Darryl's Reviews > Even the Dogs

Even the Dogs by Jon McGregor
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Jul 04, 10

it was ok
Read from June 25 to July 03, 2010

This experimental novel begins with the death of Richard, an alcoholic middle aged man living in an abandoned flat in an unnamed English town, from unknown causes. A group of people who apprarently know him observe the proceedings, as the police remove his body from the building, and as curious neighbors and onlookers view the spectacle dispassionately.

The story of Richard's sordid life is told through the stories of those who know him: homeless drug addicts who he allows to stay at his place in exchange for food and drink, and his daughter, who is also addicted to heroin and cocaine and living on the streets, until she also moves into her father's flat. Alongside these stories are descriptive accounts of Richard's trip from the flat to the morgue, the careful cleansing of his body, a clinically precise account of his autopsy, and the inquest process of the coroner, in which his life is summarized and an attempt to understand the causes of his death are made.

In Even the Dogs, McGregor gives us an unblinking account of the lives of homeless drug addicts in contemporary society. The characters stay mainly out of focus even as they speak, and it was difficult for this reader to appreciate or identify with them. The disjointed writing does coincide with their disjointed lives, and McGregor is successful in portraying the day to day sordid existence of hard core drug addicts and the homeless. This was a tough book to read, and is a difficult one to rate, but I'll settle on a three star rating, and applaud Mr McGregor for this courageous novel.
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Clare He was called Robert, I did understand that bit.


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