If you're a dog lover, this book will wreck you, and I mean that in the best way possible. Astounding, heart breaking, and easily among the best books I've read this year. View all 3 comments. Feb 04, Wanda rated it really liked it Shelves: read-in , canadian-eh , public-library.
An interesting novel, which has obviously caught the attention of a number of Calgarians. I had to wait a very long time to get it from our public library and when I returned it this morning there were people waiting their turn. It reads quickly, despite the fact that it is jam packed with ideas. Hermes and Apollo seem to generally agree with this style of evaluation. Nominally about dogs, the book actually explores what it is to be human. Are we happier than the other animals on the planet?
Or does our awareness of the past and the future entail a burden? How do we judge a life to have been a happy one? View all 8 comments. Mar 28, Lark Benobi rated it really liked it Shelves: male-identified-authors , There is something immediately gripping about this novel. Its core conceit--that 15 dogs become suddenly human-like in their ability to reason and perceive their own mortality--was a very effective way to explore one of the oldest adages in philosophy: whether it's true that "the unexamined life is not worth living. It gave me new spaces in my brain to think about some very old questions.
Mar 22, Jessica Woodbury rated it really liked it Shelves: bff , arc , authors-of-color , bestarcs , kindle. 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 This is that rare literary novel that has chops but also serious mainstream potential. 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.copegus.top/gradient-flows-in-metric-spaces.php
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Dec 05, Paul Bryant rated it liked it Shelves: novels. Hmmm, a whimsical wager by two Greek gods lounging around in a Toronto bar? Fifteen random dogs given human intelligence to see if this will make them happier or not? Alright, so when you get over those two hurdles, it then becomes sweet and quite compelling, but also confusing, irritating, incoherent and mawkish.
If you want to shed tears over noble dogs leading lonely lives pining for their old owner to Hmmm, a whimsical wager by two Greek gods lounging around in a Toronto bar? If you want to shed tears over noble dogs leading lonely lives pining for their old owner to return which they can never do because plot spoiler plot spoiler, or old blind dogs crossing streets by sense of smell alone, okay, you came to the right place.
Gee whiz, at times this is like a postmodern Incredible Journey except no cats. Andre Alexis has his cake and eats it all the way through this entertaining, short, soulful but slightly dodgy novel.
He changes the rules about the dogs-with-human-consciousness as it pleases him. Consistency is the bugbear of little minds for Andre Alexis. For instance, the case of Majnoun, the black poodle whose story takes up most of the book. He is adopted by a nice couple Nira and Miguel.
- Peer Gynt Suite No. 1: Ases Death (Ases Tod), Op. 46.
- Dogs are still man's best friend, but what about cats? They're just too cool to care.
- Thomas Hardy on Metaphysics: An Essay.
When he reveals to her that he can talk in a kind of approximate English Nira freaks out badly and schleps him right back to the vets clinic whence he came. A realistic reaction, one may think. For instance, she thought it distasteful for male dogs to mount females en masse, each waiting his turn. Majnoun did not even pretend to take her distaste seriously. A bitch in heat was a bitch in heat. And so forth. At no point does Nira realise that a thinking, nay, contemplative dog is an epochal, newsworthy — not to say million-dollar — event. So, you know that our author is not interested really in any kind of realistic stuff here, just in tootling round various philosophical or sociological or cultural points to ponder and using thinking dogs as his peg.
- Dogs have the same emotions as a 2-year-old child.!
- A Postcard From The Volcano;
- PDF 42 Reasons I Love My Dog - Why I Think Dogs are Mans Best Friend (Gilded Group Series).
Most of the time this is conducted with insouciant grace and I really did enjoy the violent tale of the undoing of the pack led by Atticus an imposing mastiff with cascading jowls but occasionally it all gets really very groanworthy : It was at this time that Atticus began to pray. He already had a notion of what an idea or pure dog might be : a creature without the flaws of thought.
