Customer Reviews for

Animal Dreams: A Novel

Average Rating 4.5
( 83 )
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(54)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

One of the Best Books I Have Ever Read

I LOVE Animal Dreams. Beautiful language, imagery, and characters. The ending made me cry, which has only happened with my most favorite novels.

I disagree with other reviewers. I prefer Animal Dreams to the Bean Trees. I began to read the BT after AD, and couldn't ...
I LOVE Animal Dreams. Beautiful language, imagery, and characters. The ending made me cry, which has only happened with my most favorite novels.

I disagree with other reviewers. I prefer Animal Dreams to the Bean Trees. I began to read the BT after AD, and couldn't get into it nearly as much as Animal Dreams. I recommend this book to people often!

posted by katsie89 on February 16, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Animal Dreams

Good but not her best

posted by Teri_Laughs on February 20, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2012

    I love this book!

    One of my favorite books!

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  • Posted September 26, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Definitely wanted to finish!

    Great storyline, characters and cultural information. I would read Bean Trees first. Connected with my inner feelings and experiences.

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  • Posted July 25, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Not the Bean Trees!

    I recently started reading Kingsolver books and loved the Bean Trees and Pigs in Heaven. The characters in Animal Dreams, though interesting, did not capture my heart like Turtle and Taylor. That said, the history and culture of Animal Dreams was deeply rich, and the story riveting. As Codi tries to make sense of her childhood, she also must confront the challenges of her present---her ailing father and Loyd, an old friend and new love.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2008

    Excellent book, but...

    I've read a two books by Kingsolver. Both those books were great, and one of those was Animal Dreams. From this book, the only thing I disliked was the beginning. Overall Animal Dreams was a excellent novel. The main reasons I didn't like the beginning was that this book started out somewhat slow. It seemed to me that Kingsolver was trying to set everything up rather than beginning the book with an effective hook and then introducing the character as the story continues. The other reason why I disliked this book was that it switched between two characters and also memories and what is actually happening. I reread the first few chapters to sort everything out because it was fairly confusing. After the beginning, this book was getting better as i read more. The plot of this book is a page turner. After it began to stay in the present everything I thought of this book changed. This novel went into deeper characterizations and it made you have thoughts and feelings for characters. Everything happening in the book was what a lot of people might have to go through everyday. Also that people might have to work a bit harder at some things. Near the end of this novel, Codi's life changes. She experiences a great deal of sadness and happiness. Her character is pretty much still same but is different somehow. Overall this book is brilliant, it has events people may go through and events people will go through. I recommend this book to anyone that like to read about life and what problems people face.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2005

    A Truly Remarkable Book!

    I was given this book by a friend at work and she insisted that I read it. Once I started the book I just couldn¿t put it down. I found Codi¿s story to be compelling and as the layers unfolded I couldn¿t help but cry as I realized what this girl must have went through. This book shows the steps Codi goes through to realize that she has been loved all along and it just took opening herself up to figure that out. This was one of the best books I have read in awhile and I highly recommend it and I cant wait to read more books by this author!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2004

    A Fantastic Book!

    I absolutely loved this book and can't wait to read it again!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2004

    My first Kingsolver book, it won't be my last!

    I wasn't sure what to expect from this book, since it was a required reading for my course. Well, I could've kissed the professor, this book was GOOD!! I love Kingsolver's style, she not only tells a love story, but writes of family history, friendships, culture, and environmental issues. The main character, Codi, is a woman with no direction or cause who yearns to be like her sister Hallie. As she slowly discovers herself, we learn about her history, the town she thought she never would return to, the people who she thought never cared, the father she never really knew, and the love of her life who almost got away. And sandwiched between all of that is Kingsolver's acknowledgment of certain sociopolitical issues and environmental issues. I read the last of the book on a flight, sitting between two strangers. I had to secretly keep wiping away my tears and stifling my chuckles so those sitting next to me didn't think I was crazy. This was a very touching and moving love story. Highly reccomended.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2004

    Wonderful

    I absolutely LOVED this Book!!! I always have a wonderfull sense of satisfaction while reading her books. Great read! :)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2004

    Kingsolver at her best!

