SUNDAY #47 – ANIMALS

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‘You know how it is. Saturday afternoon. You wake up and you can’t move.’

Oh, Emma Jane Unsworth – thank you for opening Animals with this universal, binge-drinking truth. Your book is equal parts painful and hilarious, and it should be compulsory reading for all women (especially for girls in their twenties who are prone to chronic bouts of panic about life/drinking/love).

Thank you also, to my friend Rachel, who gave Animals to me as a Christmas present. Her ability to know exactly what a girl needs – Mac Demarco, books, alcohol – is always greatly appreciated. Rather than analyse/reveal plot spoilers, I’m going to share my favourite quotes from the novel.

Buy Unsworth’s Animals and enjoy ricocheting between bouts of raucous laughter, and tears of visceral reality.

‘There were rules that had to be obeyed in order to guarantee a horror-free hangover: no news, no parental phone calls, some fresh air if you could tolerate the vertical plane. Sitcoms. Carbohydrates.’

‘There’s nothing more attractive than someone who knows who they are, especially when you’re – well, a fucking shambles.’

‘The point of intoxication for me was not to create but to destroy the part of myself that cared whether or not I created.’

‘The Night. With its deals, promises and gauntlets, by turns many things: nemesis, ally, co-conspirator, master of persuasion.’

‘Such is the inner sanctum of bed: when you’re in there with the person you love the rest of the world can go to hell.’

‘This is the way it is with me, I don’t know whether I want to be the life and soul or the mystery.’

‘London was a jungle full of lonely hunters and I felt old in it – gummy, declawed.’

‘These things you treasure, how often they’re somebody else’s trash.’

‘Well, what else is there to do sometimes except fall back on politeness and get the fuck out?’

‘Bliss, there, for a second, in the unsullied alcohol. I felt my blood being exchanged for vodka and was glad.’

‘These drunken indiscretions, how often we mistake them for intimacies.’

‘The great tragedy of not being remembered is the time you waste worrying about it in advance.’

‘Catalysts, that was how I categorised those briefless encounters, confirming to me that things had changed irreversibly from love to not-love.’

‘I’m a writer. Guilt helps analysis.’

“Fear of Failure – is there a word for that?” – “Normal.”

‘Make the most, young hearts. Run fucking free.’

‘Fear – it’s an aphrodisiac.’

‘When the end comes you know it’s real because it isn’t remotely cinematic.’

‘As my cab pulled away, I felt the smallness of myself and everyone I knew, even the city. The appalling humanity of it all. These mundane things we do to each other, these miniscule effects we mistake for epic at the time.’

‘Wherever you are, infinity stretches away equally in every direction. Whether you’re under someone’s fingernail or straddling Saturn, infinity stretches away from you equally in all directions.’

‘She was her own hero.’

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