Ever since he can remember, Animal has gone on all fours, the catastrophic result of what happened on That Night when, thanks to an American chemical company, the Apocalypse visited his slum. Now not quite twenty, he leads a hand-to-mouth existence with his dog Jara and a crazy old nun called Ma Franci, and spends his nights fantasising about ...
Ever since he can remember, Animal has gone on all fours, the catastrophic result of what happened on That Night when, thanks to an American chemical company, the Apocalypse visited his slum. Now not quite twenty, he leads a hand-to-mouth existence with his dog Jara and a crazy old nun called Ma Franci, and spends his nights fantasising about Nisha, the daughter of a local musician, and wondering what it must be like to get laid. When a young American doctor, Elli Barber, comes to town 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 plunges into a web of intrigues, scams and plots with the unabashed aim of turning events to his own advantage. Compellingly honest, entertaining and entirely without self-pity, Animal's account lights our way into his dark world with flashes of pure joy - from the very first page all the way to the story's explosive ending. ANIMAL'S PEOPLE is a stunningly humane work of storytelling that takes us right to the heart of contemporary India.
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Publishers Weekly, 2007-12-24 Orphaned Bhopal slum resident Animal, who "used to be human" before an industrial chemical accident left his bones "twisted like a hairpin," narrates in a rich argot this tense and absorbing Brit import, shortlisted for the Booker in 2007. Animal, who walks on all fours, focuses on the events surrounding the impending trial of the "Kampani" responsible for the accident. He falls in with a group led by famous musician Somraj; Somraj's daughter, Nisha; and Nisha's boyfriend, "Saint Zafar," who devotes his life to fighting the Kampani and caring for the poor. Tensions mount as suspicious "Amrikan" doctor Elli Barber opens a clinic in the slums, lawyers from the Kampani arrive in Khaufpur to negotiate a settlement, and Animal, desperately in love with Nisha, copes with his desires and frustrations. While some of the supporting characters remain one-dimensional, Animal's voice--a melange of grit, pointed social criticism, profanity and lust--brings to life what could have become a tendentious parable, and his struggles personalize the novel's grand themes of secrecy, betrayal and unexpected acts of love and kindness. Sinha balances big issues with an intimate depiction of life at its bleakest. (Feb.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
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