Animal’s People – Indra Sinha

Animal's People


Animal is a man trying to live an ordinary life about being deformed in the 1984 Bhopal chemical disaster.

“In 1984 Union Carbide released 40 tonnes of lethal gas from its pesticide factory into the city of Bhopal in India, killing thousands and contaminating drinking water. Indra Sinha writes of this atrocity in Animal’s People, replacing Bhopal’s with the fiction city of Khaufpur.

“He even creates and promotes in the book a website about “Khaufpur,” to which he allocates Bhopal’s history, where the residents are his characters and the journalist revealing events is a female version of himself. Such is his desire to educate people about this terrible tragedy.

“In the book Animal is a man who has been deformed from the chemical leak and as a result walks on all fours. Though cynical and bitter he retains many enjoyable and relatable characteristics including a romantic side. The history of the city and the people are detailed alongside the story of Animal who attempts to protect the woman he loves and also spy on American doctors whom many do not trust.”

At the end of time when God judges us humans, I just hope He remembers to judge Himself as well.

“This book was so evocative.  Years later, when I think of it I still feel overwhelmed with memories of the noise and colour.” – Suzy

“I had never heard of the Bhopal Disaster before reading this book. And it is so outrageous that even as I read I kept thinking surely this is not real? I appreciated how Sinha relayed the facts in a fictional style to give them more weight. I also enjoyed how he treated Animal as a normal person – with thoughts and desires, friends, enemies and love interests – despite his severe deformities and homelessness. It’s what made this book affecting and memorable. Not only does it educate people about the disaster but it reminds us that whatever our circumstances and outward presentation we are all the same inside.” – Rachel

Published 2007
Simon & Schutster
374 pages

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