Sunday, April 15, 2012

We the Animals by Justin Torres

We the AnimalsWe the Animals by Justin Torres
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I first heard about Justin Torres and We the Animals on KCRW Bookworm, and remember being struck by the vivid reading the author did of his own work. It felt like it came from him.

Having read this set of short poem-like stories, all about three brothers in a volatile family, it feels even more that way. Like it was a conversation I wasn't meant to hear, in a good way, and a terrible way. It doesn't feel like fiction at all, and is a quick but powerful read.

"We saw that it must hurt her, too, to love him."

"We boys, we had always seen so much of them, penniless or flush, in and out of love with us, trying, trying; we had seen them fail, but without understanding, we had taken the failing, taken it wide-eyed, shameless, without any sense of shame."

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