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Wild Animus: A Novel by Rich Shapero
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Wild Animus: A Novel (edition 2004)

by Rich Shapero

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6881623,254 (1.52)15
"After graduating from college, Sam Altman finds himself disillusioned with the world of the '60s and rejects normal life to follow an inner calling. Altman's unleashed--and increasingly unhinged--imagination takes him first to Seattle and then farther north, to the remote Alaskan wilderness. Sam has fallen deeply in love with the mysterious and powerful Lindy, a young woman who will do anything to help him realize his quest, no matter how dangerous. Alone with a driving need to uncover his innermost self, Sam gradually transforms himself into a ram, prey to a pack of strangely familiar wolves. The mad pursuit leads from the wilds to civilization and back again. And when Sam and Lindy return to the perilous mountain together, the truth behind his imagined transformation emerges" -- book description.… (more)
Member:kellendorner
Title:Wild Animus: A Novel
Authors:Rich Shapero
Info:Too Far Books (2004), Edition: first printing, Paperback, 315 pages
Collections:Your library
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Wild Animus by Rich Shapero

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» See also 15 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
Feminists hate this book because it's about a man finding himself. ( )
  chaosfox | Feb 22, 2019 |
The author attempts to become a guru and falls flat on his face. ( )
1 vote AlanSmithee | Jun 1, 2018 |
D is for Drivel ( )
  RGKronschnabel | Feb 12, 2018 |
The author writes beautifully and has a very deft hand with a turn of phrase, however I didn't really enjoy this and struggled to keep focused on it. I liked the idea of a person seeking divinity by reconnecting with nature, but in the long run the guy is simply batshit crazy. I couldn't sympathize with any character in this book. ( )
2 vote Darth-Heather | May 31, 2016 |
Where do I begin? It is hard reviewing a book that has been so well scrutinized by others. There are opinions on this site about Wild Animus that are very much worth reading. So where to begin? Lets see.....

The Story

Rich Shapero tried his best, I guess, to put a new spin on Man's search for meaning in Wild Animus. We get to see the life and death of the main character, Sam Altman (a.k.a. Ransom). I liked the story from the standpoint that it kept you coming back for more to figure out what happens to this loser goatboy and his girlfriend. I could relate to Ransom's drug induced state as this was part of my wild past when I was a teenager and into the college scene. For me it was a form of rebellion against conformity, which I think is a point that Rich Shapero wanted to bring out here. Wild Animus does go against the grain as a story and this is a good thing as it challenges the reader to try to guess the next move of the main character. Let's face it, with Ransom, no one was really sure as to what to expect. It was also good from the standpoint that it alerted me that there were, are and could be people as lifeless and as shallow as Ransom and Lindy. Don't believe me? I picture Ransom being the Dave Kuresh of the Branch Dividians type and Lindy as one of his many would be wives. Yes, Ransom is that much of a whacko...I don't call him goatboy for nothin'. People that did not understand the whole issue regarding LSD, don't seem to also want to understand the power that some of these drugs can have regarding creativity. For all those folks who posted, that they "just don't get it", I am willing to bet that they have Jimi Hendrix, Rolling Stones, Doors or even a Beatles album or two, many of which were very creative and recorded under the influence of some hallucinigenic drug. On this topic, I felt that the story had potential but the writing didn't make up for it and it fell kind of flat.

The Cast of Characters
I guess this is what kept me glued to this book. I came to understand, as I have said previously, that there very well could be characters in the world like Ransom and Lindy. I knew to think the worst of Ransom, when he changed his name, from Sam Altman, to Ransom. The character of Lindy was completely baffling to me. I could not really relate to her martyrdom, but I have been told that there are many women in the world that are like that. Weird! The remaining "Normal" Society members were not so normal to me. Either, they understood Ransom's behavior or they were the biggest bunch of "Yes" people I have ever seen. The premise of the collegiate crowd inviting Ransom to dinner and discussing what they found on Mt. Wrangell was quite unbelievable. Yet in the story they seem to want to have Ransom around. Why? Is it Ransom's sense of humor? Is it his Side Show Charisma? Did he put on his "Full Regalia" as the goatboy and the author failed to mention it? I just don't know. But the mere fact that he did capture thier attention and held it throughout the story kept me intrigued. I guess I came off wishing I could do something as incredible as that.

The Writing
All I have to say about this is that it is obvious to me that Rich Shapero wrote this over time. The begining of the book was laced with "sophmoric" analogies and descriptions. The opening chapter describes the crator from the "Human's point of view" and how huge it was, could you imagine how it would appear to a cockroach?(That little side bar for any cockroaches intending on reading this story). He describes viewing his hand through the smoke "Like a flesh colored bird". My personal favorite of Katherine's smile being like "A cracked windshield about to cave in". Yet by the end of the book, these types of descriptions seem to disappear, or if they are there, are barely noticeable. It could have also been that I was too wrapped in goatboy's LSD musings to even notice.

The Bottom Line
I felt that any spiritual significance in this book was lost to the lunacy of the characters in this story. I also felt the only originality in this story was the description of the scenery in Alaska. Lets face it, Ransom's quest of trying to reach Animus is hauntingly familiar to that of Neo trying to reach "The Source" in the Matrix Revolutions. I felt that Matrix Revolutions made more sense however. I did walk away from this story very emotional. Anger, depression and frustration were some of the key emotions I felt. If this was Rich Shapero's goal, he achieved it. Would I recommend reading it? Sure! One needs to read contraversial stuff like this in order to keep one's perspective. Rich Shapero certainly shook the tree with this one. The question we are left with is "Why?" ( )
1 vote DVerdecia | Jan 29, 2016 |
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