A viciously dark and engaging satire in which animals of the world unite to stop humankind's exploitation of the planet, from storywriter and novelist Bradfield (What's Wrong with America, 1994), etc. Charlie the Crow is a restless revolutionary, wandering the globe to spread the word that animals don't need to be subservient to people. Then, with the convenient help of some friendly humans, Charlie temporarily liberates the London Zoosetting off a rebellion that gets quickly crushed and leading to Charlie's own flight to Antarctica, where he takes up with an affable Penguin. Together, the two travel to the farthest reaches of the tundra, warning isolated creatures about the coming horrors of humanfolk. Meanwhile, the freedom-fighting animals at the London Zoo are sold off into the open market, where they will work as house servants or as living corporate logos. Their small taste of freedom, however, along with a newfound discovery of the power of language, becomes addictive, and Charlie's revolutionary words are soon flying around the planetpowerful words that are embraced by most animals and exploited by opportunistic human marketers. Charlie's best student is Scaramangus, a wildebeest, who becomes the clandestine ``Mr. Big'' around whom animals of every species unite. Before long, Manhattan is under siege and corporate America is tripping over itself as it tries to secure marketing rights for its own destruction. And poor, reclusive Charlie, branded a sell-out, is hunted by the newly powerful animals as well as by the old order of humans. Bradfield's stinging, bitter style leaves few corporate targets untouched. But his prose is also full of sly, dead-on, subtle observations about the modern condition. A passionate, daring book reminiscent of Orwell's Animal Farm and Vonnegut's Player Piano.
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