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Beautiful Animals [EPUB] ✵ Beautiful Animals ✸ Lawrence Osborne – Thomashillier.co.uk On a hike during a white hot summer break on the Greek island of Hydra, Naomi and Samantha make a startling discovery a man named Faoud, sleeping heavily, exposed to the elements, but still alive Naom On a hike during a white hot summer break on the Greek island of Hydra, Naomi and Samantha make a startling discovery a man named Faoud, sleeping heavily, exposed to the elements, but still alive Naomi, the daughter of a wealthy British art collector who has owned a villa in the exclusive hills for decades, convinces Sam, a younger American woman on vacation with her family, to help this stranger As the two women learn about the man, a migrant from Syria and a casualty of the crisis raging across the Aegean sea, their own burgeoning friendship intensifies, and when a simple plan of revenge goes horrifically wrong, Faoud must go on the run while the women come to terms with the terrible consequences they have set in motion.

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  • Hardcover
  • 304 pages
  • Beautiful Animals
  • Lawrence Osborne
  • 03 October 2017
  • 0553447378

About the Author: Lawrence Osborne

Lawrence Osborne is a British novelist currently residing in New York CityOsborne was educated at Cambridge and Harvard, and has since led a nomadic life, residing for years in France, Italy, Morocco, the United States, Mexico, Thailand and IstanbulHe is the author of the novel Ania Malina, a book about Paris, Paris Dreambook, the essay collection The Poisoned Embrace, a controversial book about autism called American Normal, and three subsequent travel books published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux between and a book about wine, The Accidental Connoisseur, The Naked Tourist, and an account of expatriate life in Bangkok called Bangkok Days His short stories have appeared in many American magazines His story Volcano originally published in Tin House was selected for inclusion in Best American Short Stories His novel The Forgiven was published in to widespread acclaim It was selected by The Economist as one of the Best Books of the Year for He has been published widely as a journalist in the United States, most notably in the New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, Gourmet, Salon, Playboy, and The Conde Naste Traveler He was also been an occasional op ed columnist at Forbes and is a frequent contributor to Newsweek International, The Daily Beast and The Wall Street Journal MagazineHis recent feature for Playboy, Getting a Drink in Islamabad won a Thomas Lowell Award for Travel JournalismSource wikipedia.



10 thoughts on “Beautiful Animals

  1. Carol Carol says:

    Why I chose this novel to read is a mystery Its cover is reminiscent of a still from a 1970s TV movie of the week in which a woman traipses off to the Caribbean with her best girlfriend and sidekick in order to find her rebound man I d not heard of Lawrence Osborne before this month and glimpsed maybe 2 3 quiet strong recommendations, but nothing truly attention grabbing I got lucky This will be one of the best books I ve read in 2017.Beautiful Animals is a mystery novel, but not a whoduni Why I chose this novel to read is a mystery Its cover is reminiscent of a still from a 1970s TV movie of the week in which a woman traipses off to the Caribbean with her best girlfriend and sidekick in order to find her rebound man I d not heard of Lawrence Osborne before this month and glimpsed maybe 2 3 quiet strong recommendations, but nothing truly attention grabbing I got lucky This will be one of the best books I ve read in 2017.Beautiful Animals is a mystery novel, but not a whodunit It s literary fiction, but not post modern and, yes, there is a dead body or two There s a stranger who may be a Syrian refugee, but don t read this or avoid it because you anticipate that it will address any political or cultural issues relating to the refugee crisis or immigrant stories Osborne is interested in the human condition writ large He is not sympathetic, nor does he endeavor to shine a light on any particular injustice or suffering Osborne sets his difficult to pigeonhole story and characters in Hydra, one of Greece s Saronic islands in the Aegean Sea The characters are two women from two families one British Naomi and one American Sam and both wealthy beyond the average person s awareness of how the 1% live Sam is younger by a few years and teed up as the innocent ing nue, but one shouldn t be too quick to buy into that perspective Naomi is impulsive, a fired lawyer and has daddy issues, as they say One refugee, Faoud, who seems to be from Syria but is highly educated and initially lies about how long it s been since his last meal A maid A girl who is everyone s source of weed rowed to your doorstep Rockhold, Naomi s father s fixer Everyone has secrets, not to drive the plot, but because in real life everyone has secrets Ouzo Pine trees Shepherds Stone streets Yachts Rural Italy Family funerals Manhattan meet the parents dinners Sun Attraction to danger Boundaries Stepmonsters Mandraki Risk Complexity.This is a great novel, with perfect pacing A race to an inexorable finish where, at every turn, you are prepared for the worst, and still don t know exactly what might be around that next corner Then you round that corner and nod in agreement even whilst Osborne surprises you.Just read it on Kindle or be prepared to ignore the cheese tastic cover They sat back and swilled the tsipouro to increase the effect of delicious lostness, and the water in the bay began to turn a darker violet as the light retreated. The bed was iron, creaky and high as in the old days when people died in them with gravitas and in confident expectation of an afterlife.Naomi s skin, to Sam, was an English mask perfectly modeled to resemble a human face and the smile didn t break its polished surface And yet she could feel the tensions moving back and forth beneath it, ideas and moods roaming as if from empty room to empty room It could have been easily mistaken for boredom, but it waselectrifying than boredom It was like a child looking for a centipede to kill. Naomi was one of those people who exert an entirely unconscious influence on others and who cannot be held responsible for the effects It was tropism, not conspiracy This, of course, made herdangerous His earnest and upright mind was, over, ruffled by her ease of movement and her offhand manners they seemed to him proof of a superiority that he would have to belittle in order to survive. It was a scene of quiet ruin, at the center of which sat a man who was unruined. There was something about him that she didn t accept, a smooth quality that eluded her Some elusive qualities in a man were acceptable, but others spelled unwelcome outcomes. She had gone a little too far There was a fracture just below her surface which made her seem decentered, and yet she herself was not aware of it She was lying, but he could only detect this falsity with the part of his consciousness that was unconscious.You think there s unconditional love, but there isn t The conditions are everything. The entire scenario, the working hypothesis, changed and grew vaster and darker It did so among slopes of vines and avenues of cypresses, in a humanizing sunshine that made everything under it look preordained for happiness But, of course, it was an optical illusion Everywhere is dangerous, he thought, everywhere where human beings exist and multiply and continue to breathe.

