Animal Planet

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9780312134280: Animal Planet

On Animal Planet, animals possess the ability to talk as well as any human. They rebel against their human keepers, breaking out of zoos and leaving homes to live as independent beings. For most animals, however, freedom means working a steady job (usually for human bosses) and enjoying the comforts and complacencies of human life.
Into this mix flies Charlie the Crow, rabble-rouser and avian revolutionary, whose mission it is to wean animals from the bottle of contemporary culture. But the animals find that freedom depends on who's defining it, and Charlie becomes a media celebrity - appearing on talk shows to promote books, movies, and other endorsement opportunities. As the revolution is co-opted by savvy profiteers, like the marketing maven Bunny Fairchild, Charlie goes underground, traveling with his reluctant pal Buster the Penguin (who longs for his domestic life back in Antarctica), pursued by an assortment of animal activists, CIA and military operatives, reporters, movie moguls, publishers, and others. Everyone wants a piece of Charlie's radical action...even if they have to kill him to get it.

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About the Author:

Scott Bradfield is a novelist, short story writer and critic. He is the author of THE HISTORY OF LUMINOUS MOTION, WHAT'S WRONG WITH AMERICA, HOT ANIMAL LOVE, and several other books, including the forthcoming DAZZLE RESPLENDENT.

From Publishers Weekly:

Comparisons to Animal Farm may inevitably trail this novel, but this arch fable offers neither the political complexity nor the biting social satire of Orwell's classic. Instead, the narrative wanders uneasily between farce and social criticism, settling comfortably into neither. Here, the instigator of animal revolution is one Charlie the Crow, whose incendiary political commentary rouses the inmates of a London zoo to riot. ("You can't expect the public to continue paying your bills forever," the animals are told.) The disturbance is quelled, but the animals' consciousness has been raised; heeding raucous Charlie's exhortation to "be goddamn articulate," they learn to speak in words, and they venture into the human world, taking jobs and establishing relationships across species boundaries. Charlie flees to Antarctica, where in the company of Buster the Penguin, Rick the Husky and Muk Luk, a sexually aggressive Eskimo, he tries to warn his fellow creatures about the dangers of human politics. Meanwhile, marketing agent Bunny Fairchild sells the rights for Charlie's story for millions; a wildebeest named Scaramangus disseminates anti-Charlie propaganda; and renegade soldiers set out to hunt down Charlie and his friends. Instead of genuinely inventive satire, Bradfield (What's Wrong with America) settles for a series of cheap jokes, launching broadsides at numerous targets but hitting very few.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Scott Bradfield
Published by Picador USA (1995)
ISBN 10: 0312134282 ISBN 13: 9780312134280
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