Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Animals in That Country” as Want to Read:
The Animals in That Country
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Animals in That Country

by
4.41  ·  Rating details ·  34 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Out on the road, no one speaks, everything talks.

Hard-drinking, foul-mouthed, and allergic to bullshit, Jean is not your usual grandma. Shes never been good at getting on with other humans, apart from her beloved granddaughter, Kimberly. Instead, she surrounds herself with animals, working as a guide in an outback wildlife park. And although Jean talks to all her charges,
...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published March 31st 2020 by Scribe Publications
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Animals in That Country, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Animals in That Country

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.41  · 
Rating details
 ·  34 ratings  ·  16 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of The Animals in That Country
Marchpane
The Animals in That Country is a wild ride. Its got a terrific, bonkers premise: a pandemic that enables people to (sort of) communicate with animals. It has an indelible protagonist: the grizzled Jean, a loose unit if ever there was one, who manages to keep her shit together (but barely) only when granddaughter Kim is around. Its original, bizarre and thought-provoking.

The title comes from a Margaret Atwood poemIn that country the animals / have the faces of people (that line alone really
...more
Michael Livingston
An astonishingly immersive experience, with 2 amazing central characters, one a grumpy middle aged woman and one a half-breed dingo. This is the kind of book that changes something in your brain, your perspective on the world and your understanding of what fiction can do. Incredible - it's going to be a hit. (Thanks to Scribe for sending me an early copy!)
Claire
Mar 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arcs, best-of-2020
Wow, this book is a wild ride. The Animals in That Country is the kind of novel that is truly exciting. It is a debut that captures the living, breathing, visceral heart of the Australian landscape; where the line between the order of human society, and the wilderness of the animal world is wafer thin.

It would be easy to call this a pandemic novel (and that would push a few buttons at this moment in time). But McKays pandemic is so much more than an examine of a world in chaos, where fear and
...more
Scribe Publications
This is a game-changing, life-changing novel, the kind that comes along right when you need it, and compels you to listen to its terrifying poetry. Compulsively readable and yet also pushing the boundaries of what is possible in terms of language and narrative, this is a brilliant and disturbing book that will make you rethink everything you thought you understood about non-human animal sentience and agency. I dont think any reader can ever forget a voice like Sue the dingos wise and obscene in ...more
Scribe Publications
This is a game-changing, life-changing novel, the kind that comes along right when you need it, and compels you to listen to its terrifying poetry. Compulsively readable and yet also pushing the boundaries of what is possible in terms of language and narrative, this is a brilliant and disturbing book that will make you rethink everything you thought you understood about non-human animal sentience and agency. I dont think any reader can ever forget a voice like Sue the dingos wise and obscene in ...more
Sharon
Dec 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars - A very exciting debut. Atwood's Maddaddam trilogy meets Lucy Treloar's Wolfe Island. Full review to follow.
Robert Lukins
Feb 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow, what a cracker this is.

Completely original, funny, heartbreaking, unexpected, terrifying, hopeful, and so beautifully and warmly rendered.

A compelling and urgent book about compelling and urgent things.

Brilliant.

Emily (em_isreading)
Either McKay was ahead of the zeitgeist when she wrote this, or we just live in the dystopia now. The premise: a pandemic sweeps the nation from the south giving those effected the ability to communicate with animals.

As a protagonist, Jean is unfailingly human. She is deeply flawed, an alcoholic, chain-smoking, tattooed Granny who has a habit of sleeping with some very wrong men. She just barely holds it together for her granddaughter, Kimberly. When the pandemic reaches their remote animal
...more
Leesa Lambert
Dec 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What would happen if your childhood wish to speak to animals came true? This novel suggests that the dream would be a devastating nightmare. Heartbreaking.

This frighteningly timely novel calls into question the state of our humanity.

News footage and photos covering food and fuel shortages caused by the bushfire emergency seem like they were taken directly from scenes from this prescient book.
Eloise Grills
Jan 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Weird, wonderful and strangely moving. I will be thinking about this strange book, about Jean and Sue, for a long long time.
M - The long hot spell
Im not going to lie. McKays The Animals in That Country is an odd one. Odd, yet gritty, meaningful, disturbing and oh so Aussie. I had one gripe - that there were parts of this story that I found hard to follow but which, in this case, did not prevent me from giving the novel five stars overall.

Jean is a middle-aged woman who works at a wildlife sanctuary. Shes down-to-earth, like...way down, and I feel like Ive met people similar to her over the years so I think McKay has done really well in
...more
Gill Hutchison
Apr 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What are the chances that an author who wrote a book about a pandemic would be published in the middle of a lockdown because of a pandemic?
This book will haunt me for some time.
Read it!
R.W.R. Mcdonald
Jan 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Funny, original and heartbreakingly timely. A love letter to family, communication and Battlers everywhere both human and non-human. Beautifully written, this book is one I keep thinking about days after I have finished it. ...more
Taylor
Apr 03, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
7/10
John
Feb 18, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An original, imaginative and wonderful tale. Humanity laid raw and bare. Earthy and poetic. Both real Aussie as well as universal. VERY hard to put down. One of those books that opens the eyes and, hopefully, the mind.
Emily
Jan 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: australian-lit
The Animals in That Country, about a pandemic that gives everyone in Australia the ability to understand animals, is one of the most unusual, original things I've read in a long time. Animals, it turns out, speak and think in the most heartbreaking poetry.

It's a concept that sounds like it would be ridiculous, and in lesser hands it probably would be, but instead it ends up being a desperately sad (and also funny) roadtrip story about a brash, flawed grandma who wants to save her family from
...more
Cursor
rated it it was amazing
Jan 21, 2020
Elliott
rated it it was amazing
Jan 05, 2020
Mikaela Hart
rated it really liked it
Mar 29, 2020
Jean Poole
rated it it was amazing
Dec 24, 2019
K.M.
rated it really liked it
Mar 12, 2020
Tim Steward
rated it it was amazing
Mar 25, 2020
Rachael
rated it it was amazing
Mar 18, 2020
Laura
rated it really liked it
Apr 05, 2020
Mary
rated it liked it
Feb 15, 2020
Melanie Barnes
rated it it was amazing
Jan 26, 2020
Bookgirl
rated it really liked it
Mar 27, 2020
Laura
rated it it was amazing
Jan 21, 2020
Suzie Bull
rated it really liked it
Dec 17, 2019
Kylie
rated it it was amazing
Jan 27, 2020
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Cherry Beach
  • Nothing to See Here
  • Troll Hunting: Inside the World of Online Hate and its Human Fallout
  • The Hunted
  • American Royals (American Royals, #1)
  • Here Until August: Stories
  • Fauna
  • Girl, Woman, Other
  • Below Deck
  • Find Me (Call Me By Your Name, #2)
  • The Weekend
  • In the Dream House
  • Her Body and Other Parties
  • Kokomo
  • American Spy
  • 488 Rules for Life
  • Sand Talk: How Indigenous Thinking Can Save the World
  • Your Own Kind of Girl
See similar books…
30 followers
Laura Jean McKay writes about humans and other animals. Her novel, The Animals in That Country, is now out with Scribe. She is also the author of Holiday in Cambodia, a short story collection that explores the electric zone where local and foreign lives meet. Holiday in Cambodia has been shortlisted for three national book awards: the 2014 NSW Premiers Literary Award, the 2014 Queensland Literary ...more

Related Articles

Need another excuse to treat yourself to new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our list,...
2 likes · 0 comments