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Publisher's Summary

A young congressman discovers a mysterious stuffed aardvark on his doorstep and sets out on a journey to find out what it means in this "weird, wonderful" novel about the secrets we keep from ourselves and their history-shaping consequences (Esquire). 

It's early one morning on a hot day in August, and millennial congressman Alexander Paine Wilson (R), planning his first reelection campaign and in deep denial about his sexuality, receives a mysterious, over-sized FedEx delivery on his front stoop. Inside is a gigantic taxidermied aardvark. 

This outrageous, edge-of-your-seat novel hurtles between contemporary Washington, DC, where Wilson tries to get rid of the unsightly beast before it destroys his career, and Victorian England - where we meet Titus Downing, the taxidermist who stuffed the aardvark, and Richard Ostlet, the naturalist who hunted her. Our present world, we begin to see, has been shaped in profound and disturbing ways by the secret that binds these men. 

At once a ghost story, a love story, and a stunningly prescient political satire, Enter the Aardvark confronts the consequences of repressed male love meeting oppressive male power, and is a searing condemnation of our current American blindness. It is also that rarest of creatures: a work of art so utterly original and masterfully built that it seems to have spring fully formed from its visionary maker's head.

©2020 Jessica Anthony (P)2020 Little, Brown & Company

Critic Reviews

"Jessica Anthony is a writer possessed of mind-bending talents." (Heidi Julavits, author of The Folded Clock)

"Enter the Aardvark is one wild ride: a condemnation, a haunting, a song of love, a madcap political thriller - and it is absolutely unputdownable. I have long been a massive fan of Jessica Anthony's writing and this novel cements her as one of our most thrilling and singular innovators on the page. Welcome, readers, to her world." (Laura van den Berg, author of The Third Hotel

"If you've been wondering, as I have, where the spirit of Nathanael West might be in these berserk and awful times, enter Jessica Anthony. With her highly inventive, ever attentive, and morally serious (as all great comedy must be) Enter the Aardvark, she estranges all over again our deplorable political moment, and thereby helps make it bearable." (Joshua Ferris, author of The Dinner Party and Then We Came to the End)

What listeners say about Enter the Aardvark

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Almost

Relentlessly whimsical, but not quite funny. Passably clever, but mostly pretentious. Interesting, but ultimately shallow.

54 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Eh

Less interesting American Psycho with ghosts and African mammals and old British corpses named Alex.

23 people found this helpful

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Over Far Too Fast

Reading this book makes me wish I knew the author. Smart and wonderfully funny.

23 people found this helpful

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Awful

It is rare I don’t finish a nook but this one was really awful. I don’t like any of the characters and really didn’t care what happened to them. They all seemed very dysfunctional to me.

2 people found this helpful

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Just Awful

Whom would you recommend this book to?

No one.

What Did you like or dislike about this book?

This book is terrible. The main character is the most unlikeable person ever. The use of 2nd person narration is also awful and shouldn’t be a thing unless you’re doing a choose your own adventure book. The repetition of prices of items (we get it he’s vain and shallow) and his address. The overuse of “like” and “fucking”. The narrator is bad also. I wish I could have listened at faster than 1.5x speed but it sounded too distorted above that.

So truly bad that I’m happy to be done with it, which is the only thing I like about this, that it is over.

2 people found this helpful

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Short and weird

Ended abruptly, didn’t seem to resolve. Narration was odd, there were no natural breaks between the two stories so hard to follow

2 people found this helpful

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Inventive and humorous

Wholly original and enjoyable!
It's one of those books that are easy to follow in audio form, while the plot is complex enough to hold one's interest.
A delight.

1 person found this helpful

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Listened to this book in one sitting.

I could not take a break from this book. I had to see how the braided storyline intertwined. Darkly funny and imaginative. I don't understand why some say it is surreal. I love the surreal, but this was easy to follow and reality based. Despite the deep coincidences and possible ghost - although I think the ghost was just the narrator's perception. I loved the POV shifts. I only wish it was longer.

1 person found this helpful

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Who thinks of this stuff?

What a strange book. I like when authors blow my mind. I like new and clever things. Not a comedy but very funny. Taxidermy in the time of Darwin, a stuffed aardvark stolen from Namibia with compelling baby blue eyes - purchased by Heinrich Himler for his son then, present day, a closeted congressman with an obsession with Ronald Reagan. So hard to describe...try it. You are going to love it. I would love to have a friend who thinks like the author.

1 person found this helpful

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awful

Don't waste your time. The story is horrible, the narration is annoying, the writing style is awful.