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Outside the Dog Museum (Answered Prayers #4)

3.98  ·  Rating Details ·  1,433 Ratings  ·  100 Reviews
Harry Radcliffe is a brilliant prize-winning architect---witty and remarkable. He's also a self-serving opportunist, ready to take advantage of whatever situations, and women, come his way. But now, newly divorced and having had an inexplicable nervous breakdown, Harry is being wooed by the extremely wealthy Sultan of Saru to design a billion-dollar dog museum. In Saru, he ...more
ebook, 272 pages
Published June 1st 2005 by Orb Books (first published 1991)
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(showing 1-30)
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Jun 29, 2012 karen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: table, distant-lands

while i wait, seemingly endlessly, for subterranean press to send me my damn copy of The Woman Who Married a Cloud: Collected Stories, i will sit here and reflect on older jonathan carroll books and try to get him a few more fans. periodically, i will plop one of these reviews out for my unsung heroes: jonathan carroll and donald harington, in hopes that someone will take the bait.

frequently it works.

this particular book is a good starting point for someone looking to enter the world of jonatha
Apr 29, 2014 Madeline rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this on the recommendation of a friend, who told me that this was one of her favorite books but didn't tell me what it was about. In retrospect, I'm glad she didn't try to summarize this story, and that I went into it with only the short synopsis on the back cover to go on.

Even after finishing the book, I'm not sure if I can describe the plot, or if I should even try. On the surface, the story is about an architect being hired by the sultan of a Middle Eastern country to build a museum d
There are times when I'd like to punch that hamster in my head, that one that wakes me up in the middle of the night to start spinning its stupid little wheel or causes every action to be immediately followed by a paralyzing few hours of second-guessing, did I say the right thing or wouldn't it have been better if I had done that instead ohgodletmegobackintimeandredoit! It reminds me a little of that Calvin&Hobbes strip where the dad points out angular velocity to Calvin and the last panel s ...more
Mar 04, 2012 Maureen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
how to begin? how to begin again?

the novel begins by introducing us to a world-class architect, named harry radcliffe, who has a nervous breakdown, acquires the services of a shaman, and then tries to put his life back together. he is asked to design a dog museum in a fictional middle eastern country called saru, by the current leader, the sultan. what follows after this is established leaps into a beguiling and peculiar story, where magic and god seem to thread themselves through harry's quest
Jul 09, 2009 tim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Even though I haven't quite finished reading this yet, the ending won't change the way I already feel. I will love this book no matter what the final unfolding reveals. Jonathan Carroll's writing has invoked in me a similar feeling as to when I first encountered Haruki Murakami and Tom Robbins in my younger years. A feeling that I must consume everything he has ever written as soon as my slow eyes can carry me across that finish line. But I'm older now and realize I must resist this urge. Resist ...more
May 28, 2013 Christy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2013
Just not enough at stake here, and I think I may just need to stop reading books whose narrators/protagonists are callow contemporary American white guys for a while. Literarily, they form a remarkably narrow type that has been so completely over-explored to so little resulting revelation that I simply don't CARE about what happens to them anymore, whether or not there's magic involved, or biblical fairy tales, or whatever. There, I've said it. I thought of trying another of Carroll's books, but ...more
mark monday
it's so goofy and cute and unpredictable but sometimes I have a real hard time enjoying goofy and cute and unpredictable.
Jan 18, 2016 EpidermaS rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: posiadam-ebook
„Czasami droga jest jedynym ciałem stałym pod stopami człowieka, a zatrzymał się on, ponieważ musi spojrzeć na nią, właśnie teraz, by się upewnić, że tam jest. Bo nie ma niczego innego.”
Jonathan Carroll, „Muzeum Psów”

"If you're going through hell, keep going."
Winston Churchill

„Muzeum Psów” to pierwsze moje spotkanie z Carrollem. Wcześniej „znaliśmy się tylko z widzenia”. Znajomości nie pogłębiła nawet zakupiona przeze mnie „Szklana zupa”, która do tej pory łypie na mnie złowrogo z półki, czując
Apr 07, 2015 Hilary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Hilary by: karen
I've come to the conclusion that it's impossible for Jonathan Carroll to write something that I won't enjoy.

I came upon The Ghost in Love like a starving person, devouring every word and finding myself ultimately unsatisfied by the end of the book. The dissatisfaction did not come from disappointment in the story, the characters, or the writing - it was instead a devastating realization that the book was done. From that moment on I've been looking for these books madly, reading them all as the
Christopher Buchanan
I do like Jonathan Carroll's voice. He creates some very real and visceral scenery and some of his witticisms are of a Vonnegut caliber. In short bursts, he uses words to great effect. But the larger story, well that's something else. For those of you that are Carroll fans and asked me to read more of his work, I invite you to stop reading this now, because I am done saying nice things about this book.

