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Wild Animus

1.91  ·  Rating Details ·  620 Ratings  ·  180 Reviews
The book tells the story of Sam, a Berkeley graduate who is drawn to the Alaskan wilderness by a deepening identification with the wild mountain ram. Changing his name to Ransom, Sam and his girlfriend, Lindy, embark on a quest which takes them ever northward as Ransom seeks to understand and harness the animal's passion and wisdom.
Paperback, 315 pages
Published 2004 by Too Far
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Aug 10, 2007 Shannon marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
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.
Nov 13, 2011 Matthew rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 03, 2007 Tim rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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 Sally Wolf rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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 Jon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Eddie Watkins
Mar 05, 2010 Eddie Watkins rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: american-fiction
Venture capitalist puts id firmly in anus. Becomes furry. Blathers.

Mar 22, 2009 Catherine rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookcrossing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 17, 2008 Angela rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Sep 23, 2009 Cade rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 15, 2010 Kim rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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, 2010 Erika rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jan 26, 2009 Chana rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 09, 2011 Jeruen 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 melydia rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 10, 2016 Dorothy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Lark  KerBerethrou
Jul 08, 2013 Lark KerBerethrou rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Mar 22, 2008 Myridian rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Nov 10, 2008 Susan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jason Whittington
Nov 14, 2010 Jason Whittington rated it did not like it
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
Jan 14, 2010 Judy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Oct 14, 2010 Laura rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I couldn't stand this book. The descriptions of the scenes were way too detailed and the main character's thoughts and writings were tedious and not interesting. I couldn't relate to the what he was saying. I found the entire book tedious and painful to read and ended up skimming to actually finish it.
Peter Derk
Mar 05, 2015 Peter Derk marked it as did-not-finish  ·  review of another edition
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

Oct 07, 2007 bup rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people I hate
The poorly told story of a self-absorbed, girlfriend-dragging-down-with-him narcissist, and the people that fall in love with him.
Rabbit {Paint me like one of your 19th century gothic heroines!}
While this book is not bad, I'm just not feeling this right now. DNF on page 100.

ETA: Actually the more I think about it, I actually didn't like it that much. It had potential, but all I can think about is how the main female character needs therapy and an anti-depressant. The main character definitely needs therapy and psychiatric medication. I like fucked up characters to a degree but let's be real. This isn't one of them.

Also spirituality =/= insanity, thank you very much. I mean I'm a mental
I picked up this book hoping it would be something along the lines of Hatchet or Into the Wild, and since the reader was the same as the one who read for Hatchet, I thought I was on the right track. The back of the book made me think it was going to be about wilderness adventure. Well, this book was really disapointing and I could not wait for it to be over. The main character in the book was a sefish, self-absorbed jerk! He practically forced his girlfriend to take the "acid tabs" ...more
Feb 10, 2017 Ghyllee rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-books
I did finish this listen, but was not a huge fan. Watching this kid (view spoiler)
Elizabeth Lyon
Oct 23, 2011 Elizabeth Lyon rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Remember that annoying "profounder than thou" guy in college who made you think that, maybe, there must be something to the acid trip experience that was beyond your mediocre, unexpanded mind? I thought that Rich Shapero's purpose in writing this might be to enlighten us mere mortals about what goes on in the mind of such a superior being.

Guess what? Apparently, he's just that annoying, drugged out navel gazer that you suspected he was all along. Shapero's Sam and Lindy have no appealing qualiti
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I Don't Even Own ...: 029 – "Wild Animus" (W/ Tim Faust) 1 1 Sep 25, 2016 06:26PM  
Anyone seen the (free) iPad App for this book? 2 22 May 15, 2012 03:33PM  
What did you make of the ending? (SPOILER ALERT!) 3 22 May 15, 2012 03:13PM  
Why rich hippies-cum-VCs can't write 1 19 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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