The Silence of Animals by John Gray
On Progress and Other Modern Myths

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Too much else is secondhand: the book is an anthology of misanthropy, amplified with endless quotes from Orwell and Ballard, Herzen and Borges, Ford Madox Ford and Llewelyn Powys.
-Guardian

Synopsis

A searching, captivating look at the persistence of myth in our modern world

"By nature volatile and discordant, the human animal looks to silence for relief from being itself while other creatures enjoy silence as their birthright."

In a book by turns chilling and beautiful, John Gray continues the thinking that made his Straw Dogs such a cult classic.

Gray draws on an extraordinary array of memoirs, poems, fiction, and philosophy to re-imagine our place in the world. Writers as varied as Ballard, Borges, Conrad, and Freud have been mesmerized by forms of human extremity—experiences that are on the outer edge of the possible or that tip into fantasy and myth. What happens to us when we starve, when we fight, when we are imprisoned? And how do our imaginations leap into worlds way beyond our real experiences?
The Silence of Animals is consistently fascinating, filled with unforgettable images and a delight in the conundrum of human existence—an existence that we decorate with countless myths and ideas, where we twist and turn to avoid acknowledging that we too are animals, separated from the others perhaps only by our self-conceit. In the Babel we have created for ourselves, it is the silence of animals that both reproaches and bewitches us.

 

About John Gray

See more books from this Author
John Gray, Ph.D., is one of the world’s leading relationship experts, and an authority on improving communication styles for couples, companies, and communities. His many books have sold more than fifty million copies in fifty different languages worldwide. John lives with his wife and children in northern California.
 
Published June 4, 2013 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 241 pages
Genres: Law & Philosophy, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for The Silence of Animals
All: 3 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 1

NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Thomas Nagel on Jul 05 2013

Gray’s skepticism about the value of humanity and its hopes for progress deserves more attention.

Read Full Review of The Silence of Animals: On Pr... | See more reviews from NY Times

Guardian

Above average
Reviewed by Peter Conrad on Mar 03 2013

Too much else is secondhand: the book is an anthology of misanthropy, amplified with endless quotes from Orwell and Ballard, Herzen and Borges, Ford Madox Ford and Llewelyn Powys.

Read Full Review of The Silence of Animals: On Pr... | See more reviews from Guardian

Guardian

Good
Reviewed by John Banville on Feb 15 2013

He blends lyricism with wisdom, humour with admonition, nay-saying with affirmation, making in the process a marvellous statement of what it is to be both an animal and a human in the strange, terrifying and exquisite world...

Read Full Review of The Silence of Animals: On Pr... | See more reviews from Guardian

Reader Rating for The Silence of Animals
80%

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