The first quarter of this book started off well enough. It centers on Harry Radcliffe. Harry is
Sep 27, 2009 Scott rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Outside the Dog Museum" was the first Jonathan Carroll novel I read. And I say "was", because I plan on reading more, even though this is the only one I have read.

Here is a synopsis from Publishers Weekly via Amazon.Com:

Here his narrator is a curmudgeonly genius, the aphorizing architect Harry Radcliffe, who, with the aid of a maverick therapist, has recently recovered from a mental collapse and is ready to reexamine his constructs of reality. He's also rebounding from an amicable divorce and
Nov 29, 2014 Rebecca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The only reasons I picked up this book were that it was on the $1 rack at Half Price Books, I'd recently acquired a dog, and I like museums. I had never heard of the author. Oh, the main character was supposed to be an architect, and I like architecture, too. So I decided to give it a shot, and since it is a quirky book that was off my radar, I am reviewing it as well.

Do not read this book if you have no tolerance for mysticism (e.g. if you are my brother-in-law). There are magical realist elem
Theo Logos
Jonathan Carroll writes novels as most of us live our lives; the journey is a muted wonder, while the destination/end is mostly boring, banal, and unfulfilling. Few of us have a chance at a heroic, or even a particularly interesting death, and more of us than not arrive at it with more regrets than not. Yet, if we are honest and observant, our lives are full of fascinating pleasures and sadness, small wonders, brief epiphanies, and, if we pay close attention, even moments of true magic. Our end ...more
Jan 27, 2011 Andrew rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I usually love Jonathan Carroll but this is a mess which goes nowhere slow. Unlike many of his books which set up believeable characterisation and then insert an element of 'magic' and proceed to completely f*ck up those characters, this feels like the disparate threads of several books have been sewn together badly without any dramatic tension or interest. An architect coming through a mental breakdown is given a commission to build a Dog Museum - but really it's a test of his strength and abil ...more
Mar 19, 2009 Kristin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: my friends who are architects, who study religion, who like dogs, who are human
Shelves: favorites
This the second in just as many of Carroll's books that I have read that have made me weep at the end of them. Just flat out weep. Not just because they are ending and because they are utterly poignant but because they express with such power what it means to be worth something and to have a purpose in life. To be a screw-up and to still be important in the story of things. To close your eyes to the possibilities of life until life has to smack you in the face with them. To get everything wrong ...more
Jun 03, 2009 Stuart rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quirky, thoughtful, and funny. Great narrative voice, and a dead-on eyeball for L.A. - even though this is a global story, it's L.A. to the core. Memorable characters, lyrical prose, and an unpredictable story arc. Now I want to read everything else by this guy!
May 12, 2009 Martina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First book from this author that I read. Led to a life-long love affair, all his books are amazing!
Feb 05, 2008 Nicole rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So I finished reading a great novel by a writer new to me: Jonathan Carroll. Reading Outside the Dog Museum rejuvenated me. Flawed characters with questionable morales questioning life, magic of the ordinary and extraordinary kind, varied geography that has re-ignited that never-quite-out itch to travel in me.

“Architecture is either creating space, or whittling it down: The glass is half-empty or half-full. In my heyday I liked to think we were creating new space, consequently better and more fu
Outside the Dog Museum, inedito in Italia, è il quarto episodio del Sestetto delle preghiere esaudite. Per essere il pannello centrale della serie, si rivela piuttosto piatto, lento, insipido e inconcludente. Ciò appare tanto più vero se lo si pone a confronto con Sleeping in Flame, secondo libro della serie, di cui è il gemello, per così dire, nonché seguito diretto: gli stessi personaggi, a cominciare dal ruolo dello sciamano Venasque, lo stesso intreccio di amore e morte, di relazione sentime ...more
Pam Baddeley
This rated only 2.5 stars really, rounded up to 3 in view of the unlikeable protagonist whose eventual realisation of how horridly he has treated his two girlfriends is rather too little and too late. This is the story of Harry Radcliffe who was mentioned in 'Sleeping in Flame', an arrogant and conceited architect who has a mental breakdown then recovers and is engaged to build a museum to honour dogs by the progressive sultan of a fictional Middle Eastern country.

