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Enter the Aardvark

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  128 ratings  ·  56 reviews
Only one thing stands between Alexander Paine Wilson and his destiny and it has long ears, spoon-like claws and a tubular snout.

Republican congressman Alexander Paine Wilson is determined that nothing will stop him in his campaign for re-election. Not the fact that he is a bachelor, not the fact that his main adversary Nancy Beavers married, with children is rising in
Published March 24th 2020 by Transworld Digital
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Average rating 3.81  · 
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 ·  128 ratings  ·  56 reviews

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This is a wonderfully offbeat, satirical, hilarious and original novel from Jessica Anthony, about the killing of the aardvark in Southern Africa by a Victorian naturalist, Sir Richard Ostlet, and sent to his former lover, 40 year old renowned taxidermist, Titus Downing, in Leamington Spa, along with detailed notes. This is the story of a gigantic taxidermied aardvark and its journey, including some time with the Nazis, up to the present in the US until it finally finds its way home. This oft ...more
Dec 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2019
I do love stumbling across an unknown book and finding out that it is a brilliant read, that is what happened with "enter the aardvark". A political satire that captures the madness of politics and news media perfectly. Alexander Paine Wilson is a politician that pushes crazy laws about same sex marriage and abortions by day and at night is completely oblivious that he is breaking the laws he is trying to enforce, in my opinion that fits the average politician in the UK.

That is just half the
Nov 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What happens when someone brings a nasty, closeted, right-wing acolyte of Ronald Reagan a stuffed aardvark? Everything. And all of it will surprise you. How did this taxidermied nocturnal creature from Namibia arrive on Congressman Alexander Payne Wilson's doorstep? The journey we discover, starts in the 1870s, and as we read it becomes clear that the present and the path intertwine. The dual, though strikingly similar tales across time elevate the novel beyond a standard farce, though don't ...more
Jan 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
satire + taxidermy + ??? = !!!!!!!
Madeleine (Top Shelf Text)
Thank you to Little Brown for my free review copy! All opinions are my own.

This was odd book. Both in style and in substance. And I don't want to say I disliked it, but I couldn't even begin to explain it enough to recommend to a fellow reader. What I most liked about it was the style of writing, which was flippant and had so much voice to it. But at under 200 pages, this took me a full week to read and I just didn't quite understand what the author was trying to do.

Wendy Cosin
Feb 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Enjoyable and amusing, Enter the Aardvark tells parallel stories about two men in in the late 1800s - a naturalist and a taxidermist - and a creepy Republican congressman in DC in current times. The novel jumps back and forth as the characters live their complicated lives. Full of facts and words I didnt know, this political satire is a quick read.

I received a free ARC. The novel will be published in late March.
Janelle | She Reads with Cats
I really enjoyed this little book!
Megan Roberts
Feb 11, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
*Arc provided by NetGalley

I have read so many books this past year that are written in second person and I find this trend to be exhausting and hard to read. Almost no one does it very well and this book in particular did not work for me. I was done after the line, "No one knows that you suck Greg Tampico's cock." I don't, and now I don't care about the character who does. Bye Felicia.
Feb 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this book on a whim and it is different than most things I read. However, I enjoyed it. It's an interwoven, intricate story. It follows the lives of two gentlemen, about 200 years apart, centered around an aardvark. It feels a little like a French doors comedy and I found myself imagining it on stage, as a play.

The language and the voice impressed me the most during this book. It's a little confusing to get the hang of because one of the perspectives is in second person and the other is
R.J. Sorrento
Oct 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs-netgalley
I was intrigued by the premise of two seemingly separate stories being connected by the same stuffed aardvark. The book delivers on the promise of the premise, and Anthony has written a clever story with memorable characters (even if a few are meant to be caricatures).

If youre looking for a unique story that blends repressed love with political satire, check out Enter the Aardvark. Content warnings: homophobia (internalized and societal).

To read my full review, visit:
Jan 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
One of those books where every few pages you go hahahahahaWHAT.
I'm not sure what exactly happened but I had a good time!
Rick Buttafogo
Jan 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
A strange yet fun read. I was much more interested in the current political story of Congressman Wilson than I was of the taxidermist from the 19th century, however it worked well into the story. Crazy plot. Original for sure. Quick read. Youll enjoy it ...more
c, (½ of readsrainbow)

Rep: gay mcs

CWs: eye horror, gore, casual racism, sexism & homophobia (inc. slurs)
3.5. I actually listened to this one. My first audio book from Loved my experience. Problem with a political satire in our current climate is that it felt more like real life then satire.
Lauren Watts
Feb 29, 2020 rated it it was ok
Poltiical satire that won't make you depressed! Kind of refreshing to hear something about politics that's about a simple aardvark and not about the state of our country!

