Book Diary: We The Animals (Justin Torres)

WE THE ANIMALS, Justin Torres

(finished reading on 15/04/2012)

Shattering – I thought I wasn’t being affected by it until I put it aside and found myself infected by its sadness.  I certainly felt compelled to keep on reading it through this distress, although ‘enjoy’ definitely wouldn’t be an appropriate description.

To say the writing is very stylish doesn’t seem an appropriate description either.  More than that, it felt like every single word had been wrought over.  This is very much the work of a Writer.  I wouldn’t go as far as to say it felt affected, as it’s too good for that, but you can’t help but notice it and imagine a Joycean type situation where Torres might write just a few words a day.

I respected it very much, but … yeah, but.  Something I can’t name.

The part I can name that I didn’t like was the ending; the change of voice, tone, speed and the actual conclusion itself.  It could have ended before the ending and been a much better ending for it (for me).  Even though I think it’s implicit in the work (and the acknowledgements) that this is semi-to-fully autobiographical work, I could hardly believe in it.

To end on a positive note though, there are too many sentences for me to collate that made me think, ‘if I had written that I could die happy’.


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