Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Talking Animals In Books

I got harrassed today for the last. time. about how I like to read anthropomorphic books and how reading said anthropomorphic books makes me a 'furry' .... if you feel that way about these books, you obviously don't know what a furry is.

I, sir, am not a furry. So don't make that mistake again.

Here is a list of anthropomorphic books that (if you read them) will change your mind.... They are in no particular order except whatever I thought of first when I was writing this list.

This is the saddest book you will ever read.

I know you've read lots of sad dog books, but Old Yeller and Where The Red Fern Grows got NOTHING on The Plague Dogs.

"A lyrical, engrossing tale, by the author of Watership Down, Richard Adams creates a lyrical and engrossing tale, a remarkable journey into the hearts and minds of two canine heroes, Snitter and Rowf, fugitives from the horrors of an animal research center who escape into the isolation--and terror--of the wilderness and eventually drown trying to swim away from the government who wants to kill them. "

Not only that, but there was an animated film of it with some of the most terrifying scenes since
 Watership Down.

Oh wait, did I mention that Watership Down and The Plague Dogs are written by the same person?

This seems like a little known book and it's a real shame because it has such great potential! for being a classic. If people would just read it!

"Two gypsy boys are fleeing through a war-ravaged country-side during the night carrying a secret bundle. The boys stumble across a town that has been reduced to smoking rubble, and a zoo that is still intact. When the boys take shelter in the zoo, they discover a menagerie of talking animals. Both the boys and the animals tell their tales and their desire for freedom"

The comparisons between the Nazi concentration camps and their victims and the zoo animals and their handlers and cages are striking and compelling. At times, heartbreaking. And why haven't you read it? Why has nobody I know read it yet?!

When I was going through the list of anthropomorphic books available at our library, I will be completely honest when I say I didn't have high hopes for this one. It just seemed too much like copy-n-paste everything else that I had already read (specifically Redwall, which I will get to praising a little later) and granted, the first few chapters were less than inspiring. After you get through the obligatory introduction of characters and setting though, this little book has some surprising substances that rivals some of Shakespeare's plays. You heard me right, I am comparing this 'talking animal' book to Shakespeare, and it definitely deserves a look.

"On a night of riding stars, a tiny squirrel is found abandoned and close to death on a distant beach. Adopted and raised by a kindly squirrel, Urchin has no idea of his powerful destiny or of the way he will influence the island of Mistmantle. The rule of the good King Brushen and Queen Spindle is threatened by an evil plot from within the court. When their young son is found murdered, the isle is thrown into turmoil. Behind the scenes, the wicked Lord Husk and Lady Aspen are determined to take control. But to underestimate the power of the islanders and the ancient prophecies is a big mistake…."

2 ) Johnathan Livingston Seagull

Although the allegory between Jonathan and say Jesus Christ or Buddha is painstakingly obvious, this is one of those unique little inspirational books that can be read across all types of faiths and still convey the same message.

"This is a story for people who follow their hearts and make their own rules...people who get special pleasure out of doing something well, even if only for themselves...people who know there's more to this living than meets the eye: they’ll be right there with Jonathan, flying higher and faster than ever they dreamed. "

Not to mention, there is some pretty impressive black and white photography throughout kind of demonstrating the flight techniques that the seagulls describe in the book.

" . . As he sank low in the water, a strange hollow voice sounded within
him. There's no way around it. I am a seagull. I am limited by my nature.
If I were meant to learn so much about flying, I'd have charts for brains.
If I were meant to fly at speed, I'd have a falcon's short wings, and live
on mice instead of fish. My father was right. I must forget this
foolishness. I must fly home to the Flock and be content as I am, as a
poor limited seagull . . . "
But he is not a 'poor limited seagull'.
A beautiful little book. Not many pages, so most people could read it in about an hour.

1 ) Redwall

By far, the most well-known of all anthropomorphic books series Brian Jacques's immortal Redwall series. It spans at 22 separate books, a few spinoffsa television show, and there is currently a Kickstarter campaign to turn it into a video-game.

"Redwall Abbey, tranquil home to a community of peace-loving mice is threatened by Cluny the Scourge - the evil-one-eyed rat warlord - and his battle-hardened horde of predators. Cluny is certain that Redwall will fall easily to his fearsome army but he hasn't bargained for the courage and strength of the combined forces of the Redwall mice and their loyal woodland friends."

Yeah, Redwall is a pretty big deal.

They aren't just kiddie books. They are all ages book, and while most of them don't make adults heads turn, these, my friend, will stay with you long after you turn the last page. Trust me.

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