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Here Come The Dogs

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  438 ratings  ·  72 reviews
In small town suburbia, three young men are ready to make their mark.

Solomon is all charisma, authority and charm, down for the moment but surely not out. His half-brother, Jimmy, bounces along in his wake, underestimated, waiting for his chance to announce himself. Aleks, their childhood friend, loves his mates, his family and his homeland, and would do anything for them
Paperback, 352 pages
Published July 23rd 2014 by Penguin Australia (first published July 12th 2014)
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3.93  · 
Rating details
 ·  438 ratings  ·  72 reviews

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In the Aussie Readers 2017 year-long A-Z challenge, one of the tasks is to read a book which makes you feel uncomfortable.

First line of Part One Chapter 1 of Here Come The Dogs:
Where are these c**ts?
(I've added the asterisks - in the original the whole word is spelled out.)

Oh yeah, I say to myself, I can tick off this task, cos I'm immediately uncomfortable with this kind of strong language...

In his mid-twenties, Solomon Amosa has two close mates, his half-brother Jimmy, and Aleks Janeski. The
Adele Corazzini
Aug 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Unbelievably real, and so well pinned. The depth of this writing is absolutely outstanding. A world that lives on our doorstep that we do not believe exists, or we choose to believe it doesn't. The descriptive, intense and personal emotional battles of the characters truly make you feel their pain, anguish and their glimmer of hope. Best book this year!!!!.... from an amazing, inspiring AUSTRALIAN author!
Sep 12, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
the debut novel from malaysian/australian mc and spoken word poet omar musa, here come the dogs is a gritty, raw coming of age tale written in poetry and prose. with a background in both hip hop and the slam circuit, musa has opened for the likes of the late gil scott-heron, pharoahe monch, and dead prez, in addition to winning both the australian and indian ocean poetry slams. melding the personal and the political, here come the dogs is a novel of hip hop, graffiti, basketball, drugs, street c ...more
Jan 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: australian-lit

Beautiful, powerful writing. Characters that are honestly drawn in all their beauty and their ugliness. In turns an insightful, bold, heartbreaking, uncomfortable, unsettling, powerful, and eye-opening book.

Really looking forward to reading more of Musa's work in the future.
Jessica Foster
May 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: australian
I'm probably being easy on this with my rating. I see what Musa wants to stay (certainly as mixed Australian) but there needs to be more substance; he wants to say too much that he creates talking points, not conversations. And that is the very critcism he paints onto one of his own characters, Georgie. To my mind, you can't claim to write about minorities/ethnic/language in Australia and treat all women as ciphers. All. (Even the one female child.) Musa limits all possibilities for his female c ...more
Ms Tlaskal
Nov 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Fresh, blood-filled writing that shows a fierce passion for words and experience. Learnt a lot about young men's thinking and Aussie hip hop which I like, because it is all about people reacting to what is around them- and that is always good- no matter in what form. I thought the characters were good but their stories didn't intersect into something larger- the plot wasn't strong enough to hang such great words off. His next one I'm sure will be.
Makes me excited to be a reader again !
Apr 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Gosh. So raw it's still bleeding. Characters who are simultaneously tough and vulnerable, who stagger between being unlucky misunderstood creatures and creatures you'd rather not understand. Brilliantly gray, in many many shades.
Ushter Abbasi
Jun 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Powerful, relentless and poetic. The heat from the town featured jumps off every page.
Louise Omer
An eye into a world that I would never enter, this novel encapsulates the anxieties and questions of an Australian subculture. If I were an English teacher, I would prescribe this as a taxt.
Addie Balou
Sep 15, 2018 rated it did not like it
I found the representation of the female characters in this book very one dimensional and there was an overarching misogynistic tone in the depiction and interactions between the male and female characters. The female characters we encounter are drug addicted layabouts or high maintenance demanding women who send their partners over the edge into crime. Sexual encounters in this book are either the males engaging in porn, stalking pretty women outside their homes or faceless nameless sex, where ...more
Julia Smith
Sep 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Here Come the Dogs is a strong, provocative story, tough and dirty, realistic and important. It won't be for everyone yet the language sizzles while the story assaults. Disempowered youth all have dreams, and this book suggests they need to be true to their own experiences before they can make a change. Powerfully written, it throbs with a raw intensity, challenging the reader to examine identity in a multicultural society.

