Animal's People

Animal's People

Book - 2008
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7
Baker & Taylor
Chronicles the relationship between Animal, a street boy forced to go about on all fours after his back is twisted beyond repair during the chemical plant accident in Bhopal, India, and Elli Barber, the American doctor treating the suffering inhabitants of the region.

Blackwell North Amer
Ever since he can remember, Animal has gone on all fours, his back twisted beyond repair by the catastrophic events of "that night" when a burning fog of poison smoke from the local factory blazed out over the town of Khaufpur, and the Apocalypse visited his slums. Now just turned nineteen and well schooled in street work, he lives by his wits, spending his days jamisponding (spying) on town officials and looking after the elderly nun who raised him, Ma Franci. His nights are spent fantasizing about Nisha, the girlfriend of the local resistance leader, and wondering what it must be like to get laid.
When Elli Barber, a young American doctor, arrives in Khaufpur to open a free clinic for the still suffering townsfolk - only to find herself struggling to convince them that she isn't there to do the dirty work of the Kampani - Animal gets caught up in a web of intrigues, scams, and plots with the unabashed aim of turning events to his own advantage.
Profane, piercingly honest, and scathingly funny, Animal's People illuminates a dark world shot through with flashes of joy and lunacy. A stunning tale of an unforgettable character, it is an unflinching look at what it means to be human: the wounds that never heal and a spirit that will not be quenched.

Baker
& Taylor

Chronicles the relationship between Animal, an extraordinary street boy forced to go about on all fours after his back is twisted beyond repair during the devastating chemical plant accident in Bhopal, India, and Elli Barber, the young American doctor who has come to the area to open a free clinic for the suffering inhabitants of the region. 40,000 first printing.
Ever since That Night, the residents of Khaufpur have lived a perilous existence. Their world is poisoned. Nobody has received compensation or help for the chemical leak, least of all Animal, as he is known, whose spine twisted at a young age, leaving him to walk on all fours. Though he inhabits a dark kind of half-life, he knows what love is. He has long harboured feelings for his friend Nisha but since she is enamoured of his friend Zafar he cannot even allow himself to hope. When Elli Barber arrives, an "Amrikan" keen to set up a free clinic to help the victims of the disaster, deep suspicion arises amongst the community. Animal resolves to turn the situation to his advantage and starts to investigate Elli's motives.

Simon and Schuster
"I used to be human once. So I'm told. I don't remember it myself, but people who knew me when I was small say I walked on two feet, just like a human being..."

Ever since he can remember, Animal has gone on all fours, his back twisted beyond repair by the catastrophic events of "that night" when a burning fog of poison smoke from the local factory blazed out over the town of Khaufpur, and the Apocalypse visited his slums. Now just turned seventeen and well schooled in street work, he lives by his wits, spending his days jamisponding (spying) on town officials and looking after the elderly nun who raised him, Ma Franci. His nights are spent fantasizing about Nisha, the girlfriend of the local resistance leader, and wondering what it must be like to get laid.

When Elli Barber, a young American doctor, arrives in Khaufpur to open a free clinic for the still suffering townsfolk -- only to find herself struggling to convince them that she isn't there to do the dirty work of the Kampani -- Animal gets caught up in a web of intrigues, scams, and plots with the unabashed aim of turning events to his own advantage.

Profane, piercingly honest, and scathingly funny, Animal's People illuminates a dark world shot through with flashes of joy and lunacy. A stunning tale of an unforgettable character, it is an unflinching look at what it means to be human: the wounds that never heal and a spirit that will not be quenched.

Publisher: New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 2008
ISBN: 9781416578789
1416578781
Characteristics: 374 p

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d
Dub
May 12, 2017

Highly recommended.

MirandaJo Feb 26, 2017

This is NOT for the faint of heart. The story line is full of severe hardships, some of the events are R rated, and the diction itself is mostly curse words. The author uses all of these to show the grittiness of life for the protagonist, Animal. This is a very humbling read.

j
John_M
Mar 26, 2016

This book left me with sense of the suffering and resilience of people whose lives have been so severely affected by tragedy. Indra's writing, at times, left me awestruck by its beauty and sensitivity. I left out a star since there were also times that I was wondering why he was including scenes.

On the whole I recommend this book wholeheartedly.

r
rijo2000
Jul 31, 2014

nice

brianreynolds Jan 06, 2012

I'd forgotten Bophal, but the word returned to me early in Animal's People. Corporations (and governments) like Union Carbide and Dow Chemical (and yes, the Canadian Government's recent approval of asbestos sales to India) count heavily on our short memories. In fact, it was just June 2010 when some of the employees responsible for the thousands of deaths and decades of suffering by the survivors finally received small fines and short sentences for their quarter century old crimes. A non-event during the Stanley Cup playoffs and the start of the FIFA World Cup in SA. I was asleep; I doubt it made the front page of any paper in North America.

Strangely, this book is not an irony nor a tragedy. Strangely, it does not conclude that law and human dignity have no chance at all in a conflict with money, unrestrained greed, and power. Strangely, the symbolic death of the narrator does not awaken common decency among the capitalists or the politicians in the novel. Strangely, Indra Sihha's novel is bursting with truth without once pretending to be historical. Strangest of all, he has written a comedy on a par with the best of that mythos. A youngster choses to be himself, against the arguments of science, of pity, of anger, of love.

This not an easy read although it is both compelling and exquisitely readable. At times it is a love story. At times, a mystery. At times, a quest. But always it is clear and sure-footed in it's flow of words and scenes. It is hard going only because it is honest and courageous in what it shows the reader. The world gone mad, the Apokalis, is examined in detail, not by a human boy or a human man, but by an animal--an animal created by accident by an Amrikan corporation producing wealth for its stockholders. It is tough, but not embittered. It is angry, but neither maudlin nor irrational. It is worth reading. Again.

g
glendamiller
Sep 06, 2011

I really enjoyed this book. Our main character, Animal, take us on an honest journey into his world where we meet the people of the city, feel their pain and suffering after the horrific accident at the American owned chemical plant in their town and follow his journey from a pan handler on the streets to a member of a group fighting for justice for the people of the disaster. The characters are entertaining and full of life. Worth reading.

m
macierules
Mar 20, 2010

Based on events of the Union Carbide disaster in Bhopal, India. Great characters including the feisty, likeable, sex-obsessed Animal. Interesting use of multiple languages provided an authenticity to the story - French, Hindi, and pigeon English that sounded like Yoda from Star Wars. Really liked book, I did

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