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Sun Dog

3.48 of 5 stars 3.48  ·  rating details  ·  149 ratings  ·  25 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...more
Published (first published 2002)
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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...more
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...more
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...more
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
Jul 30, 2010 Amanda rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  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...more
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
K.B. Walker
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 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.
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.
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.
I gave up on this. I usually like very descriptive writing but this just went on, and on, without actually moving the story forward. I'm still not sure what I actually gleaned from the 60, or so, pages I did read. It had such promise too.
Natasha Sharon
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
This book was spellbounding and enchanting. Roffey created such powerful and amazing metaphors. I recomend this book to everyone.
I felt like this book kept leading somewhere, but never got there. It just stopped. I would have like a little more closure!
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?
Fascinating story with a lovely main character and vivid descriptions.
Sep 14, 2010 Jmiguel rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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.
Interesting and well written, but not my cup of tea!
It was a "nice and warm" book. I enjoyed it!
Reviewed for PW.
Speno is currently reading it
Oct 23, 2014
Orion Zangara
Orion Zangara marked it as to-read
Oct 14, 2014
Shireen Prasad
Shireen Prasad marked it as to-read
Oct 14, 2014
Ray added it
Oct 09, 2014
Devon marked it as to-read
Oct 09, 2014
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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.
More about Monique Roffey...
The White Woman on the Green Bicycle Archipelago With the Kisses of His Mouth House of Ashes The Global Village: Tell Tales Volume 4

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