Every reader has their comfort zone. That special place within that special place they visit whenever they read. I have it, you have it, and that annoying person in your book club has it. It’s comfortable, it’s familiar, and it’s soothing. But you know what; some of the best books I’ve read lately have been out of my comfort zone. That is why I’m telling you about this book.
K’wan is a writer whom I admire because he is simply one of the best street writers in the game. The man eats, sleep, bleeds, and hustles Harlem. K’wan’s books are gritty-street-gritty. What does that mean? Well… take a gangster, a pimp, wet asphalt, 105 degree heat with 98% humidity, nasty people with a disposition towards murder, and good old fashioned bullet bloodlust, and put them in a blender. Hit “high” for about two minutes and pour into a neon green Kool-Aid cup. The substance in the cup is the substance K’wan’s books are made of.
By this time you’re probably thinking “seriously Jason… what… you can’t… wait… are you serious… Yes. I am. If there is one book that you need to read this year that is out of your comfort zone, then ‘Animal’ should be it. I said earlier that K’wan is one of the best “street” writers out there. I meant that. All too often we correlate a certain genre with a certain type of writing. In the history of the world, “street” writing has never been seen as a legitimate form of literature. Unfortunately this rule has been set by those who haven’t taken the time to read the work. They assume and they assume wrong.
K’wan is a talent and a storyteller of the highest caliber and I would easily pick one of his books up as I would a Dickey, King, Alten, Thor, Flynn, Iggulden, Zane, or Bussel. I choose whom to spend my money and time on very carefully and K’wan is simply tha’ man. So I guess after 3 ½ paragraphs I should tell you who Animal is huh? Animal is the only child of Mother Gutter and Father Violence. To say he’s a corrupt soul would be an insult to the word. A man who is so beast that if you say he’s one of God’s children, God would be like “uh uh… no he ‘aint”!
Animal does not care about me. Animal does not care about you. Animal is about violence. Animal is about the streets. I wonder… does it say something about us or something about the author when there is a character so full of depravity, yet we still love? Not really sure that I know but I’m sure that I don’t care. I’ll let someone else wax philosophical about a character; I’ll just enjoy said character. ‘Animal’ is not a character you will want to read before bed. Unless of course you’re in prison or homeless… then you’ll feel right at home.
The cover of is menacing. The characters are sinister. The author is gifted. His readers are fanatic. This story is shocking. Your comfort zone is history.