We The Animals

by Justin Torres

“We were monsters – Frankenstein, the bride of Frankenstein, the baby of Frankenstein. We fashioned slingshots out of butter knives and rubber bands, crouched under cars and flung pebbles at white women – we were the Three Bears, taking revenge on Goldilocks for our missing porridge. The magic of God is three.”

Score: 6/10

One Million Page Princess

December 9th, 2014

One Million Page Princess

December 9th, 2014

I’m one of three children. Growing up, sometimes I loved it, and sometimes I hated it. Sometimes we had each other’s backs and it was us, the three musketeers, against the world. Sometimes it was simply every kid for themselves. We have two girls with one boy in the middle, so while the dynamic was definitely not the same as three brothers, I found this book relatable in terms of the sibling interaction. Growing up, we were either the best of friends, or the worst of enemies. Same with the three “animals” in this book.

We The Animals is the debut novel from author Justin Torres, and is about three “half-breed” brothers raised in Brooklyn by their Puerto Rican father and Caucasian mother. The book starts out written in the first person plural pronoun “we”, but as they grow up, gradually shifts to the first person singular perspective of the youngest brother, age 7. While the story is more of a collection of strung together snippets in time than it is a fluid novel, it manages to address issues of domestic violence, bullying, racial discrimination, and homosexuality with integrity and a level of honesty that is rarely seen today. As the quotes I selected illustrate, Torres’ uses an abundance of anaphora, which can become annoying, but in this case I really enjoyed it and felt like it added quite nicely to the chaotic tone of growing up as one of three boys.

I really liked this one, but I don’t think it’s for everyone. If you’re looking for a piece of inspiring writing, or grew up in a family full of rough-housing hooligan brothers,┬áthen give it a shot. If you’re looking to fall deeply in love with a cast of characters and fully fleshed out plot line, then pass.

I can’t believe it’s almost the end of the year, and the end of my quest to read 52 books! It’s going to be a close one, but ideally with some extra time off from work around the holidays I will be able to accomplish my goal. Fingers crossed for me friends!

 

Until next time,

OMPP

Favourite Quotes