Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Review Tuesday: 'Dog Boy'

Today’s ‘Review Tuesday’. On page 274 of her remarkable and acclaimed 2009 novel Dog Boy [1, 2], Eva Hornung [3] quotes Dostoevsky [4] thus, regarding animals: ‘God gave them joy untroubled. They are without sin, and you, in all your greatness, defile the earth by your appearance in it, and leave the traces of your foulness after you…’ And that, pretty well, sums up her book. In grungy Moscow Ramochka, a 4-year-old boy, is abandoned by his family and adopted by a pack of feral dogs. The first half of the book’s 290 pages tell the story of Ramochka and his new family. Eventually he becomes a dog in all ways except his appearance and sense of smell. Then, slowly but inevitably, the outside world – of humans – intervenes. Ramochka moves, with predictable difficulty, between both worlds which engage in a kind of tug-of-war for him. Finally he chooses one. Which? I’m not saying. You’ll have to read the book. And you should. Because it’s not to be missed. Especially by everyone who’s concerned by the place of animals in our contemporary world; and even more by anyone calling themselves a ‘dog person’. Darling Kate, who loaned me the book, told me that since she’d read it she’s thought about dogs quite differently. Me? I agree. But it also reminded me there are at least two sides to every situation, and it’s essential to see that situation from more than your own side. P.S. Grateful thanks, darling Kate.


Kate said...

So pleased you liked it FD.
It is definitely one of those books that sticks in your mind for a long time after you've finished it. And that last scene comes back to haunt me quite often. XX
ps. I LOVE your photo of the week.

farmdoc said...

And I LOVE you, Katie Belle.

Chrows25 aka Leather Woman said...

Looks like a book I need to read.
I believe that in a half century we/they are going to be horrified at the way we have underestimated the intelligence and feelings of all animals , just like ,women were not persons and blacks felt less pain. So stupid our supremme arrogance is so sad.