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Even The Dogs

3.40  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,225 Ratings  ·  218 Reviews
On a still and frozen day between Christmas and New Year, a man's body is found lying in his ruined flat. 'Even the Dogs' is an intimate exploration of life at the edges of society, describing a world littered with love, loss, despair and a glimpse of redemption.
Paperback, 200 pages
Published February 1st 2010 by Bloomsbury UK
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Not the Booker Prize 2010
23rd out of 86 books — 170 voters
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,324)
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Dec 04, 2013 Weinz rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Bear with me

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

Oct 06, 2013 Paul rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is not an easy book. It concerns a man (Robert) found dead in his flat and the circle of friends/ acquaintances who surround him. It has elements of stream of consciousness and can be disjointed. In former times it would have been called gritty and "real". It is about the underbelly of our society; alcoholics, drug addicts and the mentally unwell; the abandoned and hopeless who can be found in every town and city in this land. Some of the characters in the book are ex-military who cope with ...more
Jan 25, 2015 Fionnuala rated it it was amazing
I'm reposting this review because Paul's review has reminded me that the issues raised in this powerful book haven't gone away. (There are some plot details included here but hardly more than are revealed in the blurb on the cover.)

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
May 16, 2012 Teresa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As I started the second chapter of this novel, the style reminded me of McGregor's first novel (as opposed to his second, that is - this one is his third) which was exciting, but I quickly realized it was quite different. So far, this novelist hasn't repeated himself.

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
Paul Bryant
Nov 23, 2012 Paul Bryant rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
I'm so happy I never got a job as chief book reviewer for The Times or The London Review of Printed Material, because I would then feel a moral duty to finish all these novels like Even the Dogs which are brave, beautifully written and speak compellingly to the heart of our current crisis, which are poetic yet visceral, brutal yet tender, an obvious shoo in for the Booker, and so on.

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
Jun 13, 2010 Lisa rated it really liked it
I rated this 4 stars, but 'liked it' somehow seems an inappropriate description for how I felt it. It's not easy reading, but it's very worthwhile...

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
Story Overview

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
Feb 27, 2016 Edazice rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Am primit cartea de la Editura All, in urma completarii unui chestionar. Coperta e superba, iar din rezumatul de pe spatele cartii, chiar aveam impresia ca va fi o carte pe gustul meu. Dar m-am inselat! E printre putinele carti pe care nu am reusit sa le citesc pana la capat. Se citeste extrem de greu, e scrisa intr-un mod absurd, pentru mine, si desi subiectul cartii este interesant si de actualitate, crima, droguri, dependente, anturaj, la pagina 58 m-am lasat pagubasa.
Aug 04, 2012 Philippa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I feel - as I did with If Nobody Speaks - that I need to re-read this once or twice to fully appreciate all the layers of it.

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:
Jul 18, 2012 Aquavit rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book takes its place as the king of the junkie fiction genre alongside other notables like Trainspotting, Drugstore Cowboy, Reqiuiem For A Dream and Naked Lunch.

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
Jan 14, 2011 Alan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels, read-in-2011
read a review this weekend, sounds good, although not sure about using first person plural as the p.o.v. - I was railing against Nancy Lee using 'you' recently... we'll see. We will. We are looking forward to it. We liked 'If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable things'. to follow (although I'm falling behind on reviews I will catch up one day)

Later I read Michelle's review of this book: and thought oh dear, maybe it will be a disaster. But I disagree - t
Jakey Gee
Apr 27, 2013 Jakey Gee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013

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
Feb 05, 2010 Emily rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
"Even the Dogs" chronicles the lives (and after-lives, in some cases) of a group of homeless heroin addicts.

I am torn on how to review this very dark and depressing book. On the one hand, the story, told from the perspective of the addicts, is extremely disjointed and difficult to follow. The descriptions of heroin use, the early symptoms of withdrawal, and the struggle to survive long enough to find the next fix are vivid and disturbing. On the other hand, the manner in which Jon McGregor capt
Sharon Lee
Jan 15, 2015 Sharon Lee rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great book. It's style and tone are quite unique and conveys the raw and tragic lives of the broken people within. I felt like I was walking into a tragic real place.
Interesting premise but what a miserable, wretched book. The dangling sentences didn't bother me, probably because my own thinking is often incomplete or interrupted so it was easy to fall into the writing/thinking pattern he used for his characters. But the story itself, how incredibly sad and just wretched. It involves drug addiction, homelessness, war veterans and war injuries, failed marriage, failed parenthood, failed social services, unhelpful therapy and alcoholism. It is a story of unre ...more
Feb 22, 2016 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookgroup, 2014
Well la. What do I think?