more on my blog: http://kerikeri-covertocover.blogspot...
Jan 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
If it weren't for all of the drug use, swearing and sex, I would be recommending this book be taught to 15 year olds in Australian schools - that is how well (as an Anglo woman) I think this treats the issues of the ‘hyphen’ generation. Of course, the above is probably the very reason it will be read by them.

These characters rang very true. Theirs is a harsh reality, sensitively treated by Musa. I heard that Musa was worried about his book being viewed as insensitive to women – I don’t think it
Michael Livingston
Aug 10, 2014 rated it liked it
A fierce, angry book about the Western suburbs of Sydney, Here Come the Dogs is the story of three young men trying to find their way and stake out their identities in a society that's pretty ambivalent about them. Rooted in hip hop and clubbing, in sport, drugs and drinking, this is a brutal and intense look at life for second-generation Australians. The relentless masculinity of the book started to wear me down after a while, but Musa is a talented writer with plenty to say about communities l ...more
Paul Merriweather
Sep 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: being-australian
The perspective of the self-titled 'hyphen' generation straddling growing up Australian while proud of an overseas heritage. Written by a poetry slam Australian champion, Omar's novel doesn't miss a beat whether in verse or prose - this work has been written aloud.
May 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Felt like from Page 1 I dived straight into the words written on the page and amongst the story and the characters. Really enjoyed this gritty slice of Australian life. I'm surprised the prose mixed with poetry didn't bother me but it didn't it was very well done. Great writing, great read.
Apr 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: male, australian, tbr20
What a ferocious, alive voice. This is an antidote to understated stories of suburban marriages gone wrong: a different Australia, different lives, different ways of understanding who we are. Searing prose and poetry and great joy and anger. Tops!
Nov 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
I like the writing . I like slice of life style.
Christopher Taylor
Sep 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Reminds me somewhat of Trainspotting, only with suburban Australia and the smell of bush fire running deep. I want to see what follows.
Sep 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
It's been three years now since publication but I remember this one really seemed to come out of left field. I was surprised to see something edgy and literary getting any sort of publicity (media attention, mainstream publisher, etc). I was keen to get my hands on a copy.

The first chapter did not disappoint. The front cover has quotes from both Christoph Tsiolkas and Irvine Welsh, and in fact if these two writers got together then this book would probably be their mutant love child. It's super
Kayla Green
Jan 01, 2019 rated it liked it
I love the writing and the prose, and the first 70% of the book, is fucking great. When the characters lose themselves, such as when Aleks drunk-drove his car into the river after winning the meat raffle, when Jimmy got off-his-face drunk after being ignored by Hailee and insulted by Solomon's former classmates, when Solomon realised how much he loved Scarlett, after she told him she was leaving for an art scholarship in Perth. The pain and how the characters channel such pain through excessive ...more
Ritapa Neogi
Jun 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is the first book I've felt a deep connection with in a long time. The mixed poetry/prose style reminded me of H.M. Naqvi's Home Boy. I loved observing the link between poetry and rap through Musa's eyes, especially within a culture I'm not familiar with (Australian hip-hop). The plotline didn't move much, and I found Musa's way of writing more intriguing than the story itself. But I enjoyed how not everything was explained, and I enjoyed forming my own explanations for certain events (like ...more
Feb 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone interested in race relations and multicultural Australia
I loved this, couldn't put it down. I loved it for its writing techniques and for the story it told. It was satisfying on many levels but thinking about it now my response was definitely more personal that seriously literary - though I think it succeeds on that level too, as a fascinating work interweaving monologue, dialogue, prose and straight text to bring out, almost as if on a stage, the voices of the characters. I liked for example the fact that a music style almost took the role of anothe ...more
Jan 11, 2019 rated it it was ok
While there is much merit and interest in Musa's writing, I struggled to stay engaged with this book. Some of the raps, rhythm and poetry were wonderful, but they (largely) became increasing strained as the story progressed. The prose was powerful and lyrical in parts, giving a sense of immediacy and 'being there' with the characters and their struggles and emotions. In other parts it was more pedestrian or trying too hard to impress, instead of engage, the reader. The young male characters are ...more
Aug 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 17, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I found the part-verse-part-prose book utterly frustrating. The story shifted from one event to another often with no clear purpose, things happened that were never explained, characters popped up now and again for no apparent reason and the three main characters were unlikeable (not necessarily a bad thing but didn't work for me) and were impossible to connect with. I felt like there was violence for the sake of violence. On top of that there were mistakes which a good editor should have picked ...more
Emily Mcleod
Apr 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
A great debut from Omar Musa, growing up in a country town I recognised the boredom, apathy, violence and failures that were contained within my own townspeople.