  2. Jenny (Reading Envy) Jenny (Reading Envy) says:

    I received a copy of this from the publisher.The start of Beautiful Animals had me with its description of sun soaked Greece I was introduced to two young women, both from wealthy families, who are staying on the island for some time They encounter a man who seems to have ended up on the shore by swimming there, maybe a refugee, but from where they don t know Naomi decides to help him, and this starts a chain of events that see this book is hard to talk about without giving it all away I I received a copy of this from the publisher.The start of Beautiful Animals had me with its description of sun soaked Greece I was introduced to two young women, both from wealthy families, who are staying on the island for some time They encounter a man who seems to have ended up on the shore by swimming there, maybe a refugee, but from where they don t know Naomi decides to help him, and this starts a chain of events that see this book is hard to talk about without giving it all away I m not sure the writing held up as the novel went on, while I found it to be the best part of the beginning Here s an example, maybe not final copy Naomi smiled up at the sky and her skin, to Sam, was an English mask perfectly modeled to resemble a human face and the smile didn t break its polished surface And yet she could feel the tensions moving back and forth beneath it, ideas and moods roaming as if from empty room to empty room It could have been easily mistaken for boredom, but it waselectrifying than boredom It was like a child looking for a centipede to kill I feel like this is an enjoyable summer read, but it isn t always sure if it is a thriller or not Still I d love to live on this quiet Greek island, lingering between the hidden beaches and the long afternoon hikes back to my home on the hill

  3. Jill Jill says:

    The rich, they say, are just like you and me The only difference is, they re richer Naomi Codrington puts that theory to the test in this sinister thriller by Lawrence Osborne Naomi is visiting her father and wicked stepmother on the Greek Island of Hydra after being fired from her job at a British law firm Amoral, narcissistic, resentful and ice cold the female equivalent of Patricia Highsmith s Mr Ripley Naomi happens across two malleable people Samantha, a beautiful, emotionally und The rich, they say, are just like you and me The only difference is, they re richer Naomi Codrington puts that theory to the test in this sinister thriller by Lawrence Osborne Naomi is visiting her father and wicked stepmother on the Greek Island of Hydra after being fired from her job at a British law firm Amoral, narcissistic, resentful and ice cold the female equivalent of Patricia Highsmith s Mr Ripley Naomi happens across two malleable people Samantha, a beautiful, emotionally undeveloped America, and eventually, Faoud, a young Syrian migrant who appears to have escaped at great risk from the chaos.Naomi diabolically engineers a plot, seemingly to equalize the disparity between the wealthy American and Brit and the impoverished Syrian But it goes horribly awry and many people are affected To go further into the plot would deprive readers of the joy of discovery So I ll just say this Beautiful Animals is not a typical hang on to the seat of your pants thriller rather, it is a fascinating psychological study of Naomi and her influence on those around her Naomi s ability to step quietly from one life into another is an insightful look about how a sociopathic mind works and how regret is not a useful emotion for those without empathy.Do not go into this book thinking it is a typical story arc a deed is done, the bad ones are punished, the good triumph Rather, think of it as a meticulous study of manipulation and how sometimes, events can be fleeting and enigmatic

