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Reviewed by Arya Fomonyuy for Readers' Favorite
Animal Magnet by Gary W. Anderson is a family saga that reads like nothing most readers have encountered, a tale that begins in the Kingdom of Hungary in the 18th century and spans two centuries into the future. It handles conflicts, hardships, scandal, and shame that have been characteristic of this family. Laced with symbolic language, the story explores the humanity of the characters and shows how far a person can fall. The prose is powerful, and the style changes throughout the work, a strong testimony to the changing periods in the historical setting and the frequent shifts in perspective. The characters are interesting and readers will feel a lot of sympathy when they read of the love affair between the Manor Tutor and the Maid which opens this epic narrative. Vic Ray, Ernst Seyfert (and I loved his rustic, somewhat vulgar tone), Joseph Vasser, and Georges d’Aubigne are well crafted and compelling characters.
Animal Magnet by Gary W. Anderson is a gripping debut novel written in a very unusual style. The very fact that the author replaces the conjunction (“and”) with an ampersand sign (“&”) already suggests from the very start that readers will be dealing with a style they don’t get to see very often. However, there is something very raw, natural, and somewhat rustic about the style that reflects the historical and cultural setting of this beautiful story. This is not the kind of book to read lightly, because of the style, but readers will undoubtedly enjoy the cast of characters and the controversial issues that are masterfully handled such as legitimacy, human instinct, and values. The humor is intense and readers will find themselves laughing through the pages. This is a story that is intimate to human nature, one that will entertain readers more than they can imagine.