As soon as I saw this book sitting on a shelf in Waterstones I made a bee line straight for it. I am such a huge animal lover and I am a sucker for boAs soon as I saw this book sitting on a shelf in Waterstones I made a bee line straight for it. I am such a huge animal lover and I am a sucker for books with animals on the cover, in the title or narrated by them. Wolf Totem, Animal Farm, Black Beauty and Life of Pi all feature in my list of favourite books of all time.
Dog Boy is narrated by Ramochka, a four year old boy who lives with his mother and his latest “unlce” in a high-rise appartment block in Moscow. After several days of his mum not returning, seeing Unlce moving out all the furniture, and being left to fend for himself in freeing conditions and with no food, he finally ventures outside. Cold and hungry, Ramochka follows a large sandy coloured dog back to her lair. The dog becomes the only source of food,warmth and comfort that Ramochka has available to him and he begins to see the dog as his Mamochka. The puppies that Mamochka is already nursing become his siblings and they accept him into their fold immediately and unquestioningly. The two older siblings, however, take more convincing but eventually Ramochka becomes a permanent and invaluable member of their little family, all living together in the basement of a derilict church in the harshest of conditions. The longer the new family are together, the more Ramochka begins to forget his old life, and before long he is eating rats and other fresh kill that any one of the pack manage to bring home.
What I loved about this book was the real love and strength of the bond between human and animal. It was amazing to see how the pack of stray dogs veiw the world, through the eyes of a small boy. The story is alternately shocking, pitiful, heartbreaking, tender, joyful and fascinating. I fell in love, smiled, cried and hoped. To live with this group of animals for a few days was a privelidge and one I won’t forget easily.
A highly recommended read. This is firmly in the top few books I have read so far in 2010. Wondeful, captivating, a must-read. ...more
OK I give up. I am even getting fed up of seeing it on my home page every time I log on. I just couldn't get into this, so it's time to take it off thOK I give up. I am even getting fed up of seeing it on my home page every time I log on. I just couldn't get into this, so it's time to take it off the nightstand and stop kidding myself that I am going to finish it. Sorry Mr. Dostoevsky - I did love Crime and Punishment though!...more