  4. Faith Faith says:

    This book is sort of a thriller, but it is so slow moving and lacking in suspense that I wouldn t want to mislead anyone with that description It might be better to just think of it as a novel about a group of amoral, unlikable characters who do bad things without regret It took forever for the plot to begin and I carried a paperback around with me for weeks unable to make myself read it I only managed to finish it by switching to the audiobook and doubling the playback speed Smug, spoiled a This book is sort of a thriller, but it is so slow moving and lacking in suspense that I wouldn t want to mislead anyone with that description It might be better to just think of it as a novel about a group of amoral, unlikable characters who do bad things without regret It took forever for the plot to begin and I carried a paperback around with me for weeks unable to make myself read it I only managed to finish it by switching to the audiobook and doubling the playback speed Smug, spoiled and charisma free Naomi has lost her job as a lawyer in London and has come to spend the summer on the Greek island of Hydra with her father and stepmother She doesn t like them, but is perfectly willing to use their house and money She meets Sam, a slightly younger American girl, who is visiting Hydra with her own family Naomi and Sam encounter Faoud, a refugee who has washed ashore, and help him mostly due to their own narcissism and boredom When Naomi comes up with a completely ridiculous plan, Faroud, Sam and Naomi s maid all agree to it and when it predictably goes awry it s amazing how quickly they all take to criminality This is the second book I ve read by this author and I don t mind his languid style, but the plot didn t really grab my attention this time At least one character in a book needs to have some spark that makes me want to follow them and know their fate even if I don t like them I didn t find that here.I received a free copy of this book from the publisher

  5. Liz Barnsley Liz Barnsley says:

    DNF at 30%Lawrence Osborne is a beautiful writer My issue very subjectively with Beautiful Animals is the point at which an actual story kicks in By the time I ve put this aside pretty much nothing has happened There are hints that things might happen And what has kept me involved so far is the descriptive prose on the settings.Basically though I just picked it up and felt like I was reading a really really upmarket travel brochure That and the fact that the two girls in this are insanely DNF at 30%Lawrence Osborne is a beautiful writer My issue very subjectively with Beautiful Animals is the point at which an actual story kicks in By the time I ve put this aside pretty much nothing has happened There are hints that things might happen And what has kept me involved so far is the descriptive prose on the settings.Basically though I just picked it up and felt like I was reading a really really upmarket travel brochure That and the fact that the two girls in this are insanely irritating makes me just want to move on So I shall.My recommendation for this one would be those readers who love a good literary slow burner and don t mind hating all the characters Although you might love the characters I suppose Sometimes this applies to me Depends on the book But not today

  6. Aisling Aisling says:

    A difficult book to read and a difficult review to write I completely see why some reviewers gave up and walked away after several chapters I almost did myself I completely see why some reviewers say the writing is overblown or too literary But having finished it, as you see, I am giving it 5 stars and I understand the need for the slow even boring build up and the deep dense prose later Because that s what makes this dark, dark thriller so terrifying The two main protagonists seem like A difficult book to read and a difficult review to write I completely see why some reviewers gave up and walked away after several chapters I almost did myself I completely see why some reviewers say the writing is overblown or too literary But having finished it, as you see, I am giving it 5 stars and I understand the need for the slow even boring build up and the deep dense prose later Because that s what makes this dark, dark thriller so terrifying The two main protagonists seem like everyday, even dull, people In other words, like us dear reader But theyou learn about one of them thefrightened you become Like any good thriller there is the out of control rollercoaster of action and Mr Osborne does it flawlessly Once the big it happens no spoilers there is absolutely a non stop voice in your head saying What would I do How would I have handled it I don t think it s a spoiler to say that the issue of refugees is also portrayed in this book and here Mr Osborne s gravitas in language is absolutely needed and beautiful.For those who did not finish the book I say go back and try again Trust that the author is setting a scene which will enhance the second half of the book It is a dark book but like really good fiction it allows us to go places we otherwise hopefully, in this case could not go This book will leave you thinking I really liked the way the author left the two protagonists at the end of the book I applaud Mr Osborne

