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We Are Animals

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  69 ratings  ·  32 reviews

A cow looks out to sea, dreaming of a life that involves grass.

Jan is also looking out to sea. He’s in Goa, dreaming of the passport-thief who stole his heart (and his passport) forty-six years ago. Back then, fate kept bringing them together, but lately it seems to have given up.

Jan has not. In his long search he has accidentally held a whole town at imaginary gunpoin

Kindle Edition, 250 pages
Published March 2nd 2020 by Lightning Books
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Average rating 4.35  · 
Rating details
 ·  69 ratings  ·  32 reviews

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Feb 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Jan is at a beach in Goa waiting for fate to bring him and the woman he’s in love with back together. All Jan wants is to be left alone and wait. Then he meets a teenager, Shakey, who is visiting Goa. Shakey wants to spend time with Jan. He wants to listen his story. And Jan, reluctantly at first, tells him about his travels and about the love of his life.
What a journey!!! I felt like Jan was telling his story to me and I felt like I was traveling with him.
I cried and I laughed and I fell in lo
May 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a delightfully comic yet tender story of long-lost love that spans fives decades and countless countries. After realising the sum of his life opportunities in the small harbour town of Fishton, Jan secretly stows away in a boat heading for foreign shores. What ensues next is a comedy of errors that leads to him meeting the love of his life - Ladyjan. Manjan and Ladyjan are young and hopeless vagabonds, both lost in their own way - one literally and one figuratively, it seems like fate ke ...more
Steph Warren
Mar 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
*I received a free ARC of this book with thanks to the author and Rachel Gilbey at Rachel’s Random Resources blog tours. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*

We Are Animals is an extraordinary story about some very ordinary people.

The story begins, and ends, on a beach (different beaches). Jan is a ‘moustache’ (older man, firmly entrenched in his opinions and resistant to change) and Sharkey is a ‘vest’ (young, full of spirit and spirits, and looking for himself at beach discos). G
KT Robson
Mar 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved how well this story weaved together – What starts off as a tale of lost love soon turns much deeper, showing how fate and chance can cause our paths to cross at just the right moment. Not just with the two Jans, but all the supporting characters, too. No matter how large the world may be, everyone in this story seemed to fall together in the right place, the right time. All the interwoven segments of the various animals just seemed to fit so well with the story, too. My heart still break ...more
Jessica Belmont
Mar 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Okay, so I kind of just took a leap with We Are Animals and I’m glad I did. What a funny, heartfelt, and entertaining story!
I absolutely loved each of the characters, but Jan really took me on his journey. I laughed and cried with these characters and it takes a bit to get me emotional during a book.
Really loved everything about this book. It’s about small moments and ordinary people, which makes it just so compelling to read. I love the mix of emotions and absolutely loved the characters too.
Mar 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It really is one of the better books I have read in 2020, it had humor, sadness and adventure. Being able to follow Jan's life in different perspectives and back and forth and from different time periods made the book even better. To follow Ladyjan, Manjan, Hylad (Nigel!), Michael and [Man]Jan's parents meant that you got closer to the characters and that you yourself were put down when someone was hurt. I had a few moments when I stared at the iPad and whispered no to myself, but also moments w ...more
Megan Thomas
Jun 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
"A story with just the right balance of absolutely bonkers and utterly profound". Full review on Have You Read This. ...more
Tanwen Cooper
Mar 20, 2020 rated it liked it
I Did enjoy this book, but I get the distinct feeling there was A Point to it which i have missed entirely. It was funny and quirky and i very much liked reading it, but because i couldn't really tell what the book trying to say the end wound up feeling a little lacklustre. ...more
Mar 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book really got me. I hardly ever finish a book and think I'd like to read that again soon, but I would really like to read this again soon.
It's clever, funny, silly and deep. I don't know how to explain why, but it reminds me of Jonas Jonasson's 100 Year Old Man books.
I was sorry when this book ended. I am hoping for a Part 2!
Feb 23, 2020 rated it really liked it
I jumped at the chance to read this book because it was set in India–my home country. I was so happy to see that much of the action takes place at Palolem beach, Goa, one of my favorite beaches.