I was ready to continue to lambast it as I had done with my progress update last night. It is a very difficult read. I was grimacing and flinching throughout most of it. And today I sit down and finish it and maybe since finishing it I have donned my rose-tinted spectacles knowing I never have to read this again, (although I did wonder if reading it again would be worthwhile. I know. Shoot me.), but anyway I feel sort of glad to have read it, and a sort of fondness towa
Feb 20, 2012 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: borrowed
This book chilled me to the bone, quite literally: I felt physically cold and nauseous whilst reading. Jane Austen it ain't. Inevitably it draws comparison with 'Trainspotting', and McGregor is well aware of this ("Like, fucking, what was it, take the best orgasm you've ever had and multiply it by a hundred.") but there is no comedy here, black or otherwise. Just an endless desperation to fill the yawning chasm of human loneliness that means that, if we're honest, most of us are probably only a ...more
Kirsty Darbyshire
Dec 08, 2010 Kirsty Darbyshire rated it really liked it
Shelves: paperback

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

Mar 30, 2010 Jane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: borrowed
As I try to write about Even The Dogs I find myself either completely lost for words or drowning in them. Yes, it really is that good.

“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
First, I have to say that the summary on the back cover is kind of deceitful. "A man's body is found lying in his ruined flat. In the fays that follow, those who knew him recreate his neglected life (...) and as they watch, their own stories unfurl layer by layer." The way I read it, it almost sounded like some sort of investigation but in reality, it was very very different. Not my usual type of literature, but I decided to take up the challenge nonetheless.

There is actually a plot revolving a
Aaron (Typographical Era)
With yesterday’s announcement of the fact that author Jon McGregor won the International IMPAC Dublin Literary award came the realization that even though I had read the novel a few weeks ago I had never posted, let alone bothered to write a formal review of the novel. It’s the second of only three titles that made the shortlist that I found the time to read this year, and sadly it was far and away the worst.

An excerpt from the citation issued by the judging panel:

Even the Dogs is a fearless exp
Feb 06, 2010 Benbo rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This novel about a group of drug and alcohol users was anything but addictive. If I hadn't received an Early Reviewer copy of this book, I wouldn't have finished it. The first three chapters are very difficult to push through. A short story format would have much better suited the content and style as the premise is intriguing and the language somewhat innovative. But as a novel, Even the Dogs wears on one's patience and is stretched to thinly. McGregor's language is a constant barrage of drug-a ...more
Jun 04, 2015 Kim rated it it was amazing
This is my second Jon McGregor read (my first being If Nobody Speaks...), and I loved it even more than the first one. It is not necessarily a pleasant reading experience - I found myself on the edge of anxiety and heartbreak throughout the entire book - but it is a rewarding and emotionally challenging read. Imbued with compassion and empathy but never succumbing to sentimentality, this book raises a number of poignant social and personal issues. I came away struggling to understand how a book ...more
Mary W. Walters
Jun 25, 2012 Mary W. Walters rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book will not be for everyone -- it is too dark and hopeless -- but I thought it was brilliant. The writing is like poetry, and we are drawn forward by the mystery of how the narrating voices connect and to whom those voices belong. There is a suspicious death to be investigated, and we want to know the outcome of the investigation (as do the disembodied voices), but in the meantime we are immersed in a dirty dark confusing world of drugs and alcohol, despair, numbness and waiting. Waiting. ...more
Jan 26, 2010 Lenoir rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
Interesting read...

The book opens with the body of a man named Robert being found after he drank himself to death. The book is mostly about his friends left behind who are also drunks and heroin addicts. They are not a glamorous bunch. The narrators of the story are the people who already passed from drug and alcohol addiction as the view the aftermath of Robert's death and morn his wasted life.

The fractured sentence structure took me a few pages to get used to but only because I really wanted
Oh dear. I so wanted to like this book as i absolutely loved this authors previous novels, especially 'If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things'. But I'm afraid I have had to give up midway through the third chapter. I initially struggled with the writing style, but overcome that. I just found it too dark and depressing. My not finishing this is no reflection on the author, I think it purely down to me. I want to settle in bed and look forward to reading a book, and I wasn't with this one. I may tr ...more
Thing Two
Our heart is racing as we put down this book, as if maybe we need to score some

We found this book confusing - like trying to follow the conversation of someone after they've worked their way through the day's drinks - because Robert is dead, and we're watching the autopsy, and now we're in the middle of a field in Bosnia, and now we're three and mom and dad are fighting on the other side of our bedroom wall. Maybe the dog will understand us.

We are not sure we liked this book, but the first pers
Katie Lumsden
Feb 14, 2016 Katie Lumsden rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brilliantly written, haunting stories, fascinating narrative voice - as always Jon McGregor is amazing.
Annette Smith
Beautifully written and very sad, such wasted lives
Dec 19, 2014 Howard rated it really liked it
We spend our life in a world that is largely populated by 'people like us'; we may not readily admit to it, but most of us work and play most of the time with others of a similar socio-economic background. It is within that context that we compare ourselves and measure our happiness, our achievements and our failures. In Even The Dogs, that world is at the very edge of society, and the novel is populated almost exclusively with dysfunctional, asocial characters living what to us are pointless, d ...more
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Jon McGregor is a British author who has written three novels. His first novel, If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things was nominated for the 2002 Booker Prize, and was the winner of both the Betty Trask Prize and the Somerset Maugham Award in 2003. So Many Ways to Begin was published in 2006 and was on the Booker prize long list. His newest novel, Even the Dogs was published in 2010.
More about Jon McGregor...

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