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Download Name All the Animals: A Memoir Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Name All the Animals: A Memoir Audiobook, by Alison Smith Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,906 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Alison Smith Narrator: Alison Smith Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2004 ISBN: 9780743539289
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A luminous, true story, Name All the Animals is an unparalleled account of grief and secret love: the tale of a family clinging to the memory of a lost child, and a young woman struggling to define herself in the wake of his loss.
As children, siblings Alison and Roy Smith were so close that their mother called them by one name: Alroy. But on a cool summer morning when Alison was fifteen, she woke to learn that Roy, eighteen, was dead. This is Smith's extraordinary account of the impact of that loss -- on herself, on her parents, and on a deeply religious community.
At home, Alison and her parents sleepwalk in shifts. Alison hoards food for her lost brother, hides in the back yard fort they built together, and waits for him to return. During the day, she breaks every rule at Our Lady of Mercy School for Girls, where the baffled but loving nuns offer prayer, Shakespeare, and a job running the switchboard. In the end, Alison finds her own way to survive: a startling and taboo first love that helps her discover a world beyond the death of her brother.
Heartbreaking but hopeful, this is about the excitement and anguish of Alison's first love, about her parents' enduring romance, about a community's passion for its faith, and about a beautiful, well-loved boy who dies too young. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Ultimately triumphant, this is a great read for anyone searching for meaning after the loss of a loved one.” 

    Amazon.com, editorial review

  • “An impressive debut.” 

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Name All the Animals is a touching portrait of adolescence.” 

    Bookmarks magazine

  • “Profound on many levels, Smith’s book is written in beautiful prose that conveys her family’s grief with subtle and fluid movement.” 

    Booklist

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Judy | 2/20/2014

    " I couldn't put this book down! The Rochester connection helped... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Miriam | 2/16/2014

    " A memoir about growing up lesbian and catholic. Decent. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Caroline Rothnie | 2/15/2014

    " Well, I ate this one up in 24 hours. It was assigned in a memoir writing class I was taking, and I'm so grateful since I don't know that I would have found it otherwise. It's the story of a teenage girl whose older brother dies, and the grief that follows. It is ABOUT family, faith, individuation, friendship, love. And it's extremely sad, beautiful and honest. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Janholbrook | 2/10/2014

    " This is a well told memoir; a painful reflection of the author losing her brother and a coming of age book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Angie | 2/5/2014

    " It started off very boring. By the time I got halfway through, I didn't want to put it down. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shannon | 2/3/2014

    " Intriguing memoir about a teen who loses her brother, and how she journeys to find herself while dealing with loss. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Krissy | 1/27/2014

    " I gave this book four stars because I know I liked it alot, but I read it about 6 months ago, so I cannot really remember all the details of it. I was recovering from surgery so I think I was slightly out of it when I read it. Honestly, if my sister hadn't recommended it to me, I would probably have forgotten that I even read it. I do remember that it was a good book, though. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarah | 1/20/2014

    " Wrenchingly real account of life in a family after a death. Beautifully sad. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Claudia | 1/15/2014

    " This memoir captured the bitterness and confusion of loss and being a teenager beautifully. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Alison | 1/8/2014

    " I don't really remember why I gave this such a low rating. (I'm going back and looking at my old reviews.) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeri | 12/15/2013

    " True story of a young girl who loses her older brother in a car accident. Story of grieving and not being able to handle the loss; brief lesbian relationship in Catholic school. Tale of how she finally comes to grips with life. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 April | 12/12/2013

    " Just okay. A bit slow to get into, but I really sympathized with Alison and her family over the loss of her brother. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ulla | 10/29/2013

    " This is a wonderful, insightful novel about a young girl growing up in a family mourning the loss of a son. One of the books I'll read time and time again! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Debra Ellis | 10/27/2013

    " It seems interesting that she did not write the book until after her father passed away. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Toni Bladholm | 8/9/2013

    " This book ranks in one of my top 10! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jackie | 6/22/2013

    " Not a stand out but good. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jwolfe5 | 10/5/2012

    " picked this up at the speds abc sale, so the good news is i paid 50 cents, the bad news...why did i bother reading the whole thing. started bad and ended bad. oh well! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jessica | 2/18/2012

    " I read this book as part of the memoir class I took at New School. From the cover, I thought I wouldn't liked, but ended up loving it. It is a beautiful and sophisticated memoir about a young girl who loses her brother. Read it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura | 9/28/2011

    " I was surprised at how touched I was by reading this book, As I closed the last page I had Tears in my eyes "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarah | 9/26/2011

    " Hm, you must check this one out. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marilyn | 7/11/2011

    " A stunning examination of grief and loss in a family. Well told with some distance and warmth. Memorable. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kendall | 6/17/2011

    " 3.5 stars - 3 for the first half, 4 for the second. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Holly | 6/15/2011

    " could not put this book down! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karen | 6/13/2011

    " This was a really easy read, I could have read it all in one sitting if I had the time. Very objective narrative, but this is what makes it interesting, surprisingly. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Wayne | 5/28/2011

    " One of the best memoirs ever, about a girl whose brother is killed in a car accident. The writing is heartbreakingly good. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Allison | 5/9/2011

    " This was a really good book. I am a person that reads fiction but some times read a memoir. I like reading local authors. It was sad but in a good way. That sounds wierd but it is true. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jan | 2/26/2011

    " I am giving this an average rating because it has been so long since I read it that I don't recall much about it. I know I liked it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Candace | 2/3/2011

    " Great coming of age gets interrupted by tragic death in the family memoir. Allison Smith has a great voice. One of the better memoirs I've read (and I've been on that bandwagon for as long as it's been going, so I've read a lot!) "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Christina | 11/20/2010

    " this book would get one star if it were not for the coming out to herself section in the middle. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patricia | 11/14/2010

    " Alison Smith has faithfully written of the years following the death of her beloved brother with much sensory detail. In the process, she describes her Catholic family and school, and the endearing nuns who educated her. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Helen | 10/22/2010

    " This book really grew on me. The ending, especially, was transcendent. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sara | 9/21/2010

    " Good for anyone going through a loss. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marianne | 8/16/2010

    " At times it seemed a bit depressing to me but it was a really good book all the same and one that has always stayed with me. "

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About the Author
Alison Smith has been a resident at Yaddo and the MacDowell Colony. Her writing has appeared in McSweeney's and various anthologies. She lives in Brooklyn, New York. Please visit www.namealltheanimals.com.