Essentially, this is a story of love, loss, and longing. “ManJan” travels the world with a feisty “LadyJan,” and they forge many friendships on the way. In a bizarre twist of fate, ManJan rediscovers each of these friendships as he revisits all the places he had gone with LadyJan. Only this time, he is lo
Jane Hunt
Mar 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
The imagery in this book is clever and enhances the everyday occurrences, making them something special. The description of the beach and its users seen through Manjan’s eyes is the first example of this. The people and the cow, all have an opinion and a purpose, as they share events from their lives. The animals' actions and thoughts mirror the people throughout the book.

Manjan’s story is poignant and serendipitous. The author makes many of his astute observations through the man who has spent
Feb 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved it. Seriously smart, heartfelt and original with a good dollop (love that word) of humour thrown in. I read it in one and will definitely reread it. 5 stars.
Stephanie Dagg
Mar 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
If you love quirky then you’ll adore this very different, witty, poignant, clever book.
Two unlikely companions are thrown together: one older, somewhat set in his ways these days although he’s been anything but conventional in his younger years, and one a younger, rather callow youth. But their being together allows us to hear Jan’s stories and encounter some wonderful animal characters.
The novel is about ships passing in the night, how lives are touched by even the briefest and apparently most
Susan King
Mar 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A book that will stay with you long after you've finished reading. Highly recommend. ...more
Feb 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing

A hilarious, heart-wrenching and entertaining story of ManJan.
The characters in the story include ManJan, LadyJan, Shakey, Pricha the cow, Hylad, Micheal and many more.
We are Animals has nothing to do with animals, if you exclude the role of Pricha, that is. It is a story of finding love, fate and hope.
I recommend this book to those who are looking for a one-of-a-kind read.
Sarah Ward
Apr 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is not the simple, feel good novel about love and loss it could have been. It's much better than that.

You follow Jan as he travels through life and across the world in search of meaning, adventure and the people that mean the most to him. It's actually difficult to summarise the plot of this book without giving too much away - the unpredictability of the plot is one of its charms - so I will leave it to you to find out.

We Are Animals is supremely funny but it also seamlessly weaves it's w
May 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
What a funny, heart-warming and surprising book this was. This is the story of Jan, who after many years travelling and searching for his lost love (also) Jan, has set up a life in Goa, India to wait for her to come to him. Telling his story to Shakey, readers are transported through decades of ManJan’s life to where he is now. We learn of the places he’s been and the people he’s met to get to where he is now; looking left and right in a beach in India.

The novel is the right mix of humour and e
Apr 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
From its title, you may think this book is a retelling of Noah’s Ark, or it may even conjure up images from a certain song by Bloodhound Gang, making you wonder if there’s a naughty theme in there somewhere - but it’s neither of these. Not really anyway. It’s a love story - a love story of love stories. It has alcohol and sunsets, exotic places and simple pleasures. It’s the best kind of love story - one of friendship and strong bonds.

The central story is between two Jans, a boy and a girl, who
Mar 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was a delightful story about lost love and the stories we tell over and over. A feel good read that left me feeling happy. (Before that I was not as happy, and the story was much more effective than coffee, as I do not particularly like coffee.)

The writing style was humourous, but sincere. Overall, it was a touching story about how all of us have an animal desire for companionship.
Sylvia Petter
May 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
I've managed to start reading again and am so glad I started whittling my TBR pile with Tim Ewins' book.

Shades of Tom Robbins! What a ride.

The same looniness, wisdom, and a cow.

