Fifteen Dogs

Fifteen Dogs

3.78 (12,158 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Winner of the Giller Prize 2015
Winner of the Writers' Trust Fiction Prize 2015

It begins in a bar, like so many strange stories. The gods Hermes and Apollo argue about what would happen if animals had human intelligence, so they make a bet that leads them to grant consciousness and language to a group of dogs staying overnight at a veterinary clinic.

Suddenly capable of complex thought, the dogs escape and become a pack. They are torn between those who resist the new ways of thinking, preferring the old 'dog' ways, and those who embrace the change. The gods watch from above as the dogs venture into unfamiliar territory, as they become divided among themselves, as each struggles with new thoughts and feelings. Wily Benjy moves from home to home, Prince becomes a poet, and Majnoun forges a relationship with a kind couple that stops even the Fates in their tracks.

Engaging and strange, full of unexpected insights into human and canine minds, this contemporary take on the apologue is the most extraordinary book you'll read this year.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 192 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 12mm | 200g
  • Serpent's Tail
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Main
  • 178125558X
  • 9781781255582
  • 19,478

Review quote

Spry... Impressive... I loved this smart, exuberant fantasy from start to finish -- Jonathan Gibbs * Guardian * An elegant cross-breed of magical realism, moral fable, owner's handbook and philosophical treatise -- Frances Wilson * New Statesman Books of the Year * Intensely moving and heartbreaking in turn...An original idea brilliantly executed * The Lady * Alexis excels at sparking drama from collisions between the canine and the human. He is also well versed in Greek myth and legend, yet where Fifteen Dogs really succeeds is on an allegorical level. There are superficial similarities in approach to Animal Farm, but Alexis's dogs are drawn with greater depth than Orwell's menagerie and he goes beyond politics, using them to look at human issues of fulfilment, happiness, and love. These sensitive explorations help to make this startlingly original novel as thought-provoking as it is enjoyable. In sum, this is the dog's bollocks -- Peter Carty * Independent * Thought-provoking and moving...a canine version of Lord of the Flies * Good Housekeeping * A powerful story about what it means to have consciousness, and the good and the bad that comes with it * CBC Books Spring Preview * Andre Alexis has established himself as one of our preeminent voices * Toronto Star * Following his Rogers Writers' Trust-nominated Pastoral, protean novelist Andre Alexis returns to reclaim another almost-forgotten genre, the apologue (defined as an allegory in which animals adopt human consciousness. * Quill & Quire's Spring Preview *
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About Andre Alexis

Andre Alexis was born in Trinidad and grew up in Canada. His debut novel, Childhood, won the Books in Canada First Novel Award, the Trillium Book Award, and was shortlisted for the Giller Prize and the Writers' Trust Fiction Prize. His previous books include Asylum, Beauty and Sadness, Ingrid & the Wolf, and, most recently, Pastoral, which was also nominated for the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize.
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Rating details

12,158 ratings
3.78 out of 5 stars
5 28% (3,377)
4 37% (4,541)
3 24% (2,906)
2 8% (952)
1 3% (382)
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