I really enjoyed the Australian setting, the lyricism and poetry had a sharp tempo though sometimes fell a little flat.

The magical realism from Jimmy's POV was insanely unnerving towards the end but it made the open endings of all the characters fates more bearable than authors who just cut their novels off for drama.

Looking forward to r
Sep 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Powerful, raw and provocative. The writing style took me a bit to grow into but once there it flowed. Another book set in Australia. I’m a sucker for books set in Oz. I loved the greyhound and all it meant in this uniquely told story. A story that has a great deal to say about a distant and sometimes confusing place. A story that at times felt concealed in images until the truth popped out. Fable or real life it tells the reader about who the characters were, where they came from and lived, as w ...more
Oct 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is very real and very Modern Australian. While there is a story to follow, it is not that which compels you to keep on reading. This is a novel written by a poet and, as such, it captures scene after scene in the way only a poet can. It is gritty, yet beautifully written. The bush fire scene is one of the most disturbing things I have ever read, yet there is beauty here. And life. The characters are real. Not necessarily characters that you will love, but they definitely exist.

An amazing bo
Chent Higson
So it wasn’t bad but it wasn’t great. It’s so very Omar Musa though, the three characters, particularly Solomon, feel like they’re based off of himself. I felt like I only skimmed over the top of the story since it’s definitely not something I can relate to personally. A few curious stylistic choices too but I’ve never heard or read anything by Omar before, I just know the guy as a friend of a friend, so it could make more sense to someone more familiar with his style.
Amelia Zhou
Nov 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Violence. Revenge. & also dreams that never amount to anything because of inescapable circumstance. There is this ball of fatalistic melancholy thrumming at the centre of the book. I cant really say anything else but that feeling of chasing another feeling but its always already lurching just outta your grasp.

so much of this made my heart ache
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Omar Musa is a Malaysian-Australian rapper and poet from Queanbeyan,
Australia. He is the former winner of the Australian Poetry Slam and
the Indian Ocean Poetry Slam. He has released three hip hop albums,
two poetry books (including "Parang"), appeared on ABC's Q&A and
received a standing  ovation at TEDx Sydney at the Sydney Opera House.
His debut novel "Here Come the Dogs" was published by Pengu
“It is then he realises that certain things loom larger than forgiveness and reconciliation: memory, for one, and history, bloody history.” 1 likes
“Mercury starts barking
at a bunch of colourful parrots sitting in the bending fennel.
I let him off the leash,
and they twitter and fly away,
in a
moving constellation.

Dad used to say Aussie birds reminded him
of fish in the reef near his village,
Free, multicoloured, dreamlike.”
More quotes…