Night of the Animals by Bill Broun

Futuristic death cult murders animals; intoxicated octogenarian saves day. Tedious.

5/10

(I wanted to like this one. It was recommended to me at one of the lovely local bookstores. I tried – oh my gosh, I tried – but when a debut novel clocks in at 550 pages and feels like it could have been condensed to 300, and when said too-long debut novel somehow manages to wait until the last 150 pages or so to let the reader know that this is magical realism/fantasy and not just the hallucination they’ve been saying it is for the previous 350 pages, well… Yeah. I feel kind of betrayed. I want to know what I’m reading. If it bends genres, that’s fine, but this spent the first three quarters of the book convincing me that it was just literary fiction, then jumped, seemingly without reason, to something completely different, suddenly running instead of limping around the plot. So much of it seemed extraneous and didn’t really help me to understand the story as a whole. So while the idea was fascinating, I just felt lukewarm over the presentation.

Also, the comparison to Noah’s Ark seems to come completely out of left field. Just because you have a ton of animals doesn’t mean you have an ark, a flood, 40 days, a dove, and a rainbow – not to mention a lack of religion.)

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