Sandstone Press

Animal Lovers by Rob Palk

RRP: £8.99
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781912240036
Publication Date: 15/02/2018
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Animal Lovers

Rob Palk


When Stuart marries Marie after a serious illness, he doesn’t foresee her leaving him within four months of their honeymoon. She becomes passionately involved in protesting the badger cull, abandoning him to join fellow activists in the Gloucestershire woods. Stuart refuses to admit it’s over, feigning an interest in badgers in order to win her back. Though he’s accounted for her attachment to the badgers, he hasn’t considered her burgeoning interest in Henry, a handsome protester. As tensions rise and new relationships form, secrets bubble to the surface – including some which may have been best left hidden.

Rob Palk

Rob Palk portrait

Rob Palk wrote his first book while recovering from a nearly fatal illness and the collapse of his marriage. This book was written in London, Burgundy and Haifa but the author now lives in Leicester...

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‘Rob Palk has a fine eye for a punch-line and a poignant turn of phrase, often within the same sentence. This is a bitterly funny book about the strange places life can take you – including badger habitats.’
-Mark Watson, Comedian

‘Animal Lovers reads like a book that its author needed to write. “One day soon I would be able to romanticise all this,” says Stuart near the end. “I’d be able to dress it up, cheapen it into anecdote. A hard luck story.” Palk has channelled his experiences into something deeper and more affirming.’
-The Financial Times

‘Hilarious, poignant and stuffed full of brilliant secondary characters. I couldn’t put it down.’
-The Daily Mail

‘A beautiful piece of work, witty and profound, and mottled with sadness.’
-Anthony McGowan

‘This love story is as deep and strange as a badger’s sett. It is also – like love itself – touching and truthful, sometimes absurd and often very funny.’
-Francis Wheen

‘There’s a mordant comedic genius unexpectedly at work in this story of brain haemorrhage and badger murder... Palk’s wit and linguistic deftness enliven every page, playing with paradox, jibing at social convention, devilling moments of authentic heartbreak with mustardy humour.’
-Richard Smyth, Review 31

‘A darkly comic novel that is as beautiful as it is profound’
-Great Central

‘Slick and polished... Palk’s elegant writing style is repeatedly punctured by a superb sense of comic timing and incisive observational humour.’
-Jonny Sweet, The Wee Review

‘I loved this book. Funny, touching, and brilliantly written. Animal Lovers manages to combine humour, pathos, animal rights and the perfectly captured head-mess that is heartbreak in one engaging, hard to put down book. I raced through it in an afternoon, revelling in how Palk manages to make even the most ridiculous situations so plausible, grounded and human. Or in some cases, badger.’
-Tiernan Douieb

‘Animal Lovers is a brilliantly funny story about love, illness and badgers. The characters are recognisable but well-rounded and I found myself captivated by this promising young novelist’s skilful manipulation of the story.’
-James Bloodworth

‘Entertaining, interesting, and full of humanity.’
-Lizzie Ward, Cats and Chocolate blog