The Animals in That Country

Laura Jean McKay
The Animals in That Country Cover

The Animals in That Country


This was a weird little book. I mean, I love weird little books, but this was way out there. Some people love it, some hate it, but for me it's both. Swinging right across the board, and can't seem to stabilize. The rating is an average between a 1 star and a 5 star review. Not sure if I'm able to recommend the book, but I definitely will recommend the experience.

It starts plain enough, the main character is a foul-mouthed alcoholic grandma - Jean. You're not sure if you like her or not - she's badass, but she's a bit of an asshole as well. You're not sure that she's alone because she had the rotten luck to get left by everyone, or she's alone because she drove everyone away. You're sure, though, that she absolutely loves animals, and absolutely adores her granddaughter. And that's the normal part.

And then, the weirdest possible pandemic happens. No one dies of the zoo-flu, but people start understanding what the animals are trying to express. And what the animals have to say, it's ... wow. There has been many talking animals in literature, but not like this. I've seen plenty of human characters that were hosted by a dragon or a cat or a whatever body - but this, this is a dog in a dogs body, with its dog thoughts and dog priorities. In this part of the book we get to know the second main character - Sue. She's a dingo.

Jean and Sue go on a quest to get the granddaughter, and that trip is the meat of the book. A plot synopsis would be bland and maybe a bit boring - no epic showdowns, no noble sacrifices, no climax. Just life.