Animal Magic: A Brothers Story


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The dachsund, "Mary", and the narrator embark on a series of escapades, some sexual, some scatological.

Mary turns out to be a composite of the family pet Gilda and a dissolute former private tutor and tourist guide called Mr Grant whom Jonathan befriended not long before his death. With its motley cast of schoolmasters, policemen, perverts, dogs and hens, The Queue might at times verge on the prolix or the infantile — it was never completed, let alone edited — but it repeatedly recalls Joe Orton in its macabre preoccupations and scabrous humour.

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The train on which the narrator travels also carries gorillas, bats and orangutans, many of whom are dead. Sweat pours from his face and he's obviously in difficulties. But there's another, more disconcerting reason. As I turned the pages, I often had the feeling I was reading fiction, and found myself flipping to the back cover to check it really was a memoir.

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Had Barrow invented his brother's novel? At times this didn't seem unlikely. It feels so beautifully concocted. It's just too good to be true. Andrew clearly sees Jonathan as something of a prodigy, if not actually a genius, and he's not alone among his contemporaries. Even Quentin Crisp , who makes several brief appearances, thinks Jonathan is "extremely odd". Also by Andrew Barrow. Subscribe to Read More to find out about similar books.


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I found it screamingly funny. Jonathan wrote about animals, birds and fish as if they were human, implicitly deriding the absurd illogicality of human social behaviour. Jonathan was born in Lancaster in , the youngest of five sons of a senior legal civil servant, eventually a Treasury prosecutor, with a home in Turleigh Combe, Wiltshire, and a flat in Holland Park.

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Andrew, the fourth son, only 18 months older than Jonathan, shared his creative ambitions but was not equally imaginatively preposterous, and apparently felt like a rather inferior twin. Their scholastic careers were undistinguished, so they did not attempt to follow their three senior brothers into profitable conventional pursuits. Jonathan and Andrew at first aspired to the glamour of show business.

Andrew soon discovered how difficult it is to succeed as a stand-up comedian and how embarrassing it is to fail. Jonathan was quicker to give up.

Animal Magic: A Brother's Story by Andrew Barrow

His vivacity and charm enabled him to penetrate the society of debutantes and their elders. However, his principal interest was in writing and drawing. Andrew also wrote then and ever after.

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He has successfully published eight books before this one.

Animal Magic: A Brothers Story Animal Magic: A Brothers Story
Animal Magic: A Brothers Story Animal Magic: A Brothers Story
Animal Magic: A Brothers Story Animal Magic: A Brothers Story
Animal Magic: A Brothers Story Animal Magic: A Brothers Story
Animal Magic: A Brothers Story Animal Magic: A Brothers Story
Animal Magic: A Brothers Story Animal Magic: A Brothers Story
Animal Magic: A Brothers Story Animal Magic: A Brothers Story

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