As time went on he attributed to this pure being all the qualities he believed to be noble: sharp senses, absolute authority, unparalleled prowess at hunting, irresistible strength. Somewhere, thought Atticus, there must be a dog like this. Because one of the qualities his ideal canine possessed was being. Therefore, the dog of dogs, as Atticus conceived it, had to exist. This is a really crass shoehorning in of the theological argument first proposed a million years ago by I dunno St Augustine or Thomas Aquinas, one of those beardy types, I guess I could google it.
But heck, this is a quick, entertaining book which succeeds in being different and not boring, so three stars for Fifteen Dogs. Dec 10, Wendy rated it it was ok Shelves: dec After finishing this novel last night I watched the 30 minute long video of Andre Alexis being interviewed. Being a self proclaimed depressive fit perfectly with the type of person I imagined this author to be.
There was not an ounce of happiness in this story. Ok possibly the very end depending on how you look at it I am a dog lover!
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If 15 dogs are going to be released from a veterinary clinic most are going to be seeking love and affection. What we were given was a lot of violence and death. I am After finishing this novel last night I watched the 30 minute long video of Andre Alexis being interviewed. I am sure there are a lot of intellectual discussions about this novel but I was quite disappointed with the author's negative take on human nature. I am giving this book 2 stars and that's because I enjoyed being familiar with the various areas of Toronto the dogs encountered. Apr 16, Brad rated it really liked it Shelves: canadian-lit , read-in , exceeded-my-expectations , mythology , about-life , to-read-again , about-death , about-deities , bronte-milos-books.
The ending of Fifteen Dogs was a no win for author and readers alike; well, some of the readers lost, and I came down on the losing side. The problem if one can call it that is built right into the premise. Apollo and Hermes make a bet and this is no spoiler since it opens the book that, having granted human intelligence to fifteen dogs in a Toronto vet hospital, not a single one of the fifteen dogs will die happy.
Apollo is on the side of unhappiness; Hermes is on the side of happiness. One The ending of Fifteen Dogs was a no win for author and readers alike; well, some of the readers lost, and I came down on the losing side. One of them wins and one of them loses, and whoever you are as a reader, whichever side you agree with, when the opposition wins you are bound to be disappointed. That was me. I was on the wrong side. But the journey to get there was amazing, and the philosophical questions about animal nature, human nature, the nature of memory, language, empathy, the nature of dominance, sexuality, rape, violence, love, hate, the nature of our sensory engagement with the world, the nature of poetry, and the importance of death to life are all worth the trip, even if the pay off may leave you cold.
Dunno when I'll get back to this, but I intend to read it again someday. Maybe soon. Maybe not. View 1 comment. Dec 29, Chihoe Ho rated it really liked it. Trust a pack of dogs to tell us more about what it is that makes us human! Fifteen Dogs started off as a simple story but became more insightful with every twist and turn. I must admit, I initially resisted this novel due to my snobbery — think about it, a story about fifteen talking dogs sounds like it could go downhill pretty quickly, doesn't it?
It's filled with keen Trust a pack of dogs to tell us more about what it is that makes us human! It's filled with keen observations and sly commentaries on the human psyche, for example, this gem of a line: "Humans do not always mean what is meant by the sounds they make. You must be careful. The story is like a puzzle with sliding pieces that when complete, reveals what lies behind the overall picture. Each puzzle piece represents a characteristic and personality trait that make the canines so individualistic.
Social standings and conventions, relationships, belonging and loyalty, love and sex, the passage of time, death and mourning, language, the arts and culture — these were some of the facets of human life that were touched upon to answer what it is that makes us happy to have lived a full life. Happiness - that's the ultimate end goal. And honestly, based on how true to the state of humanity the lives of all fifteen dogs play out, I'm left feeling saddened but also inspired by just how fleeting our happiness can be. Feb 08, Malcolm rated it it was amazing. This was a remarkable, imaginative, thought-provoking book which examines just what sets humans apart from other animals.
Apollo and Hermes are sitting in a bar in Toronto How's that for a start? Shortly, the discussion turns to the nature of humanity and a bet is made regarding whether human intelligence leads to more or less "happiness". Being gods, the two find fifteen dogs kenneled in a vet clinic nearby and instill each with the intelligence of human beings. Will their new lives end in This was a remarkable, imaginative, thought-provoking book which examines just what sets humans apart from other animals.
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