- Shopping Bag ( 0 items )
From Barnes & NobleBarnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers
Animal Crackers is a sublime collection of haunting and unusual stories in which animals both domestic and wild hold up a mirror to their human counterparts, revealing dark compulsions and irrational impulses -- traits that, traditionally, humans have attributed to animals.
In "Reasonable Terms," a group of rebellious giraffes goes on strike, feigning suicide and demanding better living conditions in exchange for continuing their exhibition at the zoo. A disturbed boy's cruelty proceeds unchecked in "Slim's Last Ride," and in "Talk Turkey," three emotionally isolated boys, brought together by a school project, dream of a future more promising than that of their abusive childhood. A failing marriage serves as the backdrop in "Gallus Gallus," in which a treasured rooster is made the scapegoat. And the title story introduces a world-weary zookeeper and his colleagues as they care for the zoo animals, with little of the enthusiasm with which they once performed their tasks.
Each of these stories resonates because we recognize Tinti's characters: They are people we know, those we have heard described, and sometimes, to our shame, ourselves. With a spare writing style, evocative of Raymond Carver yet clearly her own, in Animal Crackers Hannah Tinti displays her talent for finding the humor in difficult and painful situations and brings us a book full of stories that is a joy to read. (Summer 2004 Selection)