February Book Club Selection: 'Animal Money' by Michael Cisco

LitReactor Book Club

Every month here at LitReactor, we celebrate reading with a new selection in our Book Club. For February, we will be reading and discussing Animal Money by Michael Cisco.


(The description of this on amazon.com and everywhere else was one sentence — A living form of money results in the unraveling of the world — so I had to "steal" this description from Jeff VanderMeer.)

Animal Money is “about” five economics professor who come up with the (surreal, radical) idea of animal money after meeting one another at the hotel of a conference they aren’t able to attend because they’ve all suffered coincidental injuries that require each to be heavily bandaged in some way. This bonds them as a group and a series of adventures ensue that include a weird zoo and a nudist beach. It’s written at a break-neck pace and in a style that’s very accessible. Cisco more or less piles brilliant set piece on top of brilliant set piece—and then in the most brilliant move the narrator begins to share space with narration by the other economic policy wonk academics and additional voices, at a point in the narrative where the reader has come to see them as one being anyway. All while Cisco also mercilessly skewers the world banking system and the peculiarly abstract world of money in general. He also manages to out-Clark Ashton Smith for Smith-like weird imagery, and certain sections are flat-out visionary and hallucinogenic in the best possible way.


Michael Cisco is an American writer, teacher, and translator currently living in New York City. He is best known for his first novel, The Divinity Student, winner of the International Horror Guild Award for Best First Novel of 1999.

Discussion for Animal Money will kick off on February 1st, but you should pick up the book and start reading ASAP! (We've provided a handy link below). Once you're locked and loaded, you can announce your presence in the Book Club. (No invitation needed!)  That thread is where all discussion about the book will go down.

If you read our January Book Club selection, Brother by Ania Ahlborn, make sure you check out that thread as discussion there has officially started.

Happy reading!

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Joshua Chaplinsky

News by Joshua Chaplinsky

Joshua Chaplinsky is the Managing Editor of LitReactor. He is the author of The Paradox Twins (CLASH Books), the story collection Whispers in the Ear of A Dreaming Ape, and the parody Kanye West—Reanimator. His short fiction has been published by Vice, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Thuglit, Severed Press, Perpetual Motion Machine Publishing, Broken River Books, and more. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram at @jaceycockrobin. More info at joshuachaplinsky.com and unravelingtheparadox.com.

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