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We the Animals | [Justin Torres]

We the Animals

Three brothers tear their way through childhood—smashing tomatoes all over each other, building kites from trash, hiding out when their parents do battle, tiptoeing around the house as their mother sleeps off her graveyard shift. Paps and Ma are from Brooklyn—he’s Puerto Rican, she’s white—and their love is a serious, dangerous thing that makes and unmakes a family many times.
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Publisher's Summary

An exquisite, blistering debut novel.

Three brothers tear their way through childhood—smashing tomatoes all over each other, building kites from trash, hiding out when their parents do battle, tiptoeing around the house as their mother sleeps off her graveyard shift. Paps and Ma are from Brooklyn—he’s Puerto Rican, she’s white—and their love is a serious, dangerous thing that makes and unmakes a family many times.

Life in this family is fierce and absorbing, full of chaos and heartbreak and the euphoria of belonging completely to one another. From the intense familial unity felt by a child to the profound alienation he endures as he begins to see the world, this beautiful novel reinvents the coming-of-age story in a way that is sly and punch-in-the-stomach powerful.

Written in magical language with unforgettable images, this is a stunning exploration of the viscerally charged landscape of growing up, how deeply we are formed by our earliest bonds, and how we are ultimately propelled at escape velocity toward our futures.

©2011 Justin Torres (P)2011 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"We the Animals is a dark jewel of a book. It’s heartbreaking. It’s beautiful. It resembles no other book I’ve read. We should all be grateful for Justin Torres, a brilliant, ferocious new voice." (Michael Cunningham, Pulitzer Prize–winning author)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (51 )
5 star
 (13)
4 star
 (18)
3 star
 (12)
2 star
 (6)
1 star
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Overall
3.6 (41 )
5 star
 (11)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
3.9 (42 )
5 star
 (15)
4 star
 (14)
3 star
 (9)
2 star
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1 star
 (1)
Performance
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  •  
    Bryan Syracuse, NY, United States 11-21-11
    Bryan Syracuse, NY, United States 11-21-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Moving!"

    Justin Torres has written a great, illuminating story that is well narrated by Frankie J. Alvarez. "We the Animals" is very moving and I found myself overcome with emotion. All I could manage to say was "wow."

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stefan San Francisco, CA, United States 11-02-11
    Stefan San Francisco, CA, United States 11-02-11 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    17
    2
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
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    Story
    "Brilliant!"

    This beautifully crafted novel is written with amazing authenticity, and delivers a powerful and complex coming of age story. The rhythmic texture and emotional force of the text are well suited to the audible format and nicely narrated.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Yoo-Win United States 01-21-12
    Yoo-Win United States 01-21-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    57
    24
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "We are all Animals!"

    Rambunctious, noisy, boisterous, hungry, or simply just being adolescent, that makes you one of the animals. Be different, you will be a cast away, adrift, alone, left by your families, no longer be part of the pack. Dark lyrical prose to fine storytelling, we are all animals.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Van Gilder 09-02-11
    Van Gilder 09-02-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Performance
    Story
    "I want my credit back!"

    I think it would have been more accurate description to have explained this is about a gay man. I was very uncomfortable listening to the episode of him watching child porn with a neighbor or when he goes to the bus station as a teenager to have sex with strangers. And the childhood stories are often sad and disturbing. I suppose it is a thought provoking story but not a very enjoyable one. I wouldn't have gotten this if the description better represented the actual book.

    7 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jean K. Grant Ormond Beach, Fl. United States 04-16-12
    Jean K. Grant Ormond Beach, Fl. United States 04-16-12 Member Since 2008

    book lover

    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    70
    9
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    0
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    Story
    "Poor story"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    Better story. If it had not been short I would not have finished it.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    1Q84


    What about Frankie J. Alvarez???s performance did you like?

    He sounded like a young boy.


    You didn???t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    Maybe I didn't understand it but there seemed to be not point to the story or else I missed it. I don't like to read about the sordid way some people live.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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