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Lily and the Octopus

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3.71  ·  Rating details ·  28,498 ratings  ·  5,295 reviews
Combining the emotional depth of The Art of Racing in the Rain with the magical spirit of The Life of Pi, Lily and the Octopus is an epic adventure of the heart.

When you sit down with Lily and the Octopus, you will be taken on an unforgettable ride.

The magic of this novel is in the read, and we don’t want to spoil it by giving away too many details. We can tell you that
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Paperback, 320 pages
Published June 7th 2016 by Simon & Schuster AU
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Danielle I'd say she lives on forever...
Jo-Ann Duff (Duffy The Writer) Haven't we all come home from work and spoken to our cat to ask if they want dinner, or if the dog wants to go for a walk? We all chat to our pets…moreHaven't we all come home from work and spoken to our cat to ask if they want dinner, or if the dog wants to go for a walk? We all chat to our pets when you think about it, and in our head we hear the answers.(less)
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Average rating 3.71  · 
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 ·  28,498 ratings  ·  5,295 reviews


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karen
congratulations! semifinalist in goodreads' best fiction AND debut author categories 2016!

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i added this book to my to-read list back when i heard about it, but it was one of those wobbly to-read intentions - the plan was to wait for it to be released and check out the reviews on here before committing one way or another. in general, books whose blurbs gush about how "moving" the story is and gleefully relate how many tissues you will need to get through it are not a selling point for me. books
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Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
I DID NOT WANT TO CRY TODAY! DAMN IT! *Some spoilers*

I put off reading this book for some time. I would look over at the book in my stacks and say..not today. Because. I knew I was going to cry. And I cried and cried some more. (I added some pics of me and my dog)

This book is about Lily and Ted, they are best friends. She is his dog and I'm getting ready to cry again!!!! The love that Ted had for Lily is so very beautiful. I could feel all of the pain Ted had in the book. I could enjoy the
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Jennifer Masterson
"Lily and the Octopus" was hysterical before it became sad! The audio version is as good as audio gets! Actor, Michael Urie, absolutely hit this out of the ballpark!!! People tell me they don't like audio, they tried audio a long time ago but it didn't work for them or they ask me what book is good on audio since I listen to so many of them. I'm here to tell you that THIS BOOK is 10 Star audio! If you want to give audio a try look no further. Michael Urie makes this story come to life!

So why 4
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Emily May
Jul 10, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
This is a very cute story about a man and his beloved dachshund. You probably already know what happens, as is the nature of these kinds of books, but it was far less cheesy than it might have been.

Rather than spending too long on emotional manipulation, the book focuses on Ted Flask - a lonely, middle-aged gay man who loves no one as much as his dog. It's this part of the story that really makes it a tearjerker. The - for want of a better word - pathetic nature of Ted's love is
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DeB MaRtEnS
Here I go, bucking the flow of the majority opinion. Lily and the Octopus did not work for me. Quirky books are generally favourites of mine. I am a pile of mush over dog stories. But somehow this missed the mark badly -I am Not a fan. This is not a story about a dog. This book does not remotely resemble "The Art of Racing in the Rain", aside from the thin comparisons that a dog and people interact, and there are teary moments.

"Lily and the Octopus" is the story of a very self-absorbed man, his
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Elyse (retired from reviewing/semi hiatus) Walters
"Lily is nuzzled into my armpit as I lie on top of the covers in my own bed. She's radiating heat like the sun, but as long as she's comfortable I'm not going to move.
My sweat is cementing us together. I find the idea of adhesive, the idea of her being tethered to me, comforting".

Given so many people have read this book before me -- I'll try to add a few other things that I didn't read in other reviews --- other than, I really loved it as many other readers have too.

This book is sweet,
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Diane Barnes
Apr 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You can't say I wasn't warned. First of all, dog stories tend to have sad endings. Then on the first page you learn that Lily, the dachshund is 12 years old, 84 in people years. Again, not promising. Then Ted, the human, notices the octopus (tumor) on her head. So we have a 300 page novel about a 12 year old dog with cancer, how did I think it was going to end? Especially when I cried the first time on page 26?

Yes, I knew it would end badly, because dogs don't live as long as we do, and because
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Bianca
I don't really know how to rate this novel.

Spoilerish review.

I'm sure many will love this novel. I'm not sure I did. Actually, I know I didn't. I didn't hate it either. It was readable but I became tired of the forty-two year old Ted obsessing and waxing lyrically about his dachshund, Lily. Lily is twelve years old and at the end of her life. She's got a tumour on her head - the Octopus.

The majority of the novel is about Ted either reminiscing about Lily as a puppy, or talking about their
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Carolyn
Ted Flask is a 42 year old writer who is recovering from a breakup with his longtime partner. He is lonely and isolated but his best friend Lily, a 12y old dachshund makes his life worth living. He and Lily share everything, good times and bad, pizza and monopoly nights, icecream and movies. When Ted discovers that Lily has an 'octopus' growing on her head he realises the time he has left with Lily may be cut all too short.

