An ApologueeBook - 2015
An utterly convincing and moving look at the beauty and perils of consciousness.
WINNER OF THE 2015 GILLER PRIZE
WINNER OF THE 2015 ROGERS WRITERS' TRUST FICTION PRIZE
FINALIST FOR THE 2015 TORONTO BOOK AWARDS
- I wonder, said Hermes, what it would be like if animals had human intelligence.
- I'll wager a year's servitude, answered Apollo, that animals - any animal you like - would be even more unhappy than humans are, if they were given human intelligence.
And so it begins: a bet between the gods Hermes and Apollo leads them to grant human consciousness and language to a group of dogs overnighting at a Toronto veterinary clinic. Suddenly capable of more complex thought, the pack is torn between those who resist the new ways of thinking, preferring the old 'dog' ways, and those who embrace the change. The gods watch from above as the dogs venture into their newly unfamiliar world, as they become divided among themselves, as each struggles with new thoughts and feelings. Wily Benjy moves from home to home, Prince becomes a poet, and Majnoun forges a relationship with a kind couple that stops even the Fates in their tracks.
Andr#65533; Alexis's contemporary take on the apologue offers an utterly compelling and affecting look at the beauty and perils of human consciousness. By turns meditative and devastating, charming and strange, Fifteen Dogs shows you can teach an old genre new tricks.
From Library Staff
SurreyLibraries_Reads Jul 21, 2017
Having to learn English as a Second Language in Canada I related to the story of dogs learning to communicate with humans. Being a dog lover I found the concept of dogs developing human intelligence very enjoyable and wildly original.
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In a Toronto tavern, the gods Apollo and Hermes strike a bet. When Hermes wonders what it would be like if animals had human intelligence, his brother Apollo wagers a year’s servitude that the animals—any animals Hermes would like—would be unhappier than humans if given human intelligence. The wager is struck, and fifteen dogs in a nearby animal shelter suddenly gain human consciousness—all while still in possession of their canine urges and instincts. As they develop a new language to convey their transformed understanding of the world, the pack becomes divided between those who embrace the new way of thinking and communicating, and those who wish to resist change at all costs. The gods watch—and occasionally interfere—as the dogs try to navigate this abrupt transition. But will any of them die happy?
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