But still... weird...
Feb 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a deeply weird and unexpected little book, but damn if I didn't enjoy the ride it took me on. Don't read anything about it and just dive in, let it bring you to some unexpected places. That is seriously what happened with me, and it was delightful.
Jan 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I believe this author just created a new genre called horrific political satire. This book is at times hilarious, suspenseful, romantic, and...totally unsettling. The parallel storyline of a 19th century taxidermist and a modern politician intersect at one very odd, blue-eyed stuffed aardvark, which teeters the politician on the brink of demise by way of a simple, morning FedEx delivery. Cliffhanger chapter endings will both unnerve and hook you until before you know it, you are on a bizarre yet ...more
Amanda Zirn Hudson
Feb 17, 2020 rated it liked it
I'm not really sure what just happened but I don't necessarily regret it. Listened to this on Libro.FM and the narrator was great.
Oct 27, 2019 rated it it was ok
I suppose there is something to be said for this book; I did finish it, after all. That is not to say that it is particularly readable, as there were long passages I had to skip over on account of the fact that I didn't really care all that much. Anthony does tease you enough to continue reading with implausible, strange plot turns and an alternation between two characters' perspectives, but beyond that I didn't find anything redeemable about this book.

It was pitched as an exercise in "knowing
Keelin Rita
Nov 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
I present to you the next big Love It or Leave It book. Because this one is gonna be divisive. This review is not going to make a lot of sense so sorry about that up front. Ok how do I talk about this book? For starters, this is a 4.5. I know I only rated it four but thats not the point right now.

This book is not going to be everyones cup of tea, in fact, I think many people, many people I know, will not like it. The main characters are pretty unlikeable. The language used in one section is so
Dec 20, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, netgalley
Jessica Anthony's Enter the Aardvark is a clever piece of political satire with narratives in two different time periods running parallel to one another. There is, yes, and aardvark, which is taxidermied in the earlier timeline and sets off some chaos in the second one.

The tones of the two timelines differ. The earlier one is kinder, less mocking. The present-day one offers a more cutting narrativefrom a send-up of twee hipster eateries to politicians who are more interested in what people want
Dec 31, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This bizarre but brilliant satirical novel tells two stories, one set in 19th century England and another in contemporary America, which are connected by a stuffed aardvark! Ronald Reagan-obsessed right-wing Republican congressman Alexander Paine Wilson is blindsided when he receives the aardvark as a present and realises that it must have come from his secret gay lover, Greg Tampico. Meanwhile, in 1875, taxidermist Titus Downing is surprised and saddened by the sudden death in Africa of his ...more
Mar 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
This was the first excerpt in the most recent Publishers Lunch Buzz Books, and I loved its quirkiness so much that I immediately downloaded the full galley. I had every intention of pausing my progress on Buzz Books to read the remaining 120-odd pages; however, it was too late in the evening to start something new. In the daylight, I decided to save the galley until after I at least finished the Buzz Books tome.

Enter the Aardvark seems to have set two records on the very first page: one for the
Nov 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Describing this book will be a challenge. The book centers around a stuffed Aardvark. Yes, you read it correctly. This is a clever story that delves into the lives of several characters... none of whom are truly without their faults. In fact, most of the characters aren't all that likable. They manipulate each other, they're dishonest, they're cheating and lying and misrepresenting themselves.

I'm not even sure I can pin down the genre of this book. It's part political satire, part fable, part
Mar 17, 2020 rated it liked it
This is an odd book. It begins like a James Michener novel where how the water, the land, and the animals are formed but James Michener does it better. Then it goes to a politician in present day Virginia and alternates his story with a story of a taxidermist in 1875 London who is stuffing an aardvark for his scientist friend.

I suspect this is a book better for discussion then simply reading alone. I feel there are many layers here but they are not so easy to pull out alone. Others will read
Kazue Sohma
Jan 30, 2020 rated it liked it
I was disappointed in this book because it had potential for greatness but did not deliver on its promise. The novel follows two stories; one of a nineteenth century taxidermist and the other of a modern republican congressman (although one cant tell from his barbaric political stances). The two mens stories are tied together by a piece of taxidermy (the titular aardvark), although, that is not where the commonalities end. The author all but hits you in the face with a sledgehammer with the ...more
Angela Lashbrook
Wow! What a bizarre, wonderful novel. It follows the journey of a taxidermied aardvark through two significant eras of its post-life (death?): its death, subsequent stuffing, and sale by a taxidermist named Titus Downing in the 19th century; and in the modern day, its sudden, unexplained appearance on the steps of a truly hateful Republican congressman, Alexander Paine Wilson.

This novel covers a lot of ground, thematically, and for a number of reasons this will not be a book for everyonebut
Alan Commaille
Feb 22, 2020 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
A couple of years ago, I read not one but two LGBT books where a taxidermist played a significant role. At that time, I thought what were the chances that two authors would write about this profession in the same year. Did the authors go to some writing seminar and decide that this subject would be the occupation chosen for the year? But this is all an aside.
Anthony's subject is somewhat ripped from the headlines. Think of the recent scandal of Aaron Schock, a Republican representative. In this
Feb 26, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: audio
Caveat- this review covers the audio and includes the narration.
Enter the Aardvark is possibly one of the strangest books Ive read in a great long while, one that I am still digesting.
Its plot runs along two timelines 140 years apart and conjoined by a taxidermy Aardvark. The story lines interweave beautifully and the is an unspoken mysticism to the stuffed Aardvark.
The historical timeline follows the capture and preservation of the Aardvark and its effect on the taxidermist.
The modern
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Anthonys short stories can be found in Best New American Voices, Best American Nonrequired Reading, New American Writing and elsewhere. She has received fellowships from the Bread Loaf Writers Conference, the MacDowell Colony, the Millay Colony, the Ucross Foundation, and the Maine Arts Commission. Her books have been published in a dozen countries and reviewed in The Los Angeles Times, The Wall ...more

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