This is one for dog lovers and anyone who has had to part with an aging
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Phrynne
Just lately I have started to realise that I do not always care for magical realism, especially when it takes over what is otherwise a very enjoyable book. Consequently when the Octopus of the title started to take over this book I started to enjoy it less.
Anyway the book begins brilliantly and I enjoyed the little anecdotes about Lily as a pup and about Ted himself. Talking to the dog and having the dog answer was just part of the fun. All was going well and then the Octopus arrived. That was
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Cathrine ☯️
3.75
description
Having raised 4 dachshunds myself I could not pass this one up. It’s a unique, funny, charming, quirky, defensive, obsessive, and problematic story, just like the breed itself. A fictional tail about a man named Ted and his beloved weiner dog Lily, but since the author really had a dog by that name, no doubt a lot of truth throughout the pages and a loving tribute to her.
If you’re not a dog lover, or take the Caesar Milan (all due respect) or the detached—It’s just a dog (no due respect)
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Susan (aka Just My Op)
Anthropomorphism reigns supreme in this novel, which initially read like a memoir. Perhaps that's because it is apparently semi-autobiographical. Well, parts of it, anyway.

Anyone who has loved an animal can understand battling for that animal's life, whether the threat is in the form of a tumor or an octopus.

However, the whole octopus thing got old long before it got completely out of control. The protagonist waxes poetic about the octopus when I want to know what the vet said, what Ted is going
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Morris
Friends, let me tell you right now, if you are a dog or an animal lover you are going to flat-out ugly cry over “Lily and the Octopus.”

I mean snot running down your face, inconsolable, nothing-will-ever-be-ok-again sobbing.

The other thing I will tell you is that you will be so, so glad you read it. It’s a beautiful work of literary fiction about the nature of life and love told with a lot of humor and sadness. As the description says, the joy of this particular book is in the reading of it. A
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Matt
Jun 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
Rowley presents a heart-filled story about Lily the dachshund and her owner, Edward "Ted" Flask. As the novel opens, Flask introduces the reader to Lily and the 'octopus' that sits atop her head. This unwelcome cephalopod overtakes Flasks life as he ponders its intrusion into the daily joy he and Lily have created. There is also the undertone of necessary medical options to rid Lily of this most horrendous visitor. Flask switches between flashback moments that include all of his time with Lily ...more
Betsy Robinson
Dec 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully written, funny, sad, charming, and, for anybody who's loved a dog, so achingly familiar it's hard to contain. The book, a love story, requires a surrender to imagination. There is a point where it goes from shallow imagination to deep ocean seas. You can fight it; the moment was so sudden that my first impulse was "No." But then I said "What the hey?" and dove. I recommend diving, swimming, and letting the waters do with you what they may.

Postscript: I've had three dogs in my
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Montzalee Wittmann
Jan 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Lily and the Octopus by Steven Rowley is a book the crushed me! I had my heart touched gently, soothed, then broken in multiple pieces! Listen with tissues handy! Lily is a little dog and loved by her human so much but she develops a tumor in her head...an "Octopus"! This is the story of Lily, her human, the octopus, and love! Beautifully written and narrated wonderfully by Michael Urie. He was just right for this book. A touching, clever, heartwarming and heartbreaking book of love and growth.
Ann Marie (Lit·Wit·Wine·Dine)
You can read all of my reviews at Lit.Wit.Wine.Dine.

Lily and the Octopus opens on a Thursday evening. Ted knows it was a Thursday because that's the day he and Lilly, his beloved dachshund, reserve for talking about boys they think are cute. (They don't always agree but they do tend toward younger men.) He suddenly notices the octopus. On Lily's head. He's not sure how or when it came to reside there and he clearly feels some guilt over not having noticed it sooner. He, of course, understands
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Peter Monn
Feb 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Omg! Sooooo good. I have not ugly cried in a book in a really long time. My full review will be up on my booktube channel at http://Youtube.com/peterlikesbooks
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
EXCERPT:
The octopus has a good grip and clings tightly over her eye. It takes me a minute, but I gather my nerve and poke it. It's harder than I would have imagined. Less like a water balloon, more like . . . bone. It feels subcutaneous, yet there it is, out in the open for all to see. I count its arms, turning Lily's head around to the back, and sure enough, there are eight. The octopus looks angry as much as out of place. Aggressive perhaps is a better word. Like it is announcing itself and
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PattyMacDotComma
4

BEGIN! THE! STORY! OF! ME!
[NetGalley requested no quoting from preview copy, but I just had to – sorry.]

The “me” of this command is Lily, a small, elderly (87 in people years, we’re told) Dachsund, Ted’s relentlessly loving, entertaining companion. Ted’s love for Lily is just as relentless. Even if it hurts. Even when it hurts.

Lily was the runt of her litter, and she chose Ted. He says he couldn’t tell all the brothers and sisters apart “tumbling over one another like noodles in a pot of
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*eKa*
"The very best thing about dogs is how they just know when you need them most, and they'll drop everything that they're doing to sit with you a while."

It's true. So true. That's what my beagle do. Though my dog is only two years and a half old right now, I already get myself ready that that day will come. One day it will be my turn.



