Tayshawn Torres is a child born in the slums and cursed by the sins of his parents. His stepfather hates him so much that he literally treats him like an animal, forcing him to sleep in a cage and scavenge for scraps of food. Because of his squalid appearance, he is also an object of ridicule by all of the neighborhood kids, who have given him a nickname "Animal. Tayshawn quickly learns that if he is to survive the jungle, he will have to adapt. Love and companionship constantly elude him, but death and heartache cling to him like a second skin. Gradually, the layers of the frightened child he had once been are stripped away until there is nothing left "nothing but Animal.
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