We Are Animals

By Megan Thomas

Well, here’s my Kindle, on the beach, because I’d go as far as to say that amongst a cast of spontaneous characters (a trait which is equal parts delightful and stressful), and a parallel cast of animals, the sea is a main character of this story, too – unifying the characters and splitting them again like a changing tide.

Starting in the present (ish), on a beach in Goa, Jan (a “moustache”) is looking for someone – her name is Jan too – when he meets Shakey (a “vest”). Shakey, after giving up on giving Jan a pamphlet for a silent disco, agrees (kind of) to listening to the story of Jan and Jan’s life, and Jan’s transition from being a vest to being a moustache – mercifully, Shakey nicknames them Manjan and Ladyjan or else this story would really take a turn (and I say that before typing the following paragraph).

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The story travels across the globe, from a northern English town called Fishton, to Norway (except the first time it’s actually still Fishton), from Fishton to Norway again (except the second time it’s accidentally Sweden), and then from Sweden to Russia to Poland to India (and I’ve definitely missed some, I think).

This is exactly what I needed from a read – a story with just the right balance of absolutely bonkers and utterly profound.

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