Jessica Woodbury's Reviews > Fifteen Dogs

Fifteen Dogs by André Alexis
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really liked it
bookshelves: arc, authors-of-color, best-2015-arcs, kindle, bff

This is that rare literary novel that has chops but also serious mainstream potential. The story of two gods who give a group of dogs human consciousness in a bet has a lot to say about thought and individuality and what it means to be a person and a dog. It also has a plot full of goodness and violence that keeps the reader turning pages. (I read it in 2 nights and wouldn't stop until I was finished on the second.)

The bet is whether dogs bestowed with consciousness can die happy, so of course the plot involves not just the fifteen dogs but also their deaths. So while this book is probably best appreciated by those who have owned dogs and care about them, they're also the ones who will be most affected by the violence the dogs give and receive. I know many people who say they'll read or watch just about anything unless it involves violence against animals, and yet they're the very audience that will find the most to love here. I'd counsel dog owners to brace themselves but go for it.

It is rare I find a book both thoughtful and meditative but also enjoyable and fascinating. This is that rare book. I hope it finds a significant readership because it really deserves it. I can't think of any other book like it.

I enjoyed the story of Majnoun the poodle and his new owner the most. It's dog lover wish fulfillment of the grandest kind, the kind of dog/human relationship that transcends ownership and becomes something more.
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Reading Progress

March 22, 2015 – Started Reading
March 22, 2015 – Shelved
March 24, 2015 – Shelved as: arc
March 24, 2015 – Shelved as: authors-of-color
March 24, 2015 – Shelved as: best-2015-arcs
March 24, 2015 – Shelved as: kindle
March 24, 2015 – Finished Reading
July 20, 2015 – Shelved as: bff

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