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Matthew Bennardo (@mbennardo) asked on Twitter:

Besides White Fang and Call of the Wild, does anybody know any good books told from animals' perspectives? (Either first or third person.)
Which is a very good question, I think, and worthy of a list of books. I used to love reading stories from the perspective of animals when I was in grade school particularly. Those books do seem much more scarce as an adult.

I put his question to my lovely friends on plurk and they helped me come up with a book list so excellent I feel compelled to share it. Note, these are books with animal protagonists that are not anthropomorphised. They don't wear clothes or wield swords; as good as the books are, Redwall is right out, and the Guardians of Ga'Hoole.

If you have any suggestions, I'll add them to my list!

Young Adult/Middle Grade
Bunnicula (and the rest of its series) - Deborah and James Howe
Black Beauty - Anna Sewell
Roxanne, the Blue Dane - Alice Kingham-LaChevre
The Fox and the Hound - Daniel P. Mannix
The Incredible Journey - Sheila Burnford
The Jungle Book and The Second Jungle Book - by Rudyard Kipling
Fire Bringer - David Clement-Davies
Ratha's Creature (and its series) - Clare Bell
Silverwing (and its series) - Kenneth Oppel
Charlotte's Web - EB White [Maybe a bit of a stretch, but it's such a lovely book]
Pigs Might Fly - Dick King-Smith

The Plague Dogs - Richard Adams
Watership Down - Richard Adams
Wish You Were Here (mystery series starting here) - Rita Mae Brown and Sneaky Pie Brown
I Am a Cat [吾輩は猫である] - Soseki Natsume
Dog On It (and the rest of the Chet and Bernie mysteries) - Spencer Quinn
Raptor Red - Robert T. Bakker [This one is really cool because it's about a dinosaur!]
Tailchaser's Song - Tad Williams
The Heavenly Horse From the Outermost West - Mary Stanton [Okay, this one might be a stretch.]

I also wonder if maybe books from the His Majesty's Dragon series by Naomi Novik could be counted in here, since some of the books are partially from the perspective of Temeraire, the dragon in question. But that might be stretching it a bit far.

ETA: Updated list is here, since trying to keep this up to date in three locations at once is too much of a nightmare: http://geo-geek.blogspot.com/2012/09/books-with-animal-protagonists.html


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 7th, 2012 07:28 pm (UTC)
A couple more:

The Animals of Farthing Wood - Colin Dann
The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents - Terry Pratchett
Sep. 7th, 2012 08:35 pm (UTC)
Don't know if this qualifies, but I always loved Dogsbody by Diana Wynne Jones. Sirius, the Dog Star, is falsely accused of murdering one of his fellow stars and losing a powerful weapon on Earth. He is sentenced to live one lifetime in the form of a dog, and is born into a litter of black lab puppies. If he manages to find the weapon during his dog life, he can be a star again; if not, he will die at the end of his dog life.
Sep. 7th, 2012 08:37 pm (UTC)
Hmm, interesting. I'll go ahead and add that to the list! (the one at http://geo-geek.blogspot.com/2012/09/books-with-animal-protagonists.html because trying to keep it updated in three places is just a nightmare.)
Sep. 7th, 2012 11:55 pm (UTC)
Almost everything by Dick King Smith
The Sheep-Pig immediately comes to mind, as does Martin's Mice

but you missed off 101 dalmations but Dodie Smith, and the Starlight Barking

I know I read one which was about the life of an otter from the otters POV but I can't remember the title or the author, but it was an adult book. I remember mostly becuase I read it in primary school and the teacher took it off me because it was too adult (it had something approximating a sex scene in it)

(I also second Dogsbody by Diana Wynne Jones, but mostly because I worship Mrs Wynne Jones!)
Sep. 8th, 2012 12:01 am (UTC)
Oh yeah, I can't believe I forgot Dodie Smith! Okay, that's on the main list now.
Sep. 9th, 2012 06:30 pm (UTC)
Ooh, nice question! Here's a few more I can think of:

I, Houdini: The diary of a self educated hamster (by Lynne Reid Banks) I adored this book as a kid, haven't read it in years though. Fits your 'no talking to anyone' criteria! Childrens.

Solo's Journey (by Joy Smith Aiken) Long time since I read this, but I think it's pretty much Watership Down with cats. Not especially recommended. Young Adult/Adult

Duncton Wood (and various sequels) (by William Horwood). Not sure if this fits the criteria, from what I remember it's about a culture of moles who have things like religion and holy texts. But it's still strictly 'real world' (i.e. the moles would appear the same to humans, and there might actually be human influence, not Redwall-esque). William Horwood also wrote a book about eagles, but I can't remember if it's from their point of view or not. Very much adult, lots of mole sex (including incest, iirc) and violence

If you're allowing Temeraire, then The Book of Night With Moon (and sequel To See the Queen) by Diane Duane should definitely be in there. Companion books to the 'Young Wizards' series, but with cat-wizard protagonists. Adult I think, though the Young Wizsrds series is YA

You've got one Dick King-Smith book, quite a lot of his are animal protagonists though. Daggie Dogfoot was always my favourite.

Huh, just realised you don't have War Horse on your list. For some reason I imagined that was the one to spark the question. I haven't read it, but it's allegedy very good (narrated by the horse).

Sep. 9th, 2012 06:55 pm (UTC)
Added all that in at the main post! :)
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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