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Wild Dogs

3.74  ·  Rating Details ·  428 Ratings  ·  64 Reviews
Out beyond the edge of town, in the woods behind Cooper's farm, a pack of lost dogs runs wild. At dusk every evening six people gather to call their former companions home. Their patient waiting becomes a ritual, a memorial and then a healing, as they share their common losses and individual tragedies. Helen Humphreys weaves an enchanting tapestry of characters, layering l ...more
Paperback, 231 pages
Published December 31st 2005 by Maia Press (first published 2004)
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Aug 07, 2012 orsodimondo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canada
Helen Humphreys inizia questo breve romanzo con una delle sue tante metafore (non stupisce affatto che si sia dedicata a lungo alla poesia, prima di affrontare la scrittura narrativa: questo è il quarto romanzo, e per quanto ne so, il primo non ambientato nel passato): la motocicletta. E, per quanto io abbia la sensazione di essere vicino alla verità delle due ruote molto più della canadese, mi muovo sulla stessa traccia, e ho vissuto la partenza di ‘Cani selvaggi’ es
May 18, 2013 Roberto rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
La storia inizia con la scomparsa di alcuni cani, che improvvisamente fuggono dai loro padroni e scorrazzano in gruppo per boschi e campagne facendo perdere le loro tracce.
Gli ex-padroni, in crisi perché traditi dagli esseri da cui credevano di essere amati incondizionatamente, li cercano, non si rassegnano alla perdita. Cercando i cani s’incontrano e si conoscono. Sono adulti e bambini, uomini e donne che sembrano capaci solo di attendere. Sei personaggi ai margini, ognuno arrivato al proprio c
Ubik 2.0
Nov 10, 2015 Ubik 2.0 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Take a Walk on the Wild Side

E’ intorno al concetto di “selvaggio” in tutte le sue accezioni che ruota questo sorprendente romanzo, con pagine di grande bellezza ed una struttura ondivaga e ammaliante a partire dall’incipit con i sei personaggi in cerca di amore, in cerca del proprio animaletto che rappresenta in qualche modo la parte selvaggia che, più o meno nascosta, cova in ognuno di loro e, come ci viene suggerito neppure tanto velatamente, in ognuno di noi.

Personaggi, diversi per età, sesso
Aug 06, 2012 T4ncr3d1 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: preferiti, canadesi
"Il cuore è una creatura selvaggia e in fuga. Il cuore è un cane che ritorna a casa."

C'è qualcosa di puro e incontaminato in queste pagine: l'ardore santo della libertà, che non può non essere selvaggia. Proprio come questi sei cani selvaggi, abbandonati e allontanati per un motivo o per un altro, rintanati in una foresta ai margini del mondo civilizzato, che decidono, ogni sera, di ignorare i richiami dei loro padroni. Padroni che sono altrettanto smarriti, abbandonati e allontanati: anche loro
Sep 21, 2014 Joyce rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Helen Humphreys is one of my favourite novelists. I would say she's got a wild imagination and so one wonders how she comes up with the ideas in her book. In this one I can guess that she may have come across a few people calling their dogs out of the woods and from there she flushes out the characters involved. there's always something a bit twisted going on in her stories, not obvious, but it's there under a layer of something ominous you are curious about but at the same time don't really wan ...more
Feb 21, 2015 Julie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I adored this book. Humphreys is an extraordinary writer with amazing prose and an attention to her characters that is inspiring. Wild Dogs is deep, profound, and haunting. I think this book is the kind of book that helps us understand more about what it means to be human and what love means. That said, this book is not for people who are feint of heart. My wife will not read or watch anything that portrayals animal cruelty or involves dogs dying in any way. She would not read this book. Thus, b ...more
Kae Cheatham
A lyrical account of people waiting for their run-off dogs to come home. The lives of the owners are revealed. I didn't like the style of this: First person present, with epistolary comments thrown in "You don't think…" when the "you" is another character in the book. Then third person for other characters (Each chapter is headed by a character name). But the tone/style of the third person sections wasn't much different from the first person segments. Some excellent imagery and use of language, ...more
Emily Crow
This is a short book, but the writing is really dense and poetic, so it is not a quick read. The story centers on a group of lonely people whose dogs have gone feral, and they call to them from a field by the woods, and becomes an extended meditation about love, connections, and the natural world.
Aug 10, 2016 Elalma rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nordamericana
Bella l'idea dei cani che persi o abbandonati ritornano selvaggi, un po' come i loro padroni, ancora più soli senza di loro. Però l'ho trovato un poco ripetitivo e melenso.
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Nov 18, 2013 Maryan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Helen Humphreys captures longing and loneliness more than any writer I have read. The beauty of her prose, at times, took my breath away. The characters meet as they go out nightly to call their dogs who have joined a pack of wild dogs and are no longer interested in being owned. The story of lives linked by love of their dogs has a sadness and a sweetness. Each character's story evolves through and apart from the others. The atmosphere both emotional and physical is honest, sometimes painful an ...more
Aug 26, 2014 Fran rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this raw and tender book. The characters are deeply shown to the reader, their sad lives drawn together by their dogs who have run off into wildness. A lot of pain and touching, quiet heroism as they confront their hurt. I was reminded of Mary Oliver's poetry as I read this--the poet's intense love of nature, her acute observations of it and her ability to delve and uncover refined lessons about the human condition.
I found that this book did not resonate deeply with me as it did with other readers. The writing style didn't demand deep heart wrenching emotions despite the difficult pasts that most characters have faced. I thought it was interesting to analyze in the context of the Pastoral genre, but other than that.. Meh. I could live without having read this book. Again, interesting and stimulating to analyze, but not that exciting of a reading experience.
Dec 18, 2015 Giorgiop rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
fa parecchio male, ma solo alcuni scrittori sanno toccare dentro in questo modo. bellissimo
Orla Hegarty
Another terrific read from this author.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kathleen Schmitt
by Helen Humphries

