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"Animal People" review and giveaway

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Monday, November 14, 2011

"Animal People" review and giveaway

This post is part of Product Talk by Nuffnang

I am very excited to be announcing my first ever giveaway. One lucky reader will win a copy of Animal People, the new novel by Charlotte Wood.  I have been given two copies, one to giveaway and one to keep after I reviewed it.

Animal people is the story of one man, Steven. He is a character from Charlotte Wood's critically acclaimed novel "The Children" but the story makes perfect sense in its own right (I haven't read "The Children" yet but I would like to get it for Christmas. *hint hint*.).

Animal People takes place over the course of one day (one very long day) but it includes memories of Steven's past. Steven is portrayed as a bit of a shallow, hopeless case with a phobia of commitment and a dislike of "animal people". As the story continues his character develops to be far deeper than that. Throughout the book runs two other themes: the way people treat animals and the way people treat each other. Both of these Steven finds perplexing.  

Now, as my readers know, I am painfully honest at times. To post anything other than my true opinion would go against everything The Mother Experiment stands for. So I must tell you with a heavy heart that I absolutely loved reading this book.

Say again?

I absolutely loved reading this book.

Why is that a problem?
1) it has quite a large amount of swearing in it and I try not to expose myself to too much profanity (I'm trying to give it up. Also there are sexual references which might offend some religious people.)
2) because I found it so hard to put it down.

I was reading this book whenever I could squeeze the time in, mostly at night while feeding William. I found myself disappointed when he fell asleep again because I wanted to keep reading. I wanted to keep reading because I wanted to know what happened next but I wanted to keep reading because it is a pleasure to read.

The whole book is absolutely hilarious. I love how it picks apart the warts of society in a humorous way. It is very descriptive. It's the kind of book you could very easily lose yourself in, as I did. I enjoyed the vivid imagery that transports you to different worlds: Steven's childhood in the country, Steven's life in a "poor part" of the city, the city streets full of homeless people and junkies, the snobs that walk the same streets, the zoo where Steven works and the affluent suburb where his girlfriend lives.

There are so many brilliant moments in this book and never a dull one. I'm almost certain everyone would be able to identify with something in the story. Some of my favourite parts include a phone call from Steven's elderly mother (you can practically see Steven roll his eyes), a bus trip with a mysterious bag and a highly dysfunctional birthday party for a five year old girl. I did find the swearing a bit confronting initially but it's all in natural context. It is part of what makes it so realistic. The story flows so well I didn't notice it after a while. It's an easy read although it does raise interesting social questions.

I cannot even remember the last time I read a novel before this book. I just never seemed to find time. I would start books but never finish them. This book I finished quickly and easily and I wished I could have kept reading.  I now want to pick up another novel to read instead of using my phone to keep me awake while feeding (this might be bad for my blogging).

What about you? Do you like reading? Do you find reading challenging? What kind of books do you read? Do you spend so long reading blogs and articles that you can't remember the last time you settled down with a good book? Then maybe you need this book to help you rediscover the fun of fiction.

The giveaway details

I am pleased to have a copy of "Animal People" to giveaway. The competition is open to Australian residents only sorry (because postage is coming out of my daughter's moneybox own pocket). 

To enter simply
a) follow my blog (using google friend connect or "like" on facebook)
and b) leave a comment answering one of the following questions:
1) are you an animal person? Why/why not?
or 2) when did you last read a novel and what was it?

You must leave a comment on this post (not the facebook page) to be eligible. It's part of product talk's requirements for this giveaway. I have turned off the funny word verification thing for the week to make it as easy as possible for you to enter.

Competition closes Monday 21 November at 6pm. Winner will be drawn by and published on this blog on Tuesday 22nd. The winner will have until Friday 25 November to contact me or else I will redraw it (because nobody wants to go to the post office in December). Good luck.

Joining up to the Great Australian Giveaway Link-up with Three Little Princesses.

Aussie Giveaway Linky
Hosted by Three Lil Princesses

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At November 14, 2011 at 9:03 PM , Anonymous Manda said...

Can't enter as I am karlee's sister, lol! But! Just wanted to say that I loved reading this post, and will have to knick the book for a squidge at some stage! Xx

At November 15, 2011 at 3:20 PM , Blogger Kristy said...

Sounds like a great book!

I can answer both questions.......

1.) Nah... not an animal person... LOL! But my 2 dogs, bird, turtle, 3 lizards and umpteen number of fish might disagree! :)

2.) Can't remember the last novel I read... I started My Sisters Keeper not long after Mackenna was born (I want to read it before I see the movie) and I think I got 2 or 3 chapters in.... should probably look at returning it to whoever I borrowed it off considering that was over a year ago now!!

At November 15, 2011 at 7:26 PM , Anonymous Lifeasmummymax said...

Great review :) Sounds like a great book!! I have to really want to read and it has to be good for me to read. I never get time but i want to make time. The last books i read was twilight lol
and am i an animal person definitely an animal person 2 dogs a cat and some chickens on the way.

At November 16, 2011 at 8:26 PM , Blogger Katie Kruys said...

I won't say no to any book :)

1) not really an animal person although my family is so I've been exposed to many different varieties throughout the years. My favourite being our current cat, Dash and least favourite would be the rooster that used to crow loudly near the granny flat I was living (for most of the day, not just in the morning!) I ended up smuggling him away in a woolies enviro bag and letting him 'roam' free in the bush.....
2) I will read just about anything - my thing at the moment is reading on the ipad. It is easy and convenient with so many books at my fingertips. I feel a bit like I'm letting down the librarian species saying this but I just love the ease of it! I still love traditional books although I must admit that apart from work, I haven't picked up an actual book :) in a while!

At November 17, 2011 at 3:56 PM , Blogger This Mummy Maze said...

Followed via GFC. Yes i am an animal person all kinds of animals i find them fasinating be it a pet or a wild animal.

At November 18, 2011 at 8:12 AM , Blogger marybelle said...

I am an animal person. How could you NOT be?

GFC: Mary Preston

I have just finished THE HUNGER GAMES trilogy. Loved it. Now I can't wait to see the first movie.


At November 20, 2011 at 9:12 AM , Anonymous Naomi collins said...

Hi Karlee, great post!
I am an animal person, to a point...I'm not into having them have the run of your entire life!

The last novel I read, is not technically a novel, but five novellas in one book: A Lineage of Grace by Francine Rivers, follows the lives of the five women mentioned in Matthew ch.1 in the lineage of Jesus. I've read it heaps of times!


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