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The Barking Dog

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  44 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
At the top of her form, Canada's preeminent writer of new urban fiction brings forth her most powerful novel to date. Cordelia Strube conjures up a heart-breaking tale of madness and murder set against the ravages of cancer. In this, in her fifth novel, Strube tells the story of Greer Pentland, a forty-something realtor, who is battling cancer while struggling to find rede ...more
Hardcover, 418 pages
Published August 31st 2000 by Thomas Allen & Son (first published 2000)
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If you've opened this book wondering if you are really up for it, after what you read on the flap or in a review, and speculating maybe on how CS might manage to lead up to such a disturbing incident, which you might not be keen to read about; before you stop cringing, before you've even had a chance to make up your mind, she has grabbed you by the shoulder, not so gently, and yanked you down in your chair where you will not be able to move until you have finished the last word.

I wish this wasnt
Steve Thompson
Jul 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
A strange tale yet eminently readable. Such a combination of humour and tragedy. Greer's son, Sam, has killed two elderly people, Greer has recurrent breast cancer, her husband has remarried someone much younger, she doesn't enjoy her real estate career and, to top it off, she labels everyone she meets with a, usually inappropriate, nickname.

We, the readers, get Greer and her observations on the medical, legal and pharmaceutical professions. We get how hard it is to relate to, and ultimately try
Jennifer Eagle
Jan 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
I truly enjoyed this book, although at times I wondered why the subject matter was a stark mixture of the very bleak mixed with biting humour. As I delved more into the story, I realized the humour was more a cover for a deeper sadness and a deeper truth. This is what hooked me. I loved the unfolding and complexities of this novel. Filled with surprise until the end.
Kayla Davis
Apr 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I truly love Cordelia Strube's writing. I have also read Lemon by her, and I am willing to read anything she publishes. Her brutal honesty on life is refreshing. A book does not always need a happy ending. The raw realness speaks to the purest kind of story.
Feb 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Just like the first book I read by Cordelia Strube, I really found this book annoying for about 50 pages and then I started to get it, then I started to like it, and then I couldn't put it down.

Strube's writing is just to human. The characters are not superheros or able to go above and beyond. They are just everyday people with everyday struggles and early in the book I found myself thinking, "Why am I reading this? It's depressing." But then the characters hook you in and because it's everyday
Sep 07, 2014 rated it liked it
Creative and well written, this novel is readable. I enjoyed the references to various familiar Toronto landmarks and institutions. A success in terms of the writing. The subject matter is dark and hopeless. All the characters are troubled in their own unique way. There is little redemption for anyone here. Just when you think there is a glimmer of hope, someone comes along and snubs it out. I found the last chapter the most beautifully written. I shed a tear with the last line of the novel. Obv ...more
Jul 08, 2013 rated it it was ok
Very strange book... woman with cancer... son who killed two senior citizens in his sleep... husband that leaves her for another woman.... it's supposed to be dark humor but there is very little humor. Anything that can be depressing is inserted into the pages of this book. Every time you think that there can't be anymore depressing ideas or thoughts, because there can't be anymore left, another comes at you. It is good writing. I read 320 pages of the 418. I skipped to the end and decided I cou ...more
Flower Petal
Sep 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
Heartbreakingly melancholy.

A story of the bond between a mother and son. I was moved to tears so forcefully that it was difficult to continue reading. A beautiful, emotional novel.

I left off one star only because instead of closing the book feeling satisfied and emotionally charged I was drained and depressed. Seriously a very difficult (emotionally) read.
May 01, 2016 rated it liked it
I enjoyed the book. At times I was bored and felt like skipping/quitting, then it got better and enjoyed reading it. Drama was there for sure. Thank you Mrs. Strube.
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Read an interview and an excerpt of Cordelia's new novel, On the Shores of Darkness, There Is Light, in Numéro Cinq Magazine:

Watch a video of Cordelia interacting with students at York University's Canadian Writers in Person here:

Cordelia Strube is an accomplished playwright and the author of nine critically acclaimed novels, including Alex & Z
More about Cordelia Strube...