• Animal

  • A Novel
  • By: Lisa Taddeo
  • Narrated by: Emma Roberts
  • Length: 10 hrs and 48 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (535 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From Lisa Taddeo, author of the number one New York Times best seller and global phenomenon Three Women, comes an “intoxicating” (Entertainment Weekly), “fearless” (Los Angeles Times), and “explosive” (People) novel about “what happens when women are pushed beyond the brink, and what comes after the reckoning” (Esquire).

Joan has spent a lifetime enduring the cruelties of men. But when one of them commits a shocking act of violence in front of her, she flees New York City in search of Alice, the only person alive who can help her make sense of her past. In the sweltering hills above Los Angeles, Joan unravels the horrific event she witnessed as a child - that has haunted her every waking moment - while forging the power to finally strike back.

Animal is a depiction of female rage at its rawest, and a visceral exploration of the fallout from a male-dominated society.

©2021 Woolloomooloo, LLC. All rights reserved. (P)2021 Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved.

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What listeners say about Animal

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Should come with a lot of trigger warnings

I’m not usually opposed to dark or upsetting books and I really wanted to like this book but by the end I felt that the author was just trying to shove as many grim things into one book as possible for shock value. If you have triggers they probably need a warning here.

5 people found this helpful

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Absolute Must Read

Gripping, relatable in the deepest of ways, in the sense that darkly, there is an animal in each of us. Specially in women, which is generally overlooked, due to gender roles. The foreshadowing and imagery are other worldly. Lisa Taddeo strikes again with my favorite book of the year. Becoming, perhaps, my favorite writer of all time.

3 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars

terrible

did not like this book at all..couldn't finish hardly any of it and just had to turn it off.

3 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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no tonal dynamics

Lisa taddeo can construct a beautiful sentence, it's just that the voice of the narrator, meaning the main character, not Emma Roberts, is flat. boring. doesn't ring true.

She has a conversation with a 70 year old or something a man thing a man with a form of dementia may be sundowners and and he tells a story story as if he is the narrator as if she is speaking for him, putting the words in his mouth. A 70 year old man doesn't speak like a 30 something woman. They use different words different sentences different expressions.

And this might seem a little picky but every time the narrator used the word untoward it just push me over the edge because this is not a word that is said out loud said out loud as much as it was in this book and I believe it proved my point is writing that that doesn't feel forced And this book felt forced the whole thing.

I loved Three Women. I thought it was brilliant. This just didn't do it for me. I felt like the writer was trying to shock me, as if she was trying to say "Hey look at me. I'm this really good writer and I'm gonna shock the F out of you and here goes".

And for me the whole novel was flat. Emma Roberts' reading of the novel was very monotone and I attribute that to the writing, the lack of tonal dynamics, the "one-noteness" of the narrative, not the reading of the book.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Fierce. Passionate. Disturbed.

Emma Roberts’ reading of this book made it irresistible. Told in the first person, Animal is the interior monologue and observations of a damaged and damaging woman. Although some readers found it hard to follow for the time jumps between past and present, as a device it worked to illuminate the story, which is a sexy one. Will definitely choose the next book by this author and look out for more by the narrator.

1 person found this helpful

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Amazing and Terrifying

I loved this book. I never write reviews but for this one I had to. It was delicious and disturbing and transported me to every scene, smell and feeling. Emma Roberts was fantastic at the narration. I will forever remember the Pocono house.

1 person found this helpful

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chilling concept of. "Women" Woman life.. respect

I love ❤️ the struggle of a female. learning boundaries of parents mistakes. To learning they aren't alone.

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    4 out of 5 stars

Very literary debauchery

3.8/5 “I am depraved. I am curious.” From the jump, an interesting macabre read about a different kind of cold femme fatal. Told in 2nd person retrospective w/ the smarminess of Gone Girl, this is about a girl who wants to seize the power of old men who she likes but has no sexual attraction to, including her wealthy married boss. Her coy girlishness gets in the way but she keeps shedding her skin to be rid of it, so to speak. She has the seductiveness of Hannibal Lecter: I mean it, the dangerous intellect is sexy! Yet it’s a bit jagged in its stream-of-consciousness and over abundance of unique but pretty setting descriptions.

This book is always interesting due to its constant unique phrasings, ex. “dollars that felt like last breaths.” Then, its thread of redacted backstory. Pronouns are perpetually vague and call-backs non-stop, lots of “she”s and “its” that make the subject implacable, could be interchangeable w/ many characters or scenes. This has nothing to do with gender, but the author assuming we already know so much that won’t happen until the end which is frustrating because it’s practically masturbatory in its taunting. Unless you read the book two or three times, you’ll probably be flummoxed by a fourth of it, an editor gravely needed. Sometimes, the voice sounds off, going from killer cold to campy/modern goof, as though a philosophical type were suddenly discussing Seinfeldian observations or mall kiosk culture.

Things are always ordered in backwards importance, giving mundane facts more poetic gravity. There are no punctuation marks or tagging to know who’s talking or even suddenly in the room. Perhaps this is noviceness or try-hard experimentalism to give an air of mystery, equal parts annoying and intriguing. I like how the MC alludes to having lived off of pawning rich lovers’ gifts, juxtaposed now lying low in a dusty desert shack. Very Lana Del Rey/May Jailer. There’s a lot to intentionally hate: the barrenness of California, the endless want of spoiled women, the tackiness of successful men. Her self-hatred is teenage yet sophisticated. Pace picks up a bit 1/4 through, where she meets her first goal, converses with self-assured eccentrics more: senile or could-be escorts.

There’s definitely some sex and small shocks but it’s very literary and not the point versus pontificating on confidence and giving grave advice to the nameless reader. I like how the wife of the man she affairs with keeps harassing her. Like many shots in the book, a notch turned to the right and they could turn pornographic. When we meet Alice, she is much like the MC, but they bring out the best (most engaging) in each other, scavenging for honesty in their humiliation and horrible thoughts.

I kept expecting family abuse but don’t really see any, just her overhearing inappropriate news for her age, for her consensually entering horrible, legal relationships. Which is fine but I don’t get all the hype language of official and casual reviewers that make this sound more like Gone Girl meets American Psycho when it only would be about 11% of that meshing.

Halfway through, there’re a couple hefty surprises with a trashy, slow unwrapping that subdues it a bit. A bit further, we finally get a literal taste of her childhood tragedy. Yet it’s written as factually or emotionally distanced as she is as an adult. I guess her life of extremes seems improbable in its constant jostling, but victims do often radiate pick-me vulnerability that puts them in/attracts cycles of white trash craziness. Plus, the flat tone smooths out the spikes. I feel a tad dumb for not getting the semi-obvious twist/point of 2nd person POV sooner though I was sniffing all around it the whole time. There is something about how ugly (Big Sky, River) and in-cohesive (John Ford, Vic) all the names in the book are (the good ones way too similar like Lenore and Eleanor) that I can never keep them straight, making for a doubly confusing read.

Ch 24 is absolutely nuts and unforgettable! It is morbidly fun to imagine yourself in such an impossible situation. Things hardly let up by the end yet are delivered even more coldly as though every hurt is meant to happen, the universe perfectly in sync with foil characters and losses. I am not surprised nor disappointed by most of what happened to her or her parents. The details somewhat and the last pages surprisingly as sweet as sorrowful yet maybe as sociopathic as the start.

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Ughhhhh

I keep trying to get in to this book, but it’s just not good. The performance makes it worse.

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One of the most sublime stories I’ve ever listened to or read

I cried it was so beautiful and painful like nothing I’ve ever felt from a book but when the book ended I felt like someone dear to me had died. And I already miss her.

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