June 2012 - Animal's People by Indra Sinha

Lunch location: Singh's Cafe, 312 Washington St, Wellesley

Approximate cost: $18 (includes lunch, tax, tip, and $1 to support the meetup). May be a little less depending on location. Additional cost for anything you add from the menu (breads, beverages, chai).

About the book:

GOODREADS - Ever since he can remember, Animal has gone on all fours, the catastrophic result of what happened on That Night when, thanks to an American chemical company, the Apocalypse visited his slum. Now not quite twenty, he leads a hand-to-mouth existence with his dog Jara and a crazy old nun called Ma Franci, and spends his nights fantasising about Nisha, the daughter of a local musician, and wondering what it must be like to get laid.

When a young American doctor, Elli Barber, comes to town to open a free clinic for the still suffering townsfolk - only to find herself struggling to convince them that she isn't there to do the dirty work of the 'Kampani' - Animal plunges into a web of intrigues, scams and plots with the unabashed aim of turning events to his own advantage.

Compellingly honest, entertaining and entirely without self-pity, Animal's account lights our way into his dark world with flashes of pure joy - from the very first page all the way to the story's explosive ending.

AMAZON - Ever since he can remember, Animal has gone on all fours, his back twisted beyond repair by the catastrophic events of "that night" when a burning fog of poison smoke from the local factory blazed out over the town of Khaufpur, and the Apocalypse visited his slums. Now just turned seventeen and well schooled in street work, he lives by his wits, spending his days jamisponding (spying) on town officials and looking after the elderly nun who raised him, Ma Franci. His nights are spent fantasizing about Nisha, the girlfriend of the local resistance leader, and wondering what it must be like to get laid.

When Elli Barber, a young American doctor, arrives in Khaufpur to open a free clinic for the still suffering townsfolk -- only to find herself struggling to convince them that she isn't there to do the dirty work of the Kampani -- Animal gets caught up in a web of intrigues, scams, and plots with the unabashed aim of turning events to his own advantage.

Profane, piercingly honest, and scathingly funny, Animal's People illuminates a dark world shot through with flashes of joy and lunacy. A stunning tale of an unforgettable character, it is an unflinching look at what it means to be human: the wounds that never heal and a spirit that will not be quenched.

 

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  • jeanne w.

    We had a very good discussion of the book. We talked of the shared responsibility of the Indian government and banks and Union Carbide in causing the disaster and its aftermath, which still affects so many people. Not only the effects of the gas but the dumping of toxic waste at the site. Animal is an amazing character who has retained his humanity in spite of his denials that this is so. The book left me angry and sad. Justice has not been done.

    June 17, 2012

  • Tara

    The book was different than anything we've read so far and we all agreed it was winner We had a nice conversation and the food as always was excellent.

    June 17, 2012

  • A former member
    A former member

    Based on a gritty but important topic, an industrial accident in Bhopal (india) from 1984 that was a disaster for the local people. The excellent book brings out the human story from the perspective of a teenager who was severely disabled by the accident. It was a great discussion and get together!

    June 16, 2012

  • Rachel F

    Lovely restaurant and great group. I was surprised how well the book was received as it was a little rough. It was an interesting book and I'm so glad we took it on.

    June 16, 2012

  • Dorothy D.

    Wish I could attend! If the group is interested in another book about Bhopal, might want to consider this one for a future meetup: http://www.amazon.com/Breath-Fresh-Ballantine-Readers-Circle/dp/0345450299/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1338920242&sr=1-1

    June 5, 2012

5 went

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Allison

Meetup has allowed me to meet people I wouldn't have met naturally - they're totally different than me.

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