The Silence of Animals - On Progress and Other Modern Myths

Author(s): John Gray

Modern Thought

This is the powerful, beautiful and chilling sequel to the bestselling Straw Dogs. 'By nature volatile and discordant, the human animal looks to silence for relief from being itself while other creatures enjoy silence as their birthright'. Why do humans seek meaning to life? How do our imaginations leap into worlds so far beyond our actual reality? In this chilling and beautiful sequel to Straw Dogs, John Gray explores how we decorate our existence with countless fictions, twisting and turning to avoid acknowledging that we too are animals. 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.


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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

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.

General Fields

  • : 9780241953914
  • : Penguin Books Ltd
  • : Penguin Books Ltd
  • : 0.178
  • : February 2014
  • : 198mm X 129mm X 14mm
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Paperback
  • : 240