Keith Ridgway’s third novel is a psychological menagerie of confusion, paranoia, searching and love. Narrated by an illustrator who can no longer draw, it tells of the sudden and inexplicable collapse of a private life, and the subsequent stubborn search for a place from which to take stock. We are surrounded here – by unsafe or haunted buildings, by artists and capitalists who flirt with terror, by writers and actresses and the deals they have made with unreality, and by the artificial, utterly constructed, scripted city in which we have agreed to live out a version of living. But there are cracks in the facade, and there are stirrings under the floorboards, and there are animals everywhere you look, if only you’d dare to look for them.
Unsettling, unhinged, provocative and richly funny, ‘Animals’ is for human beings everywhere.
Reviews of Animals
‘“Animals” is both a very funny and surprising inspection of the detail of modern life, and an affecting prortait of a man trying to make sense of it.’ Independent on Sunday
‘…the almost stream of consciousness deluge of paranoia and urban myth made real that constitute his recollection of these events is darkly, grimly hilarious…deeply unsettling but utterly absorbing.’ Metro
‘It’s a measure of Keith Ridgway’s stylistic gift that with so little concrete action he manages to sustain a mood of brooding anticipation throughout. The first chapter is one of the most head-tighteningly suspenseful pieces of writing I’ve read in years…Like Beckett, Ridgeway knows the humour in pathos and the pathos in humour…it haunts the reader, insisting that he thinks a little more, be a little more cautious, look a little deeper. To read it, in fact, is to find oneself a little more naked in the world.’ Daily Telegraph
‘He turns people inside out, detailing their quirks and vulnerabilities with engaging perceptiveness…a concatenation of anecdotes and dream revelations…unnerving in their odd accuracy.’ The Times
‘…a bold attempt to convey the fluctuations of a damaged mind.’ Guardian
‘Showing the disintegration of a subject is not an easy task but Ridgway pulls it off. This is not an easy or comforting read but, surrounded by ease and comfort as we are, it is all the more crucial for that.’ The Scotsman