Beautiful Animals

Beautiful Animals

A Novel

Book - 2017 | First United States edition.
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"Let's not mince words. This is a great book. Truly difficult to put down... sophisticated, smart and uncomfortable, and the story is cracking." - Lionel Shriver, Washington Post

"Startlingly good...Osborne has been described as an heir to Graham Greene, and he shares with Greene an interest in what might be called the moral thriller." - Katie Kitamura, New York Times Book Review

" A seductively menacing new thriller by Lawrence Osborne...who u nites Graham Greene's fondness for foreign soil with Patricia Highsmith's fascination with the nastier coils of the human psyche ." -NPR's "Fresh Air"


On a hike during a white-hot summer break on the Greek island of Hydra, Naomi and Samantha make a startling discovery: a man named Faoud, sleeping heavily, exposed to the elements, but still alive. Naomi, the daughter of a wealthy British art collector who has owned a villa in the exclusive hills for decades, convinces Sam, a younger American girl on vacation with her family, to help this stranger. As the two women learn more about the man, a migrant from Syria and a casualty of the crisis raging across the Aegean Sea, their own burgeoning friendship intensifies. But when their seemingly simple plan to help Faoud unravels all must face the horrific consequences they have set in motion.

In this brilliant psychological study of manipulation and greed, Lawrence Osborne explores the dark heart of friendship, and shows just how often the road to hell is paved with the best of intentions.
Publisher: New York : Hogarth, [2017]
Edition: First United States edition.
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780553447378
Branch Call Number: FIC Osbor
Characteristics: 287 pages ; 22 cm


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Jul 23, 2018

I found this really suspenseful & enjoyed the travelogue that comes with the story. A kind of nightmare is conjured out of a chance encounter with pivotal character Naomi... It’s all told with an expert eye.

Apr 11, 2018

Highly reminiscent of Patricia Highsmith's Tom Ripley novels: young, amoral characters creating mayhem in a Mediterranean paradise (and getting away with causing considerable damage) - the contemporary twist being the Syrian refugee crisis. I absolutely loved the "travelogue" aspect, the sense of what it is like to taste the food and libations and walk and swim and breath the air and talk to the locals. The plot, though, was rather predictable, and I was disappointed that we did not get more detail on Faoud's backstory, to explain why he would agree to be involved in such a reckless scheme - though this raises the intriguing question of whether his actions are intentional from the beginning? The author/narrator seems to have a jaundiced view of all of his characters, so it's hard to feel sympathy for anyone. But I admired the writing enough to consider reading more of Osborne's work.

ArapahoeLesley Oct 29, 2017

Like The Forgiven, this novel confronts the moral depravity of it's characters. Unfortunately the characters don't end up with much depth but I think that serves to show the possible every day nature of all people and the horrors that we can all justify to ourselves. Very interesting but pretty slow. I will continue to read Lawrence Osborne because his place description is amazing and I like his examination of morality.

Aug 08, 2017

Hydra is a most beautiful and dark paradise when a leftist young English attorney launches a plot against her atrocious millionaire father and stepmother to help a hiding migrant. Traditional style and raw splendor portray today's dilemmas as old as civilization.

Aug 02, 2017

Perhaps it's a daring beach read since the story takes place one summer in Greece. The reader follows two girls who met and formed a relationship, spent time wandering the island, and came upon a refugee with no identity whom they decided to help. What happens next takes us in and out of wondering like the waves reaching to the sandy windswept shore. Nice literary journey.

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