Wild Dogs is not a happy read. The story begins with a small collection of lost souls who have not only lost themselves but have lost their dogs. They gather in a field outside the big woods where their dogs, for various reasons, have formed a wild pack who survive by killing squirrels and rabbits – and unluckily for them, the odd sheep or cow from one of the nearby farms.

Alice, an adult who was abused as a child, acts as the main protagonist. Jamie, a local teen also
Sarah B.
Jun 28, 2011 Sarah B. rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who are sad about losing a dog
Shelves: given-away
This is a short novel, made even more short by the structure in which the is story retold through each character's point of view. The first half of the book is the story told through Alice, who we come to see as the main character. Then, for the second half of the book, bits of the story are retold through the rest of the characters, and then in Part 3 we come back to Alice. Some details are added, but really the plot is over at page 86.

I didn't like this structure at all. I think the other char
La Stamberga dei Lettori
C'è qualcosa di puro e incontaminato in queste pagine: l'ardore santo della libertà, che non può non essere selvaggia. Proprio come questi sei cani selvaggi, abbandonati e allontanati per un motivo o per un altro, rintanati in una foresta ai margini del mondo civilizzato, che decidono, ogni sera, di ignorare i richiami dei loro padroni. Padroni che sono altrettanto smarriti, abbandonati e allontanati: anche loro si spingono con piena consapevolezza ai margini della città e della civiltà.
Cani sel
Linda Lipko
Sep 01, 2009 Linda Lipko rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A haunting tale of six people bonding together each night at the edge of the forest, calling/crying out to their dogs to return after they fled and became wild. Frustratingly, there are short spurts of time when the dogs can be seen but refuse to obey.

The sense of loss each person feels signifies other rents in the torn fabric of the fragile psyche of all the characters.

Once I began reading, it was difficult to put down.

It is a tale of love, of loss, of the illusion of owning something or some o
Apr 24, 2013 Theut rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Perché i cani non li hanno abbandonati prima?!?

Alice ovvero "La piccola fiammiferaia".
Ma ci fa o ci è? A essere così lagna il minimo è che la lascino tutti... da YOU al tordo a tutti coloro che la incrociano sulla sua strada. "Just when I became convinced that the bird had somehow formed an attachment to me ... it flew off.
E prima "I love you. It rises up in me sure as breath, but what I cannot escape is the fact that you didn't want what I could give you. You left." ... e meno male!!

Romanzo lag
An inspired book questioning the foundations of the nature of wildness and need for freedom verses domesticity and love.

A dog pack is formed from a group of abandoned pets. The owners gather each evening at the edge of the wood to try to entice their pets back home. Each dog has its distinct personality which plays out in the owners personalities as well. Alice moves into a wooden shack in the country. She falls in love with another dog owner. She fears the strange neighbor on the farm, who spie
Feb 18, 2010 Anne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second of Helen Humphrey's novels that I have read and enjoyed. She writes short novels, usually less than 250 pages yet there is something about her writing that makes her stories seem so much more involved and deep.

