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Wild animus
Rich Shapero
Adult Fiction SHAPERO

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Shapero unwisely uses the prologue of his debut novel to divulge the ending, so the remaining 300 pages do little more than track one man's tedious journey toward acid-induced madness. Drug dealer Sam Altman, an unhappy and lonely student at the University of California-Berkeley in the late 1960s, meets and falls in love with equally unhappy and lonely Lindy at an antiwar protest. Attempting to evade arrest for drug dealing, the couple flee to Washington State, where Sam's chronic use of LSD leads him to cut himself off from his friends, change his name to Ransom and yearn to become "a fur-covered shaman, a wild ram-man, chanting the liturgy of surrender." The pair end up in Alaska, where she waitresses to support him while he writes a novel, masquerades as a mountain ram and imagines he's being chased by a rout of wolves. Though Ransom's hallucinations worsen by the day, Lindy and his few remaining friends are too intimidated by his behavior and unhappy themselves to intervene, leaving him to his tragic and inevitable end (which, of course, has already been divulged). Shapero does have a talent for vivid imagery, but this is still just a sad tale of a man whose drug addiction drives him and everyone around him crazy. 50,000 first printing. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

In 1969, a questing student named Sam and his lover Lindy leave Berkeley, CA, for the wilds of Alaska, where Sam is transformed first into Ransom and then into an actual ram. Pursuing his quest ever higher into the Mount Rangel wilderness, he dons a sheep suit, takes LSD, lacerates his chest, and is pursued by a pack of wolves. Not just any pack of wolves but one representing the seven aspects of Lindy's personality. Ransom believes that he must destroy both his former self and, eventually, his ties to humanity: "An animus is a spirit, an animating passion. But it's also the will to destroy." Is he ascending ever closer into blessed oneness or descending into insanity? This novel has two parallel narratives, Sam's story as told by a third person and Sam's novel, Wild Animus, about his experiences as a ram. As a realistic Bildungsroman about surrendering to inner and outer wildness, this first novel (Shapero claims it's entirely autobiographical) is far-fetched despite the very accurate representation of nature. But read as magic realism or as a parable, it is a powerful and complex book indeed, drawing on the work of Carl Jung, Barry Lopez, and Rick Bass. Recommended for all libraries. Jim Dwyer, California State Univ. Lib., Chico (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Sam Altman
Male
Age: Young adult
Drug addict
Berkeley college student.
College student

Lindy
Female
Age: Young adult
Mysterious



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