Friday, March 9, 2018

Book Review: Fifteen Dogs by André Alexis - Fiction

Fifteen dogs by André Alexis takes the reader into the minds of the dogs. They escape from the shelter as a group to fend for themselves within the environs of the City of Toronto. They become a pack. They roam the streets until they come to High Park. Here, they create a coppice as their new home. On their own they learn to hunt for sustenance. Leaders emerge among them who define the differences in each dog, its relationship to each other and the leaders.

There are vivid descriptions of how these dogs interact with each other and other dogs they avoid in their meanderings around the Park highlighted by the variety of smells and filth they encounter in their new environment. There is a sense of wildness evident in these dogs as they plot, scheme and even kill. They communicate with each other and a couple of them assume the human language.

Each dog’s fate and eventual demise is determined by the gods, Hermes and Apollo. These gods “toy” with the cognitive senses of these dogs as they shape the fate of this group of dogs. The author brings in philosophical aspects of the undercurrent of the mind and intelligence of each dog through his portrayal of how these dogs live and survive or not.

Fifteen Dogs is an unusual read. It takes the reader into the minds of the dogs that could create rare assumptions leading to shrewd conclusions.

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