Fifteen dogs by Andre Alexis

Fifteen Dogs- Andre Alexis- 9781552453056- Books - 2015-06-06 13-24-01( Coach House, 2014)

As reviewed by Glenn

I thoroughly enjoyed this one.  The approach is unique…  Two Greek gods Apollo & Hermes make a wager while having beers at a Toronto bar.  The bet is that if animals had human intelligence, they would be even more miserable that humans.  So they cruise over to a local vet clinic and [boom ] fifteen dogs receive these higher abilities.  The gifts are unique to each dog, some are able to speak, one recites poetry, and not all are created equal.  The canine hierarchy still applies … or is it the human hierarchy…  The remainder of the story follows many themes common to humanity… murder, alliances, submission, devotion, love, and hope.  Alexis brings our own struggles, sorrows, and dreams into view with this creative perspective.   Recommended.

André 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 other 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 and was named a  Globe and Mail  Top 100 book of 2014.

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