Teresa Garcia
Jun 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great story

It has taken me awhile to read this with all the interruptions in my life. I am glad I found it and glad to have read it. I greatly enjoyed all of the interwoven stories. The author also effortlessly moves in between past and present. That is not something everyone can do well. I highly recommend this book and love how open the ending(s) is/are. I also love the evolution from vest to mustache.
Apr 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely fantastic! Just what I needed to read at the moment. It's fun, emotional, clever, funny and is such a feel good story! I loved it.
I hope Tim Ewins is writting his second novel because I'm looking forward to reading it already!
Jennifer Coffey
Mar 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The writing style reminds me of GOOD OMENS and ANIMAL FARM. It is very unique and whimsical.

The characters are lovable and they pull you into the story. They kept propelling it forward in a way that I couldn't put the book down.

The imagery in this book is also powerful. It gave me a strong vibe of an A24 movie.

And the symbolism... stunning.

I give this 5 out of 5 stars! Thank you to the author for giving me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Feb 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I rarely laugh out loud when reading a book, but I did with this one. The characters were endearing, cosy and impulsive. It’s such a fun read, and reminded me of The 100 year old man who climbed out the window. I loved how all the animals reflected characters, as I enjoyed looking out for it as I read. Although it’s funny, it’s also perceptive and sweet.
Liv Cormack-Widdop
Jun 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
We Are Animals is a triumph of a debut novel. I’ve laughed, I’ve cried and I’ve had to stop reading to just take in what’s going on. Tim’s writing style is real and witty- his imagery is beautiful and this story deserves a load of attention!
Ellie Hawkes
Sep 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Opening on Palolem Beach in Goa in 2016, we are introduced to a ‘moustache’, Jan, henceforth to be known as Manjan (to avoid confusion with Ladyjan, the woman for whom he is waiting). Manjan begins to tell his story to a young ‘vest’, Shakey, who is trying to entice beachgoers to a silent disco. A cow wanders along the beach; bubbler crabs roll balls of sand at the water’s edge (for that, we are told, is what bubbler crabs do.)

As Manjan and Shakey forge an acquaintance over red wine and vodka re
Georgia Thorpe
Apr 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Definitely one of my favourite books in 2020 so far! We Are Animals spans over half a decade and takes you round the world as Jan waits on a beach in Goa for fate to step up and reunite him with his one true love. At least he's got Shakey the Vest to keep him company! While Jan recounts his unique and hilarious story so far, we meet some incredible characters along the way (Hylad and Kalem I'm talking to you) though of course Prisha the cow is the real MVP in this book. From beginning to end it' ...more
Oct 13, 2020 rated it it was ok
This could have scraped a 3 star, but right at the end we were asked to accept that two (young) people in 2018 who are travelling the globe, and keeping in touch with their parents, one of whom definitely has a wifi enabled laptop, don’t have mobile phones. Or email addresses. Or Facebook messenger. Or...

Any of the other technological devices and/or services that would have allowed them not lose contact!

I perhaps should have avoided this book. I never do like ‘whimsical’ as much as I think I’m
Hannah Persaud
Feb 23, 2021 rated it it was amazing
The perfect tonic for grim times, We Are Animals is laugh out loud funny, sweet, romantic and moving. Following the touching and frequently tragic romance of Manjan and Ladyjan, this novel takes us from a tiny fishing village in England to around the world, from the beaches of Thailand to Russia and Poland. Light yet wise, it spans decades and generations effortlessly, focusing on what it means to be human and to dream. A beautiful metaphor for how we should all approach life, with energy, gusto ...more
Apr 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a funny and charming story, with some brilliant characters. It has a similar wit and tone to the books by Jonas Jonasson. Would definitely recomend.
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Tim always wanted to write a book. Eight years ago, he started writing a book called How to Write a Book, but after starting the first chapter he realised that he probably wasn’t the right person to write that book.

Now, a stand-up comedy career, a brief acting stint (he’s in that film Bronson, somewhere in the background) and one theatre group later, Tim’s first novel We Are Animals is due to be p

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