Even the Dogs
We won this book. We felt we had to read it. The second person plural POV was distracting and the random stream of consciousness made it an easy but not exactly enjoyable read. We didn't appreciate the fractured sentence structure or starting thoughts and sentences and occasionally never finishing those thoughts and sentences. Our assessment of
Karen's excitement for it made us move it to the top of our to-read pile. Pancakes. We had high hopes for
Sentences would start but never
Some of the reviews of even the dogs criticise the unusual style, the frequent shifts in point of view, the sentences which peter out in mid stride and the mixed-up chronology but in my opinion, Jon McGregor has chosen the most fitting way to tell this story. From the title to the last line, it is all perfect.
The title, itself a fragment, refers to a comment by a soldier in Bosnia who, when...more
As you know, with some books you get to the point where you have to hurl them at the wall, but this one I placed a...more
While not a difficult book to read as far as the prose (even if much of it is fragmented thoughts and some of it told in the 2nd-person plural, which works very well especially as you realize the reason), it can be difficult to read...more
It probably wasn’t meant to, but Even the Dogs made me feel sorry for the social workers and police trying to deal with the human misery in this story.
A man has died one of those squalid deaths we hear about from time to time, and in a scene that we’ve all seen in TV crime dramas, the old cop and the young cop have to break down the door of a trash...more
...review to follow (although I'm falling behind on reviews I will catch up one day)
Later I read Michelle's review of this book: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/... and thought oh dear, maybe it will be a disaster. But I disagree - t...more
I spent half of it stunned by McGregor's capable skill, and the other half struck by how genuinely important this book is. Even The Dogs is not an easy book to read. It's not a particularly fun book to read. But this tale of despair and vulnerability and deep desperation is the kind of story that needs to be more widely read. McGregor pulls you into this world of addicts:...more
It is a difficult read sometimes, written in a stream of consciousness, with paragraphs left dangling from the edge of abandoned ending sentences. But, it becomes a part of the dialogue and flow after a moment, and causes the reader to hurtle along in the same ugly rush as the wasted characters.
I thought it was an incisive and succ...more
In the final week of the year, the body of an alc...more
I didn't remember that after reading If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things I'd written.... 'Jon McGregor's next book will very probably be on my "buy instantly in hardback the second it comes out" list.' ....but I did remember enjoying it and I bought this as soon as I saw it in the bookshop. It's not a hardback but some kind of bendy fabric covered not quite a paperback. This edition came out a week before I bought it, I'm not sure if there was a proper hardback released before it. Anyway, I th
During the Christmas holidays, a man is found dead in his flat. It appears he has been there for quite some time. The flat is squalid, filthy, empty of most things you would expect. The man's body is in bad shape. The police are unsure if there has been foul play and begin an investigation. Who is this man? How did he come to by lying here ... dead and apparently neglected ... in this seemingly abandoned apartment?
There are voices who could shed light on this mystery. They seem to...more
"Same with having a dig. When someone else does it, and even the most cac...more
Where do I start?
Firstly, for the relatively rare thing (in British fiction) that is taking on a contemporary, marginal, anything-but-feelgood setting and sub-class, and handling it with great depth and empathy. This is a novel about junkies and alcoholics; damaged and self-damaging. It's not sentimental (most of them are fuckers), but it's very observant and truthful.
Secondly, the style - authentic and for-a-reason. Those non-sequiturs, shifts and sudden stops (lines like 'He did and...more
“They break down the door at the end of December and carry the body away”
The story arc is simple. The death of one man. Once he had a family, a wife and a daughter, but he fell into alcoholism and they left. His home became a haven for drug addicts. And then he died. His body is discovered, there is a post-mortem and then there is an inquest. Some questions are an...more
The story of Richard's sordid life is told through the stories of those who know him: homeless drug addicts who he allows to stay at his place in...more
They way Jom McGregor has written in prose, is somewhat old fashioned, but it works. I found it was necessary to concentrate whilst reading this book and if there was one book I could get my teenage duaghter to read it would be this one. I don't think anyone having read and understood it, would every even think about using drugs.
The ending had to be...more
There were sections of the book that felt somewhat choppy with the story telling, zoning in and out on cert...more
I think this is an adventurous book as it draws one into an experience of drug and alcohol abuse such as one had never lived to see....more
I found the chapters way too long, the sentence structures unnecessarily confusing and the characters totally unlikeable. In short, I did not understand the motivation behind writing this book, or highlighting the lives and problems of these people.
However, it did make for some very interestin...more
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