Welcome Book Lovers, Animal Lovers and men and women of the world!

I hope you find something to interest you in my blog. I wanted a place to share my love of books, make some sense of the Universe, and possibly make some friends along the way. If you like what you see, please feel free to comment, and if you are a fellow book lover or animal lover, it's a pleasure to know you. Come back any time and share your day with me!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Book Review-"Even The Dogs" by Jon McGregor

My review of Even The Dogs was one that I took under careful consideration. This was an unusual book which, it was clear, would shock some readers, while hitting home with others. In a technical sense, the author shows his mastery of the craft of writing, and his deep understanding of the human condition as it applies to those who frequent the underbelly of society. Is this through a personal acquaintance with a seamy, dark life among the scavengers of a middle class existence, of those who do not "succeed" but chase after the crumbs and detritus of the lives they never quite "managed"? Or does McGregor have the gift of placing himself in the skin of his characters so completely that his stream-of-consciousness dialogue becomes disturbing to the reader? This dialogue, often trailing off mid-sentence, or seeming to lose its focus as it begins another story within a story, is often an indictment of those of us who can observe the "low crawlers" of this society and feel nothing but contempt for their apparent weakness in the face of temptation. In fact, the dialogue is a tool McGregor employs that carries the reader from the scene at hand to events that led to the present catastrophe or dilemma, or has the potential to suggest redemption, just out of reach of the speaker. Some readers may feel only compassion for the ruined lives before them, the bad choices, the potential unrecognized, the humanity withheld, while other readers wonder how to feel pity for these people who choose to live their lives in dirty holes, apartments full of used needles and the vomit of past trips into an ecstasy only felt, never realized in any concrete world? Either way, McGregor has accomplished his task of placing before his readers a world of dark and light, depending from where the reader views it. It is a book filled with only a few days, but days jammed full of the existence of people who fill every minute with a desperation that makes the time seem longer, the end seem closer, the parallels more distant. I think the novel is a success. Its success makes it neither easier to read nor more pleasant for the reader. It makes Jon McGregor a master at manipulating dialogue and characterization into a world clamoring to be remembered, a literary device that allows each reader to carry away from "Even The Dogs" what they will, be it positive or negative. It seems a given that it will not be forgotten easily. ( )