Joseph Soltero's Reviews > The Dogs of Babel

The Dogs of Babel by Carolyn Parkhurst
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Dec 16, 07

Recommended for: anyone
Read in December, 2007

Ah, where do I begin reviewing this book? Let me start by saying that this book is not about what it's promoted to be. It's marketed as a book about a grieving widower who tries to teach his dog, the sole witness to his late wife's death, to talk. And yes, this book is about that, but it is not solely about that.

This novel is an intense exploration of one man's profound and painful experience of grief - especially when it's over a mysterious death. Did she die accidentally or did she kill herself? And why? It's haunting, heart-wrenching, suspenseful, and bitter-sweet, but also warm, and romantic.

Paul and Lexy are almost quite opposites of each other. He is very reserved and conservative; she is spontaneous and quirky. The two of them genuinely fall in love, but Paul learns soon that Lexy's spontaneity has its dark side. And then one day, he returns home to discover his wife has died after falling from a tree.

The plot is an intricately and meticulously woven narrative that culminates in a superficially shocking conclusion. I say 'superficially' because its conclusion reminds me a lot of the film, The Sixth Sense. Many viewers were wowed by the stunning revelation at the end, but when you look at the film a second time, all the clues to solve the mystery were in plain sight all along. Every single apparently insignificant detail played a part, and this role was right on the surface for us to see. This, however, does not detract from the power of its ending, and the meaning that this holds for Paul, and how he will now have to go on with his life.

I recommend this wonderful book to anyone who is prepared to go on a journey of the innermost expressions of the soul. You will not regret it. Another reviewer said this is the kind of book that stays with you, and it's true. I encourage you to discover why.
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Comments (showing 1-10 of 10) (10 new)

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message 1: by April (new)

April I've been waiting for this review ... so glad you liked it that much.

(Psst, gift is finally in the mail!!)


Jennifer Well said!


Lauren touche! great review.


Susan Morris Thank you for a great review!


Claudia It definitely stays with you.


Aishwarya i definitely agree with you !


Karin Ahh, I'm not the only one - I got IT too and enjoyed the reality of Paul's truth seaking allowing him to believe he's getting along ok- then he starts to wake up. . .it's really well done as far as I'm concerned.


Ms.pegasus So pleased that someone enjoyed this book as much as I did -- I guess I was a bit shocked that a lot of people didn't. You do a great job of covering the strengths of the book without revealing any spoilers. Like you, I loved the ending every bit as much as the writing. Great review!


Andi I liked your review and I really appreciate the fact that it IS a review and not a retelling. So many people on this site simply retell the plot rather than actually doing a review. Thank you!


Lauralmarie This is another book so many didn't like that I thought was amazing. I could not have come up with the right words to describe how I felt about this book so I really appreciate your review.


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