self" via drug-induced trance isn't a bad plot, its execution didn't work for me at all. The parts where Sam/Ransom was "transformed"
Mar 22, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction
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
Jason Whittington
Nov 14, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Johnny Worthen
May 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I read this book many years ago, so many that I don't dare even guess when it was. I'm writing a review now, because even though it's probably been decades since I finished it, I still think about this book frequently. It confused me when I first read it, but it stayed with me like few other books in my life have. An extraordinary and compelling idea, magnificently realized and presented. Mature and insane. I think about it whenever I see lonely mountains and wonder why.
Jan 14, 2010 rated it did not like it
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.
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
I Don't Even Own ...: 029 – "Wild Animus" (W/ Tim Faust) 1 8 Sep 25, 2016 06:26PM  
Anyone seen the (free) iPad App for this book? 2 29 May 15, 2012 03:33PM  
What did you make of the ending? (SPOILER ALERT!) 3 30 May 15, 2012 03:13PM  
Why rich hippies-cum-VCs can't write 1 26 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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