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The Animals by Cary Fagan

The Animals by Cary Fagan

Silver Winner of the 2022 Foreword INDIES Award for Adult Fiction: Humour

Literary Fiction
Publication Date: October 4, 2022
252 pages
5.25 x 8 inches
ISBN 9781771667647

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Audiobook Sample:

In a quaint tourist village, Dorn makes miniature scale models displayed in the local shops. Yet life is far from idyllic; he suffers under the thumb of a rich, philandering younger brother and an unloving father, and cannot find the courage to admit his love to Ravenna, the ungainly schoolteacher.

Life takes a strange turn when the government-sponsored “Wild Home Project” is introduced and wolves, rats, minks, otters, and bears move into villagers’ homes. Soon, Dorn receives a mysterious commission, finds a body in a park, and has several run-ins with a former classmate-turned police officer. When fire breaks out, Dorn takes on the unlikely role of hero in the hope of changing the course of his life.

A realist novel with the air of a fairy tale, The Animals is a surprising, funny, and thought-provoking story that explores the nature of relationships faunal and human, and reminds us of the challenges of finding one’s place in society . . . and that living with a wolf is not a very good idea.

Praise for The Animals:

“What happens when wild animals are encouraged as household pets? Disruption (and bites)! The Animals is a peculiar and weirdly compelling fable, a version of Where the Wild Things Are, but for adults of the kind who find the world as strange as the films of Wes Anderson.”—Antanas Sileika, author of Provisionally Yours

“Charming, sad, hopeful and compelling, The Animals burns with intelligence, wry wit, and compassion.” —Gary Barwin, Scotiabank Giller Prize-shortlisted author of Yiddish for Pirates

“Poetic, intricate, carefully surreal, The Animals is both a focused human story about relationships and a clear image of a beautifully wrought greater world.” —Premee Mohamed, author of The Annual Migration of Clouds

Press Coverage:

​”An absolute pleasure to read. Just a lovely, immersive, transporting experience.” Advance the Plot

Most Anticipated: 2022 Fall Fiction Preview 49th Shelf

“You will be absolutely ecstatic…lingers with you long after you’ve devoured the last word.” Lindsay Wincherauk, I Love It

65 works of Canadian fiction to watch for in fall 2022 —CBC Books

“Fagan’s novella distills enchantments from the ordinary while treating the forces that corrupt ordinary life (including religions, governments, and the bored rich) with sardonic incision. Each scene proffers a surprise, strung together to form a sometimes baffling, always delightful whole.” —Michelle Anne Schingler, Foreword Reviews

“The pages will fly by in this compact novel. The writing is excellent and the narrative resembles an allegorical fairy tale.” —She Treads Softly

“Funny, provocative, magical, and warmly engaging.” —The Vancouver Sun

“Adopting a wolf, weasel or wolverine sounds like an extremely bad idea, but in Cary Fagan’s novel The Animals, it adds to the overall zaniness of the topsy-turvy world he creates.” —Andrea Geary, Winnipeg Free Press

“In Fagan’s short and addictive novel, all sorts of animals are being domesticated as pets through something called the Wild Home Animal Project. They represent a sanctioned yet mortal danger that a gullible citizenry is embracing because a bizarre social initiative has slid into being and become the norm. . . At its heart, the novel is a puzzling and lively parable.”  —Sandra Martin, The Literary Review of Canada

Shrapnel’s Fall Favourites of 2022 —Shrapnel Magazine

The best Canadian fiction of 2022 —CBC Books

Cary Fagan on Learning to Write Freely as His Atmospheric New Novel Unleashes Wild Animals in Unexpected Places —Open Book

What Happened Next Podcast with Nathan Whitlock —Nathan Whitlock