  7. Caroline Caroline says:

    NO SPOILERS Full disclosure book abandoned on page 57, at chapter 5 Osborne didn t write this engagingly enough to make me want to stick around to find out how the mystery plays out I stopped at the point where two women stumble upon an injured man lying on a beach, rather ironic considering that sounds exciting and like a major turning point A big problem with Beautiful Animals is that it s overwritten Osborne loved writing description paragraphs upon paragraphs of it and even ope NO SPOILERS Full disclosure book abandoned on page 57, at chapter 5 Osborne didn t write this engagingly enough to make me want to stick around to find out how the mystery plays out I stopped at the point where two women stumble upon an injured man lying on a beach, rather ironic considering that sounds exciting and like a major turning point A big problem with Beautiful Animals is that it s overwritten Osborne loved writing description paragraphs upon paragraphs of it and even opened the story this way, something I always consider a flaw To get to the heart of the story, which is the mystery, I first had to wade through his overwrought muck No story is worth that The dialogue he wrote to break up this muck is limp, and spoken among bland, indefinable characters It s all so dull My understanding is that Beautiful Animals is a psychological character study, so it sa quiet mystery, not a grab you by the throat mystery thriller That s all well and good character studies, when done well, can be powerful but a little grabbing by the throat could have helped this.NOTE I received this as an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher in June 2017

  8. Kasa Cotugno Kasa Cotugno says:

    This, the third of Lawrence Osborne s books that I ve read, is suffused with the same air of menace as the other two He has a knack for creating situations in which people out of their depth find themselves embroiled in scenarios that spin wildly out of control, often taking sometimes innocent people along with them as well as the reader Comparisons to Graham Greene have been made, also, Patricia Highsmith, which is avalid comparison At the center is Naomi, an amoral, manipulative woman This, the third of Lawrence Osborne s books that I ve read, is suffused with the same air of menace as the other two He has a knack for creating situations in which people out of their depth find themselves embroiled in scenarios that spin wildly out of control, often taking sometimes innocent people along with them as well as the reader Comparisons to Graham Greene have been made, also, Patricia Highsmith, which is avalid comparison At the center is Naomi, an amoral, manipulative woman who has had everything that money can provide for her, yet she considers herself a do gooder who nonetheless is capable of mishandling her fortune, dragging others along with her in a downward spiral without a tinge of guilt or accountability Her choices and decisions have long reaching consequences stunning in their complexities To reveal anyplot would be unfair, but I ll just say I ll read anything this guy comes up with in the future

  9. Roman Clodia Roman Clodia says:

    What beautiful animals we are, Sam thought, beautiful as panthersA short book, but definitely not sweet, this seems to be channeling The Talented Mr Ripley I ve only seen the film only here the amoral plotters are two young women It s easy to bandy around labels like sociopath but Sam and Naomi are perhaps not quite so easily pigeon holed, and the shifting and enigmatic relationship between them is perhaps the best thing about the book Osborne certainly captures a kind of noir atmosphere What beautiful animals we are, Sam thought, beautiful as panthersA short book, but definitely not sweet, this seems to be channeling The Talented Mr Ripley I ve only seen the film only here the amoral plotters are two young women It s easy to bandy around labels like sociopath but Sam and Naomi are perhaps not quite so easily pigeon holed, and the shifting and enigmatic relationship between them is perhaps the best thing about the book Osborne certainly captures a kind of noir atmosphere despite most of the plot playing out in the heat of a Greek island, but there s an unevenness in his writing which sometimes got in the way of my enjoyment There are odd instances, for example, of suddenly falling into indirect reported speech rather than dramatising conversations Sam said, without lying, that it was the best marmalade she had ever tasted Naomi said they could smoke a little too but there are also moments of sharpness There is the spinning top and there is the girl who whips it into motion but the two are merged in the same motion again, that repetition of motion feels clumsy.Overall, this is the kind of book that has most impact when read in one sitting it s only a few hours and, preferably, in the sun good if you like summer reading with some edge Thanks to Random House for an ARC via NetGalley

  10. James Hartley James Hartley says:

    Well written but completely unbelievable as a thriller I was given this book by a friend who said it was amazing although not the best Osborne novel he had read It was my first and I read through the first few chapters in awe at the sentences and style About mid way through, though, the book changes from a languid, precisely described literary novel into a kind of crime thriller Almost immediately it becomes laughable, if still well described and written A weird conundrum Bottom line is, Well written but completely unbelievable as a thriller I was given this book by a friend who said it was amazing although not the best Osborne novel he had read It was my first and I read through the first few chapters in awe at the sentences and style About mid way through, though, the book changes from a languid, precisely described literary novel into a kind of crime thriller Almost immediately it becomes laughable, if still well described and written A weird conundrum Bottom line is, I ll probably seek outOsborne books but really think literary writers should dare to take a look down from their parapets at what workaday normal thriller and suspense writers are giving their readers More than a little of the refinery and finesse Osborne brings to the writing needs to be deployed in the shaping and delivery of the plot, especially in a genre like crime, where readers expect farsophistication than this A bit of a pig s ear wrapped in silk, as my nan would say

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