10 May 2010

41. Wild Animus

Wild Animus - Rich Shapero

This was a very strange book. I knew that going in. That is why I wanted to read it. I had heard a little about it and thought it would be different. It WAS different, though not in the way I was hoping.

It started at Berkley back in the 60's. The police were raiding the campus and being brutal. The protagonist was a graduate student and teacher of some sort at the University. During the melee he, Sam, met Lindy. She was younger than him by a few years. He was 24. She was 21, I think.

Sam fell in love with her immediately. She fell too. They embarked ion a 1960's style love affair that was very strange. It was fueled with LSD all the time.

Sam had this dream that he could become a ram. Yes, a real ram. A mountain goat climbing the rocks. Big curly horns. The whole deal. While on his trips he would put on this costume he made out of rams skin and an old taxidermists stuffed ram. He would dress up like a ram, take acid, and go mountain climbing. He would have these things happen to him that made him believe he really was turning into a ram and the god he imagined in his drug world he called Animus.

They both quit school and went to Washington. Sam renamed himself Ransom. Lindy supported him as he wrote a book about his becoming a ram and his god Animus.

Later they went to Alaska and Sam found a mountain in the Wrangells where he said Animus lived. He would climb there and lived in a cabin and took lots of drugs and wore his costume and did generally really weird stuff. He imagined there were wolves hunting him and he equated the wolves to Lindy trying to tie him down to a normal life with a family and kids. The wolves were trying to kill him and keep him from Animus.

Anyway...he was a whack job. Lots of people fed into the garbage he spewed. Lindy followed along for way too long. Ransom would cut himself open repeatedly trying to bleed into the mountain and connect with his god. Strange. Weird. I had a hard time following it.

Sorry, but acid trips and weird people who glamorize the felling they get from it just don't make a good book to me.

Ransom died. I didn't care. I felt sorry for Lindy at times, but she was pretty stupid for playing along with his BS anyway. I struggled through this one despite it being an audio book. The only really good thing was the reader himself. It was read by Peter Coyote. He did a great job. I especially liked the voice when Ransom became Animus and was narrating his adventures. The voice was excellent. Other than that, this was a complete waste of time.

Wait, that is not true. I learned some about the Wrangell Mountains and especially Mount Wrangell itself. It is a 14,000 foot shield volcano in the Wrangell-St Elias National Park and Preserve in Alaska. What a cool place to visit some day…maybe.

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