> Skip to content
About the book
  • Published: 18 June 2018
  • ISBN: 9781784700379
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 304
  • RRP: $19.99

Beautiful Animals


Formats & editions


Choose your holiday read as carefully as you choose your friends... a sinister and ravishing literary thriller

The best intentions can be deadly
During a white-hot summer on the idyllic Greek island of Hydra, two girls fall into one another’s lives to devastating effect.

When Samantha, a young, impressionable American, meets Naomi, a Brit with a taste for danger, their relationship quickly takes on a special intensity. Amid the sun, sea and high society of island life, their imaginations are sparked when one day they find a young Arab man, Faoud, washed up on shore, a casualty of the crisis raging across the Aegean. But when their seemingly simple plan to help the stranger goes wrong, all must face the horrific consequences they have set in motion.

  • Pub date: 18 June 2018
  • ISBN: 9781784700379
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 304
  • RRP: $19.99

About the Author

Lawrence Osborne

Born in England, Lawrence Osborne is the author of the critically acclaimed novels The Forgiven, The Ballad of a Small Player, Hunters in the Dark and Beautiful Animals. His non-fiction ranges from memoir through travelogue to essays, including Bangkok Days, Paris Dreambook and The Wet and the Dry. His short story 'Volcano' was selected for Best American Short Stories 2012, and he has written for the New York Times Magazine, Condé Nast Traveler, the New Yorker, Forbes, Harper’s and other publications. He lives in Bangkok.

Also by Lawrence Osborne

See all

Praise for Beautiful Animals

“Both impossible to put down and beautifully written: a great combo”

Lionel Shriver, Observer Books of the Year

“An astute, unsentimental critique of the contemporary world in crisis... Osborne handles surface and depth with immense skill, as only great writers can do. Beautiful Animals is his most accomplished book so far -- a big, clever, crazed beast of a novel”

Deborah Levy, Financial Times

“Often almost literally bristling with menace… his Hydra is rugged with physical immediacy. Silhouetted against it, emotions fluctuate, sexual frissons flicker back and forth, destinies tremble in the balance… It’s the brilliance with which Osborne conjures all this up that leaves you eager to see where his nomadic imagination will take him next”

Peter Kemp, Sunday Times

“Osborne is a startlingly good observer of privilege, noting the rites and rituals of the upper classes with unerring precision and an undercurrent of malice”

New York Times Book Review

“Complex and thrilling, Beautiful Animals confirms Osborne as one of Britain’s very best novelists”

Anthony Gardner, Mail on Sunday

“Beautiful Animals is terrifically well constructed, written with mean authority, brilliantly evocative about place … A masterpiece of disaffection”

David Sexton, Evening Standard

“Spare, subtle… brilliantly achieved”

Frances Wilson, Times Literary Supplement

“Osborne is interested in what his characters do when events are wrested out of their control, his narratives unfurling like a set of carefully lined-up dominoes… It’s exciting for sure, but cuts closer to the bone than Osborne’s previous novels and is all the more distressing and depressing for it”

Lucy Scholes, Independent

“Superlatively gripping… Osborne plunges his characters far from the luminescent surface and into the darkest depths”

Anita Sethi

“Cracking Greek noir”

Guardian

“A thriller that is full of dazzling sunshine”

Robert Douglas-Fairhurst, The Times

“Osborne crafts a rich, nourishing mood in his sun-drenched tale, while offering astute observations of privilege and obscene wealth ... a perfect read to devour in one go on a white-hot, breezeless day”

Meadhbh McGrath, Irish Independent

“A stylish, slow-burn novel… Atmospheric and well observed, with Osborne’s sinuous prose exerting its own fascination”

Tatler

“A taut and provocative psychological thriller with a topical twist… His enthralling Greek tragedy is a deft examination of unchecked greed, twisted loyalties and the corrupted mind”

Malcolm Forbes, Herald Scotland

“Lawrence Osborne is an enigmatic, unpindownable writer”

Alex Preston, Observer

“Beautiful Animals supplies two satisfying, but contradictory, feelings. On the one hand, you are immersed in the languid atmosphere of Hydra... But slipping through the charm with all the page-turning excitement of a beautifully written literary thriller is the nagging dread that something is about to go horribly wrong...”

Emerald Street

“Beautiful Animals supplies two satisfying, but contradictory, feelings. On the one hand, you are immersed in the languid atmosphere of Hydra... But slipping through the charm with all the page-turning excitement of a beautifully written literary thriller is the nagging dread that something is about to go horribly wrong...”

Emerald Street

“Osborne is both a consummate stylist and an acute observer of moral ambivalence and this quietly simmering, intoxicatingly good book lingers uneasily in the air, like a hangover”

Metro

“Tense, fateful”

Patricia Nicol, Sunday Times

“A cold-eyed look at bourgeois ennui and the parasitic nature of privilege… compulsive reading”

Molly McCloskey, Guardian

“An absorbing psychological study of greed, loyalty and cultural conflict”

Malcolm Forbes, National

“The bastard child of Graham Greene and Patricia Highsmith”

Metro

“A masterful and sophisticated psychological thriller that explores moral ambiguity from multiple perspectives”

BBC.com

“Taut psychological thriller that’s as sinister as it is thrilling. A real unputdownable effort that examines morality and privilege”

Love It!

“Smart, seductive… A sophisticated page-turner”

Mackenzie Dawson, Angle News

“Osborne is a literary writer – and a brilliant one – and this sumptuously written superbly observed study of misplaced idealism and moral expediency reads a bit like a thriller penned by F Scott Fitzgerald”

Metro

“Malevolent, gripping… A compelling read, acutely observed and beautifully written. For all the character defects of the principal protagonists, the reader wants to find out what happens to them. It matters. And there can be no higher praise than that”

Richard Hopton, Country & Town House

“This complex, thrilling novel focuses on Naomi Codrington, a young lawyer who befriends Samantha, a malleable American teenager, while summering with her father and stepmother on the Greek island of Hydra. When they find a Syrian refugee washed up on the shore, calamity comes rushes in.”

The Mail on Sunday

“Thrilling, chilling and contains the following subtext: best stay at home”

Strong Words


Related titles