The story is a mishmash of vari
Jun 30, 2012 Carol rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am so very glad to have discovered Carroll, because I enjoyed this novel immensely. The book is told from the point of view of the protagonist, Harry Radcliffe, a famed architect who is just recovered from a bout of lunacy and embarks on a commission to design a dog museum for the sultan of a fictional middle eastern nation. The story takes a lot of twists and turns and contains enough magical and metaphysical events to put the book into the category of fantasy or at least magical realism. Har ...more
Jan 13, 2012 Sean rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
For about the first 50 pages I loved this book. Then it took a slow dive off a cliff. The writing is sharp and at least sometimes witty, but pretty soon what feels like a fun, breezy intro becomes the whole book. It's like the whole thing is an epilogue where later events in the characters' lives are quickly sped through. The book is filled with magical events presented in a commonplace way meant to feel realistic, but they're so casually strewn about that it has the opposite effect; the magic p ...more
Stacey (wanderlustforwords67)
4.5 stars
The only reason I didn't give it 5 was because I didn't feel a sense of urgency to find out what happened next. Otherwise Jonathan Carroll is a literary genius. He weaves humor in with serious seamlessly. His story is wrought with higher messages. Many of the references he makes are beyond my intellectual base. I was surprised that this story had a strong message of higher purpose and God. It starts out showing the protagonist as a selfish, narcissistic SOB and evolves into fantasy, dee
Janet Keeten
Dec 04, 2011 Janet Keeten rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book about 20 years ago and have fond memories of it. Having found myself in a funk, I decided to reread it now. As with all books, your experiences and stage of life color your reading experience. I did not find the book to be for me what it had been 20 years earlier. I did not like the self-centered, frustrating protagonist who did not have or understand the responsibilities I now have all these years later. However, about 3/4 through the book I found what I was looking for and had ...more
Jul 28, 2010 Whitney rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my wife and my "we're getting married" book - Jonathan Carroll was our courtin' author, and we ran around San Francisco on our honeymoon going to bookshops and picking up his entire ouvre, including a signed 1st of this book. Carroll's whole dark-but-sweet mystical worldview (Tom Robbins with more subtle humor and a little bit more weight)(or is that an anglophilic Murakami?)(a less intellectually rigid late period PK Dick?) and loosely interconnected universe made his 90s output very c ...more
Apr 18, 2011 Я. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm still not sure what to think of Mr. Carroll. At once he reads like a smarter, but less comedic, Christoper Moore. Like Tom Robbins, he enjoys peppering decent philosophic musings in throughout his novels. There is plenty of cunning language use as well; the man knows how to wield a good sentence like a blunt instrument.
I feel less enthusiastic about Carroll's plots. It might be my own habit of mentally-labeling most magic realism as twee. Thankfully, Carroll chooses to slowly layer on mag
Feb 03, 2013 Bibliophile rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just realized this is the fourth book in a sextet. I've no idea if that matters, since this is Carroll and anything can happen. Which is sort of my problem with him. If anything can happen, then nothing is really at stake. I don't trust him. He has lured me in too many times with his fascinating world-building and charming characters, then let me down with weak endings and whimsical plot devices. And yet I keep reading his books. They are always interesting and imaginative, and often captivati ...more
Nicholas Kaufmann
Jun 12, 2014 Nicholas Kaufmann rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An amazing novel that mixes literary-realist structure with elements of the fantastic to wonderful results. The story meanders some before reaching its third act, but half the fun is in Harry Radcliffe's reaction to the strange and astonishing characters he meets along the way. Because the story is so episodic in nature it can feel random and drifting at times, but Carroll keeps it on a tight enough leash to give us an ultimately satisfying narrative. I normally enjoy stories with a stronger plo ...more
Jun 24, 2009 Colleen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Love, Death and Architecture. And magic. What makes life worth living? When is a dog more than a dog? When is a project more than a paid job? This is more a philosophy book than a novel and it explores the other forces in the universe besides Western technology. Madness and meaning explored in a deep and very lively way. The architect has 2 girlfriends and is trying to keep them secret from each other. He's a dick and discovers what exactly that does to his life. Then the world intrudes and he h ...more
Mar 18, 2013 Docorangutan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The underlying idea of the story is worthy of five stars alone. That it is executed with such wit makes me glad to have read it.

"You were crazy then, Harry. I held up an orange once and you said it was a book. I almost kissed you. What you knew about the world and how you saw it was unique and specific. Never in a million years would I have seen a book in that orange, but you did. I kept an orange on my dresser for a while to see if I'd ever be lucky enough to see the book in it."
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Jonathan Carroll (b. 1949) is an award-winning American author of modern fantasy and slipstream novels. His debut book, The Land of Laughs (1980), tells the story of a children’s author whose imagination has left the printed page and begun to influence reality. The book introduced several hallmarks of Carroll’s writing, including talking animals and worlds that straddle the thin line between reali ...more
More about Jonathan Carroll...

Other Books in the Series

Answered Prayers (6 books)
  • Bones of the Moon (Answered Prayers, #1)
  • Sleeping in Flame (Answered Prayers, #2)
  • A Child Across the Sky (Answered Prayers, #3)
  • After Silence (Answered Prayers, #5)
  • From the Teeth of Angels (Answered Prayers, #6)

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