Sunday, February 14, 2010

Animals by Don LePan

Published: 2009
Pages: 179
Genre: Fiction (Dystopian)
Set in somewhere in the unknown future where people no longer own dogs or cats as pets. Instead, they own actual human children who have mental or physical disabilities. These "mongrels" have been deemed "not human" and are subject to treatment of animals. We follow the story of a mongrel named Sam and a girl named Naomi. She forms a special understanding for this young boy and is frustrated with the cruel world around her.
With a plotline like that, it's a miracle that I actually picked this one out from the library! I think it was the strangeness that intruiged me. And I was intruiged until the very end!

I found LePan's writing style to be very odd. His sentences were incessantly long! If I wrote like that on an english essay at school, I would fail for sure. But I guess it worked for him. At times it was agrivating because I found it hard to keep track of what was being said. However, he got the point across in an effective and different way that was very fitting for this type of novel.

Now I'd like to focus on what really got me - the incomparable plot. Basically, Animals displays a world where we've lost our humanity. We've lost our empathy and our understanding. And what do we have left? A place where we abuse our own species even more than we do now.

This book is really important. LePan has so many messages that he'd like to englighten the world with, and he used this book to do just that. While reading, I was constantly asking myself questions and pondering the various points that were raised. It's so sad how people who don't measure up to our standards are treated like dirt. When people no longer want to take care of the mogrels, they send them off to a farm where they are kept in dirty pens and fattened up. Once they reach the prime age for "harvesting", they are lined up and transported to the slaughter house where they are killed and packaged to eat. While this seems cannibalistic and disgusting, LePan wrote about this to raise awareness about the cruelty we inflict on the animals we eat.

While this is an odd and sometimes disturbing piece of work, I must say that I enjoyed Animals very much. It made me think, and it made me want to take action against the mistreatment of animals.

Final say: This book is destined to become a classic in modern literature. After reading it, be prepared to have a totally different outlook on our world and our way of life. Animals is a must read!



Dana said...

This sounds like a very compelling book - like you, I'm intrigued by the premise. Glad to hear you enjoyed it.

Juju at Tales of said...

Whoa. Sounds powerful. Excellent review!

avisannschild said...

This sounds intriguing but also really disturbing. I'm not sure I could read it.

Thanks for visiting my blog!

Don LePan said...

Many thanks indeed for the kind words about Animals: A Novel; it's really great to see people responding to the book as you have.

One thing I feel badly about--I got one or two things messed up in the afterword to the book. If anyone's interested, a revised afterword appears on my website ( and I discuss the mistakes I'd made in a blog posting of a few weeks ago ( Thanks again, and all the best,
Don LePan