This book is just for everyone who owns dog or those who love to read sweet relationship between human and animal. It has the fantasy element in it, which is
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Susanne  Strong
I! LOVED! THIS! BOOK! SO! MUCH! I! WANTED! TO! EAT! IT! UP!!!

Steven Rowley.. you made me laugh fiercely, you made me cry hysterically, you made me smile like a crazy person and ponder what is important in this life. You made me fall in love with you (or rather Ted) and with Lily. I am a dog person. I have had 3 great loves of my life and they were all dogs. I love how you (Ted) loved Lily. Thank you for this.

This book might be the best book I have read this year (and yes I said that about Britt
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Diane
I love Lily! And hate the Octopus. And Animal Surgical and Emergency Center (p. 252) is a real place. Been there. Many times.

Congratulations to author Steven Rowley on the success of his first book. I think he did an excellent job in telling story of Ted Flask and his delightful doxie, Lily. One of my favorite things about the story is how Lily's thoughts/voice are depicted...example how Lily describes her first taste of icecream: "THIS!IS!AMAZING!WE!MUST!HAVE!THIS!TO!LICK!EVERY!SINGLE!DAY!"
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Bam cooks the books ;-)
If you are a dog lover, you are going to love this book! But be sure to have the tissues handy as you read. Lily is a sweet twelve-year-old dachshund whose owner Ted suddenly notices has a large lump on her head. Ted can't face calling it a lump or a tumor so he thinks of it as an octopus instead. Ted is a gay man in his early forties who lives alone so Lily is pretty much his whole world, not counting his mother, sister, and best friend who are, of course, living their own busy lives. So Ted ...more
JV (semi-hiatus)


What a weird and delightful novel! It's all because of that stupid octopus!

This book brought back the memories of my beloved dog. She's 17 years old when she passed away — 119 in dog years. I've had numerous dogs before her, but there's something within her that I cannot fully describe — a kind of spark that makes my heart skip a beat, an invisible thread that seamlessly connects with mine, a bond that we both can only understand. When I feel alone, she would quietly sit beside me; and I would
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Toni
Jan 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
NEW UPDATE: Nov.8, 2016 Dear Goodreads' Friends, Please consider voting for "Lily and the Octopus" as the BEST NEW AUTHOR in Goodreads 2016 CHOICE AWARDS. Please note, this is MY opinion, no one made me say this, under any circumstances. Well, I'd might do it if Lily herself spoke to me; but I wouldn't tell anyone about that, not even Steven! Mmm.

Update: June 7, 2016, The Audiobook is out today and it's FANTASTIC. Michael Urie (Ugly Betty; The Good Wife) is the reader, and he's perfect for this
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Jonathan K
Aug 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good author is a master of metaphor and Steven demonstrates his in the story. As all pet owners Ted is attached to Lily in ways similar to a spouse or child. When the octopus shows up on her head, his life goes into turmoil. Heart warming, well written, it's a happy sad experience. Highly recommended for romantics and those who love dogs.
Mary  Carrasco
Jul 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ted meets Lily, a dachshund, when she is just twelve weeks old. Ted falls deeply in love with Lily and they form a bond that's deeper than most friendships. So when Ted experiences the breakup of a long-term relationship, he relies heavily on his love for Lily to get him through. He dedicates his time to game nights, movie nights and long discussions with his dog.

Beneath the surface of this story, is a deeper one. It's about learning to let go and dealing with different levels of loss. It's
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Maria (Big City Bookworm)


First, I would like to thank Simon & Schuster Canada for providing me with an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review as part of their Summer Fiction Blog Tour.

3.5 stars rated down

I’m not really sure how to go about reviewing Lily & the Octopus. Was it a good book? Yes. Was it well written? Yes. I think the problem for me is that I couldn’t really relate to it at all. I’m sure that there are countless readers who enjoyed the hell out of this novel. Readers who could relate to
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Joshie
Mar 02, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 3-star, contemporary
I! DEFINITELY! LIKED! THIS! BOOK!

Lily and the Octopus was a story about Ted, his dog named Lily, and their adventures and battle with the octopus. The novel was told in Ted's POV, with Lily occasionally sharing her own insights through the course of the story. In Ted's unlikable parts as a character, being too self-centered and cheeky at times, was where the complexity of his emotions lie that of a very realistic character and dog owner. Told in endearing, whimsical and witty prose which
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Steven Rowley is the bestselling author of Lily and the Octopus, which has been published in nineteen languages and is being developed as a major motion picture by Amazon Studios. He has worked as a freelance writer, newspaper columnist and screenwriter. Originally from Portland, Maine, he is a graduate of Emerson College. He currently resides in Los Angeles.

His new novel, The Editor (G.P.
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“It's natural, as our loved ones age, to start grieving their loss even before we lose them.” 70 likes
“To focus, I think of how dogs are witnesses. How they are present for our most private moments, how they are there when we think of ourselves as alone. They witness our quarrels, our tears, our struggles, our fears, and all of our secret behaviors that we have to hide from our fellow humans. They witness without judgment.” 66 likes
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