The six strangers who come together each evening at the edge of the forest to call for their missing dogs each narrate their own story - each one of them are lonely and despairing, yet are all brought together by their missing dogs.

Failed relationships, abusive families,
Oct 13, 2015 Kristine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was prepared to cry at the end of this because any scenario in which a dog is separated from his human makes me emotional. Luckily, the ending was unexpected and I should have trusted Humphreys a little more. The writing was perfect, as always, and I actually really liked the structure. It was interesting to have insights into the minds of minor characters. And the added perspectives added to the depth the author was working to convey. There are layers here. It is so much more than a story abo ...more
I really enjoyed this book - it gave you a lot to think about (there was a lot of symbolism) and I enjoyed the format of different characters telling from their perspective the same story. The author's poetic background showed with the way she can turn a phrase - I thought the writing was beautiful. And of course I liked the tie-in with the dogs - the characters love and longing for them as well as their attempts to explain the dog's behavior. I especially liked Lily's narration of the pack beh ...more
Feb 27, 2008 Kirsten rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A haunting, sad, yet emotionally satisfying novel. The basic idea is that there are a group of people who gather on the edge of the woods outside a small Midwestern town, calling out to their dogs who have joined a wild dog pack. Most of them lost their dogs through another's ill will or by accident. Alice, the main character, lost Hawk when her (now ex) boyfriend turned her loose because she was "too expensive to feed," and most of the small group have similar stories. Now they gather and call ...more
Jun 16, 2016 Elisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Canada. Sei persone, per ragioni diverse, perdono i loro cani, che si rifugiano in un bosco lì vicino e formano un branco selvaggio. I sei personaggi si riuniscono tutte le sere ai margini del bosco e aspettano il ritorno degli animali; qualcosa di atroce sta per accadere e sconvolgere la loro vita e quella dei loro cani. Pagine dense di umana introspezione, l'autrice conosce i sentieri reconditi dei pensieri, le tensioni che sottendono alle relazioni umane e ce li mostra alla luce del nostro na ...more
Judy Wiens
Sep 14, 2007 Judy Wiens rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: read-fiction
This fiction is written so poetically and about a topic that one wouldn't normal even give much consideration to -- Wild dogs.

A group of individuals meet each night outside their village looking for their dogs -- dogs that have been disposed of by someone in their life for various reasons.

The analogies of life and love as shown through the relations the characters have for and from their discarded pets touches each and everyone of of us to the heart.

The wriing is beautiful and thought provokin
Ann Klefstad
Apr 12, 2012 Ann Klefstad rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Damn fine book, full of surprises, and always at a bit of a slant. Humphreys manages to write about a diverse collection of people (and dogs), all intertwined, as individuals. Each of these people is alone in a way that anyone secretly recognizes. After all, we all live alone. Here, in this slightly surreal book, this is made manifest in a way I've never quite seen before. Certain revelations seem to tear the narrative open-- and then you realize, no, this changes nothing. This is a book not qui ...more
Francesca Maccani
Aug 04, 2016 Francesca Maccani rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Letto su consiglio di Elisabetta Bucciarelli.
Devo dire che è un gran bel libro.
La prima parte l'ho preferita nettamente alla seconda ma in questo romanzo ci sono dei passaggi che sono poesia pura.
Una bella scrittura, pulita ma profonda, arricchita da lampi di rara bellezza.
Originale senza dubbio la trama e bellissimo il personaggio di Alice. ( lei sì che sa parlare di passione, anche senza parlarne).
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Helen Humphreys is the author of four books of poetry, five novels, and one work of creative non-fiction. She was born in Kingston-on-Thames, England, and now lives in Kingston, Ontario with her dog, Hazel.

Her first novel, Leaving Earth (1997), won the 1998 City of Toronto Book Award and was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Her second novel, Afterimage (2000), won the 2000 Rogers Writers
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“Memory is a barricade against forgetting; light is a bulwark against darkness; life is a flex against the stillness of the grave. Maybe that's what I'm trying to do here, clear a space in all the debris, through all the anxieties and worries, where I can just exist, easily and simply, entire, for as long as I have left.” 8 likes
“There are words in my life that I wish I'd never said. I wish I'd never told my wife that I loved her, because then I had to line up all my actions with those words. I had to always act like that was true. And those three words, I love you, should never be used if you don't mean them. My lying has meant I will never get to use them on anyone else. I went against my own truth, my own heart, and there is really no coming back from that.” 6 likes
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