We the Animals

And I am back once again. This time I am blaming my absence on a nasty cold that is still lingering, but at least the fever is gone.

My book review for today is We the Animals: A Novel by Justin Torres. I first saw this book reviewed several places on other WordPress book blogs and the opinions were a little mixed. On Goodreads, the same thing happened. People either thought the book was brilliant, or thought that it was terrible. Naturally, this made me want to read it and form my own opinion, and luckily, my local library had it available on digital reserve. Yay!

I also really like the cover.

To call this a novel is a bit misleading. Since I read it on Kindle, I’m not sure how many pages there are, but it’s fairly short. I think Goodreads had it listed at 128 pages, which is closer to a novella, maybe. What it is is a series of vignettes around these three brothers, growing up in an impoverished and sometimes violent home. The stories are told through the eyes of the youngest brother and it is clear that, although at times they do seem more like wild animals than children, the relationship between the three brothers is the most important thing in their lives. They run through the neighborhood, getting into trouble, making kites out of trash bags, throwing rocks, experiencing life as “half-breeds” (their mother was white, their father Puerto Rican). It’s all very beautifully written, although it does feel somewhat disjointed at times. And that may have been deliberate, in order to show how rocky their lives where.

All in all, it was an interesting read. I enjoyed it.

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