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Sun Dog

3.56  ·  Rating Details  ·  186 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews

August Chalmin feels the weather like no one else.
A large awkward recluse, with bright orange hair and sun-shy eyes, August hides himself away behind the counter of a Shepherd's Bush deli. One winter's day two things change his life forever: his mother's ex-lover Cosmo shambles back into his life, and he discovers a rash on his arm which looks like frost. A rash which is f
Published (first published 2002)
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(showing 1-30 of 377)
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Her Royal Orangeness
Quaint and quirky….those are two good adjectives for this book. Though not as accomplished as Roffey’s later work (The White Woman on the Green Bicycle, 2009 and Archipelago, 2012) August Frost is quite good for a debut novel.

August Chalamin, the protagonist of the novel, is a shy awkward man in his 30s who works at a gourmet food delicatessen. Two events occur which cause him to begin reflecting on his childhood growing up in a commune with a promiscuous mother and a mysterious (and absent) fat
Oct 23, 2014 Stargazer rated it really liked it
Plenty to feast on in here, I do like a book where I have to re-read sentences, although a couple of times when I did have to do this, it was in puzzlement ('his father was 2 weeks old when he died?? oh, HE was two weeks old when his father died' kinda thing) but most of the re-reading was to be savoured.
'Often sleep deceived him, soothed him, appearing to rearrange reality overnight. August frequently dreamed he was someone else and would wake up with this possibility faintly traced, as though
Whoa. One of the weirdest books I've read in a long time. I was dragged along by the poetic words, both fascinated and repulsed by them. What got me to read this book was my interest for August's character. I like reading about shy, awkward guys. He was both adorable and pathetic. I couldn't choose which. I liked him, but was a bit put off by him as well.

I did however, like how the story fell together in the end. *spoilers* Finding out that Rose used to be Ross was an interesting shocker. Havin
Jul 10, 2011 Dana rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Way too much going on in this book - too many themes - too many secondary characters that don't get explained, etc. The idea of a man's body that mirrors the seasons, with symptoms that respond to mood, is kinda cool. But not sure what this has to do with his journey to discover the truth about his parentage or why there is also a clear food/culinary theme throughout the book as well. The language itself is very simplistic and almost as if the author is ESL, with use of some adjectives that I"m ...more
Nov 30, 2015 Josie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book purely because I want to read the authors 2nd novel "The White Woman on the Green Bicycle", and this comes before it.
Was a tad too far fetched for me, but by the same token it was engaging with likeable characters.
Jul 30, 2010 Amanda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Amanda by: Manuela M
A very strange story indeed. Very descriptive writing. The characters are refreshingly real, honest, and Monique Roffey does not hesitate to tell you everything about them - about their feelings, common everyday worries, simple joys. She uses the characters strongly, to build the story.
This tale of a shy awkward boy who changes, evolves and finds himself involves major events, yet it also shows you a glimpse of their every day lives (When August dances in the deli or cuts his finger with a chee
Jul 29, 2014 Mariah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
To be succinct, "August Frost" was very good. The novel was heartfelt, whimsical and actually quite sad, though in pleasant, wistful sort of way. This book was filled with imagery and emotion. The colorfully painted imagery and symbolism was strange yet beautiful, conveying the real world in a sadly realistic yet amazingly magical light. I believed in the characters; their personalities and lives were very believable. Each was distinct and their individual stories touching, especially the main c ...more
Jan 19, 2015 Christine rated it really liked it
Enjoyed it, liked all the London references, and although I found the surreal aspect unusual I did like it. Good characters. Will look out for more by this author.
Mar 21, 2015 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite authors! This is one of her early works, and very good, but my favorites are "The White Woman on the Green Bicycle" and "Archipelago," which were amazing.
K.B. Walker
Dec 14, 2012 K.B. Walker rated it really liked it
This was a fascinating book, rich in description and ever so slightly fantastical. For my tastes (I accept this is entirely subjective) it was a little too rich. I like my books to be fast and minimalist when it comes to description. This was dreamy and moving with a cast of tremendous characters. You could feel yourself in the cafe/deli and experience the seasons. There was a deep sadness to the story in the pain selfish behaviour can cause others but also a hopefulness and an uplifting ending ...more
This book is defintiely going to be "different", but I know this author can do magical things. Maybe I should just be happy with The White Woman on the Green Bicycle, and leave it at that!

Kirkus says it is a bit slow.... It isn't always good to read everything just b/c you loved one book by an author. I really don't know what to do. I can imagine how the author describes icicles hanging from a body, snow flakes dusting the skin.
I initially enjoyed the book, the characters.. the fact that the protagonist changed with the weather was quite unique. However everything went downhill pretty quickly.

The book turned repetitious. Every chapter began with the weather. Then the Cafe.

The writing was oddly too descriptive and yet not enough.

I did not get past the second chapter.
Jan 28, 2014 Jacqueline rated it really liked it
i have read this several times and although i am yet to fully reconcile myself to the plot (to be honest the first time i read it i missed the arc completely) the vivid, fantastical, exquisite imagery is enough to make this a solid 5 stars for me. monique roffey has painted pictures in my mind that will last a lifetime.
Tori Walker
Sep 09, 2014 Tori Walker rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mom (Belinda)
May 05, 2010 Mom (Belinda) is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
very strange so far. The writing is very descriptive and there is a lot of tasty sounding food discussed at length. Amy, I would love for you to read this one and let me know what you think of it. I should be done with my copy soon and I can let you read it.
Apr 22, 2012 Julia rated it it was ok
I just didn't get this book. Although the writing is descriptive using all of the senses and the obvious links to nature I thought is was leading somewhere but never quite got there. I like strange or quirky books but didn't like this one.
Natasha Sharon
Jan 01, 2013 Natasha Sharon rated it did not like it
Ending was a bit shoddy, plot wasn't that developed, but I have to give it props on the writing! The food sounded absolutely delicious!
Book Bazaar
A quirky read set in London - this one is full of the love of food and nature as well as being a kind of coming of age story.
Manuela M
Jun 13, 2010 Manuela M rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
This book was spellbounding and enchanting. Roffey created such powerful and amazing metaphors. I recomend this book to everyone.
Sep 30, 2011 Jodie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I felt like this book kept leading somewhere, but never got there. It just stopped. I would have like a little more closure!
Oct 28, 2008 Dee rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
One of the strangest books I have ever read. I did finish and it made me go hummmmmm what the heck was that all about?
Jun 23, 2011 Anamika rated it really liked it
Fascinating story with a lovely main character and vivid descriptions.
Sep 14, 2010 Jmiguel rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jmiguel by: Ellen
Lovable character. Great supporting cast. An enjoyable read.
Anita Sethi
Apr 20, 2012 Anita Sethi marked it as to-read
Monique Roffey, Trinidad and Tobago/UK: writer, writing instructor
Aug 14, 2012 Denise added it
Didn't enjoy this book at all, don't know how I finished it.
Feb 12, 2012 Adri rated it liked it
Interesting and well written, but not my cup of tea!
Dec 23, 2012 Els rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was a "nice and warm" book. I enjoyed it!
Emily Defelice
Mar 29, 2015 Emily Defelice rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A truly beautifully descriptive book.
Feb 22, 2012 Tim rated it it was ok
Reviewed for PW.
CAT marked it as to-read
May 20, 2016
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Monique Roffey was educated in the UK. Her highly acclaimed debut novel, Sun Dog, was published in 2002. Since then she has worked as a Centre Director for the Arvon Foundation and has held the post of Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Sussex and Chichester universities. In 2010, her second novel, The White Woman on the Green Bicycle was shortlisted for the Orange Prize.
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