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, pudding-obsessed father. Nor can he find the courage to admit his love to Ravenna, the tall and ungainly school teacher who was once the village’s only Olympics hope.
Life takes a strange turn when the government-sponsored “Wild Home Project” begins in the village. Dorn’s neighbour now lives with a wolf. Others are in company with rats, minks, otters, and bears. 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, this surprising, funny and thought-provoking story from beloved author Cary Fagan explores the nature of relationships faunal and human, 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
Cary Fagan is the author of eight previous novels and five books of short stories, including The Student, Great Adventures for the Faint of Heart, and A Bird’s Eye. He has been nominated for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Writers’ Trust Fiction Award, the Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction, and has won the Toronto Book Award and the Canadian Jewish Book Award for Fiction. He is also an acclaimed writer of books for children, having won the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award, the IODE Jean Throop Book Award, a Mr. Christie Silver Medal, the Joan Betty Stuchner—Oy Vey!—Funniest Children’s Book Award, and the Vicky Metcalf Award for Literature for Young People. Fagan’s work has been translated into French, Italian, German, Dutch, Spanish, Catalan, Turkish, Russian, Polish, Chinese, Korean and Persian. He still lives in his hometown of Toronto.