    There are many kinds of love. Codi Noline, who can barely remember her girlhood in tiny Grace, Arizona, allows herself to feel one kind only. She and younger sister Hallie have been inseparable since their mother's death, three decades ago when Hallie was a newborn baby and Codi a three-year-old. But now agricultural specialist Hallie decides to drive herself to Nicaragua, to help the people there with their crops - just as Grace's only physician, 'Doc Homer' Noline, reaches a stage of Alzheimer's at which it's obvious someone must go home and keep an eye on him. So Codi, who finished medical school but discovered during residency that she wasn't cut out to follow in her father's footsteps, leaves her job clerking in a 7-11 and her liaison with a man about whom she has no strong feelings to hold her. She takes a one-year job teaching science at the local high school, and re-connects with her girlhood best friend (who rents Codi a small house next to her own family). Codi never felt at home in Grace before, and she feels totally alien to it now. But staying aloof, maintaining the emotional distance on which she depends for her sense of safety, doesn't work in this place where people she fails to remember insist on recognizing and acknowledging her. Memories she can barely touch pique her curiosity, and so does the slow death of Grace's great treasure, its magnificent orchards. Slowly, the woman who needs no one and doesn't want that to change finds herself connecting with those around her anyway. Family. Community. The environment. The author's usual themes are all here, along with - to my surprise - one of the most touching yet realistic romantic love stories I've ever read. 'Animal Dreams' is Kingsolver at her best!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2003

    Haunting and Real

    At the core of this novel is the natural world that Barbara Kingsolver loves, and living in it are authentic characters complete with hope and dreams and demons. Codi is an especially full character whose needs and fears are tangible; she is haunted by the catastrophes of life and love. So is the reader, through prose that is richly detailed as Kingsolver smoothly blends flashbacks and dreams into the perceptive, wide-awake voice.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2003

    GREAT BOOK

    Animal Dreams is a book that I strongly recommend to everyone whether you like to read or not! This book is beautifully written and is constructed in a great way. The main character Codi is a very complex person, but you can learn a lot from her. She addresses things like family, love, and political problems throughout the book. She constantly feels that she is and outsider but soon finds out she¿s not. Everyone can learn a lesson from this book because it is filled with so many.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2003

    I've read this book 4 times and still can't put it down!

    This book has it all, I can't even begin to put into words the way I feel while reading it. Not everyone will feel the same way, but it is well worth the time to read. Kingsolver is the best author I've ever read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2003

    Sweetening the Good Medicine

    Kingsolver is an author who believes in more than just telling a story. She believes a story must leave the reader with expanded knowledge. A nasty spoonful of good medicine, it would seem to some readers, perhaps reading for the escapism alone¿ but I have no qualms with this whatsover. Most of this author¿s lessons center on environmental and human rights issues. So teach me, Kingsolver, I am always willing to learn, to expand my mind in a new direction. Why should good literature not enlighten as well as entertain? ¿Animal dreams¿ delves into both of Kingsolver¿s usual areas of interest. Her main character, Codi, opens the eyes of her students in her classroom to the world beyond the classroom walls. She may use unconventional methods, including allowing her own humanity to leak out, imperfect and dysfunctional adult that she is, and expects chastisement from the powers that be¿ but not only do her initially astounded students accept her empassioned message, but the school board, too, offers her a permanent teaching position when she thought herself there only temporarily. Indeed, the entire novel beckons this character with the allure of putting down roots, finding home, in place and in heart. Feeling herself a misfit in her hometown and within the bewildering confines of her family, Codi is not easily convinced that she is deserving of love and respect (or forgiveness) ¿ from her estranged father, from her students, from her community, from her rediscovered high school sweetheart. Kingsolver describes the process of self-acceptance in this character with her usual rich writing style¿. and, of course, fits her lessons between and into the lines as neatly as always.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2003

    Didn't need the political messages.

    I would have liked this more without the political messages. However, Kingsolver does a good job of illustrating a different way of perceiving thought/dreams/animal viewpoints with storytelling.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2002

    Absolutely Great!

    An incredibly good book! One of the most fun reads I've found in a long time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2002

    What is wrong with this girl! It could teach a lesson.

    When I first read this book I was constantly angry at the way Codi viewed life. But I believe that in her 'finding herself,' she enabled the audience to understand the importance of not being ingnorant of life. I believe that every person who has ever had a bad day, thought there life was unworthy or just wants a wonderful book to enjoy, should read this novel.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 22, 2000

    Outstanding Reality

    Fascinating and well- articulated book dealing with the more benign sections of reality; very recommended to read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2000

    Generally-complex plot hampered by simplistic political message.

    Animal Dreams is a well-written and entertaining novel. I found it difficult, however, not to be distracted by the author's Manichaean political message: the Nicaraguan communists of whom she writes were uniformly benevolent, and the U.S. and its contra allies were consistently underhanded, even murderous. Reality was a little more nuanced than that, as the Sandinistas' failure to win any open national election since the collapse of the USSR demonstrates. In short, this is a generally good book, but Kingsolver detracts from the novel through (unfortunately frequent) detours into her rather cartoonish political philosophy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 21, 2000

    An Embracing and Profound Book

    I read this book when it first came out in Hardcover, and it is still my favorite book of all time. The letters from Codi's sister, Hallie, are some of the most heart-felt, soul enlightening reading I have experienced in a fiction novel. Codi, Hallie, and Doc Homer represent the best and worst in all of us and Loyd represents what we are all hoping for in the end.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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