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The Animators Audiobook

The Animators: A Novel

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Publisher's Summary

She was the first person to see me as I had always wanted to be seen. It was enough to indebt me to her forever.

In the male-dominated field of animation, Mel Vaught and Sharon Kisses are a dynamic duo, the friction of their differences driving them: Sharon, quietly ambitious but self-doubting; Mel, brash and unapologetic, always the life of the party. Best friends and artistic partners since the first week of college, where they bonded over their working-class roots and obvious talent, they spent their 20s ensconced in a gritty Brooklyn studio. Working, drinking, laughing. Drawing: Mel, to understand her tumultuous past, and Sharon, to lose herself altogether.

Now, after a decade of striving, the two are finally celebrating the release of their first full-length feature, which transforms Mel's difficult childhood into a provocative and visually daring work of art. The toast of the indie film scene, they stand at the cusp of making it big. But with their success come doubt and destruction, cracks in their relationship threatening the delicate balance of their partnership. Sharon begins to feel expendable, suspecting that the ever-more raucous Mel is the real artist. During a trip to Sharon's home state of Kentucky, the only other partner she has ever truly known - her troubled, charismatic childhood best friend, Teddy - reenters her life, and long-buried resentments rise to the surface, hastening a reckoning no one sees coming.

A funny, heartbreaking novel of friendship, art, and trauma, The Animators is about the secrets we keep and the burdens we shed on the road to adulthood.

©2017 Kayla Rae Whitaker (P)2017 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

"A wildly original novel that pulses with heart and truth...That this powerful exploration of friendship, desire, ambition, and secrets manages to be ebullient, gripping, heartbreaking, and deeply deeply funny is a testament to Kayla Rae Whitaker's formidable gifts. I was so sorry to reach the final page. Sharon and Mel will stay with me for a very long time." (Cynthia D'Aprix Sweeney, author of The Nest)

"A mix of Beaches, Girls, and Thelma & Louise...a 'complicated', 'sensual, sexy', raw nerve of a 'roller coaster' through a 'tumultuous' friendship...If you let this story happen to you, you're gonna love it." (Glamour)

"Whitaker captures the human frailties that beset everyone - jealousy, anger, insecurity, trauma, the search for love - and weaves them into a compelling story of friendship, self-destruction, and salvation." (Library Journal)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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Performance


There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

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  • Emmanuela Thornsberry
    01/03/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not chick-lit."

    I assumed that a female writer, writing about friendship, would have a sappy handle on the story. I was so incredibly wrong. This story is gritty and painful at times. It is not a quick read, which is why I downloaded the audio to assist. It is an immersive story that takes time to absorb. The reader has no idea how to pronounce "Caudill" as it would be pronounced in east Ky. Beyond that, stellar job!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Michelle
    04/02/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing on so many levels"

    I have more than 600 titles in my Audible library and this is the only one thus far that I have felt compelled to write a review about.

    It grabbed me with its authentic feeling characters and vivid storytelling. It refused to let me go until the very end.

    The narrator was so perfect that I am glad I got it on Audible rather than reading it in print. The author has perfected the art of making a reader/listener laugh and sob at the same time. I truly can't recommend this book enough!

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • SydSavvy
    PARIS, TX, United States
    24/04/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Rough beginning but Stick With It"

    When I started this book, it felt like just another of those ever popular young-angst-in-the-big-city books, and I almost quit it, multiple times. But then some surprises happened and it got real. Very real. I ended up loving it. Glad I stuck With it. Narrator was excellent.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Charlotte Cox
    23/03/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fabulous"

    This is one of the best books I've read in many a book. Love Mel.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Melissa F
    13/02/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wow!! Read this book!!"

    Great story about two friends who become business partners profiting from their personal experiences via animation. They both have messed up families and past traumas... Really good book. I like the way the author uses different words.. for example you think you're going to be able to guess the next word to come out of her mouth but she has another synonym to take its place. Great writing style great story I just really disliked The last 30 to 45 minutes just not a very good ending. The narrator is great and really gives you a sense of who these characters really are and how they are meant to sound. All in all I gave it five stars even though I didn't like the ending it's definitely a must read/listen.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Margaret
    25/02/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent!"
    Any additional comments?

    I loved "The Animators". It is so raw. I actually felt like I was listening to a memoir rather than a novel. Excellent narration by Alex McKenna. This was so out of my normal listening range, BUT I Loved it!

    6 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Fiona
    21/05/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fiona k"

    I loved this book! The narration was excellent & the story never went where I expected it to. A complex and beautiful portrayal of female friendship and partnership. A rewarding read

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Christine
    09/04/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "This was amazing!"

    This was so strong from start to end! An emotional rollercoaster! Raw, strong, fierce and amazingly beautiful!

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Beverly
    14/04/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fantastic! Beautiful, funny, and emotional"

    I have only given a handful of books 5 star ratings. I love this book. It's just the right mix of hope and tragedy, Hicksville and urban, trashy and class. Perfect!

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • sara
    Belvedere, California United States
    17/03/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The main characters are terrible people"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    The main character was a self centered pretentious Mean girl. Who couldn't get past her own self loathing and self doubt to not be terrible to those around her. The only likable character was Teddy. It wasn't like you loved to hate sharron, she was just THE WORST.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Kayla Rae Whitaker again?

    Possibly.


    Did Alex McKenna do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    I wasn't a huge fan of her narration and voices but I'd be willing to listen to her again. Why is the main character southern, and its first person but she only uses the southern accent when Sharron speaks out loud ? And Mel's voice was grating.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Annoyance and frustration. I wanted to slap the main girl and say get over yourself.


    Any additional comments?

    The animation references were driven down your throats in a pretentious way. Yeah liquid television and Ren and Stmpy were awesome, but it didn't make them unique that they loved them. I don't know how to explain this.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful

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