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The Silence of Animals


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Drawing on an extraordinary array of writers who are mesmerized by extremity, from Ballard to Conrad, Gray makes us re-imagine our place in the world.

About the Author

John Gray has been Professor of Politics at Oxford University, Visiting Professor at Harvard and Yale and Professor of European Thought at the London School of Economics. He now writes full time. His books include False Dawn- The Delusions of Global Capitalism, Straw Dogs- Thoughts on Humans and Other Animals and The Immortalization Commission- The Strange Quest to Cheat Death. His selected writings, Gray's Anatomy, was published in 2009.


The Silence of Animals is a new kind of book from Gray, a sort of poetic reverie on the human state, on the state, that is, of the human animal ... He blends lyricism with wisdom, humour with admonition, nay-saying with affirmation, making in the process a marvellous statement of what it is to be both an animal and a human in the strange, terrifying and exquisite world into which we straw dogs find ourselves thrown -- John Banville * Guardian *
Interesting, original and memorable ... The Silence of Animals is a beautifully written book, the product of a strongly questioning mind. It is effectively an anthology with detailed commentary, setting out one rich and suggestive episode after another -- Philip Hensher * Spectator *
A secular prophet, sensationally truth-telling, clear-sighted and unperturbed by the illusions under which the rest of us labour ... what's more unexpected is how beautifully the unbearable quality of that desperation is evoked -- Shahidha Bari * Times Higher Education *
Full of richness ... a pleasure to read -- Jane Shilling * Daily Telegraph *
He takes down utopians of various stripes and then starts wiggling the dentist's drill in the liberal molar ... In Gray's book, it's humanity that is the problem: we need to get over ourselves -- Sam Leith * Sunday Times *
For all its dark thrills, Gray's aria of negativity is intended to prepare the reader for a revelation. "Nothingness," he writes, "may be our most precious possession" -- Talitha Stevenson * Evening Standard *

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