Spain Remembers

Spain Remembers

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Fifteen Dogs - Mini Review by John Pringle

Fifteen Dogs, An Apologue

An Apologue: a fable, using animals or inanimate objects to convey a moral lesson.

If you like fables  and enjoy the company of dogs I suggest you read Scotia Bank Giller Prize Winner, Fifteen Dogs, by Andre Alexis. However, if you are expecting a feel-good story of loyal, cuddly canine companions, you better pass on this one. 

This is a pointed fable, similar to Orwell's Animal Farm, although Alexis delves deeper than the political, exposing the darker (and at times the lighter) side of the human animal's psyche. Based on the premise of a divine bet, dogs take on human consciousness, endowed with everything from appreciating beauty and poetry to grim survivalist instinct, pack mentality, intolerance and domination. 

The book is a thinly veiled poke at mankind's pretensions of moral evolution. To borrow H.G. Well's phrase, humans are often still "shambling toward the light."

  This an important work and I'm really happy it won. It is clever, beautifully imagined, and graced with an ending that leaves the reader redeemed with hope.

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