Night of the Animals by Bill Broun
A Novel

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The worlds’ religions—paganism, Christianity, Sikhism, Judaism, Islam, Yoruba—fuse together in a luminous supernatural force which buoys forward poor Cuthbert, who, despite the risk of multiple-organ failure, doggedly pursues his mission to keep the voices of the animals alive. An impressive, richly imagined, deeply urgent story.
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Synopsis

In this imaginative debut, the tale of Noah’s Ark is brilliantly recast as a story of fate and family, set in a near-future London.

Over the course of a single night in 2052, a homeless man named Cuthbert Handley sets out on an astonishing quest: to release the animals of the London Zoo. When he was a young boy, Cuthbert’s grandmother had told him he inherited a magical ability to communicate with the animal world—a gift she called the Wonderments. Ever since his older brother’s death in childhood, Cuthbert has heard voices. These maddening whispers must be the Wonderments, he believes, and recently they have promised to reunite him with his lost brother and bring about the coming of a Lord of Animals . . . if he fulfills this curious request.

Cuthbert flickers in and out of awareness throughout his desperate pursuit. But his grand plan is not the only thing that threatens to disturb the collective unease of the city. Around him is greater turmoil, as the rest of the world anxiously anticipates the rise of a suicide cult set on destroying the world’s animals along with themselves.

Meanwhile, Cuthbert doggedly roams the zoo, cutting open the enclosures, while pressing the animals for information about his brother. Just as this unlikely yet loveable hero begins to release the animals, the cult’s members flood the city’s streets. Has Cuthbert succeeded in harnessing the power of the Wonderments, or has he only added to the chaos—and sealed these innocent animals’ fates?

Night of the Animals is an enchanting and inventive tale that explores the boundaries of reality, the ghosts of love and trauma, and the power of redemption.

 

About Bill Broun

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Born in Los Angeles to an English father and an American mother, Bill Broun has worked as a newspaper and magazine journalist in both America and the UK. He was appointed a resident fellow at Yale University in 2002, where he lectured in English and journalism, and currently serves as Associate Professor of English at East Stroudsburg University. He lives in Hellertown, Pennsylvania. Author Image 1
 
Published July 5, 2016 by Ecco. 560 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Kirkus

Excellent
on Apr 13 2016

The worlds’ religions—paganism, Christianity, Sikhism, Judaism, Islam, Yoruba—fuse together in a luminous supernatural force which buoys forward poor Cuthbert, who, despite the risk of multiple-organ failure, doggedly pursues his mission to keep the voices of the animals alive. An impressive, richly imagined, deeply urgent story.

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