The Magical Realism of Life of Pi

The Magical Realism of Life of Pi
Review by Margie Taylor

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Fifteen Dogs by Andre Alexis wins Canada Reads

I read Fifteen Dogs and okay. it was okay but not terrific although a lot of people in my book club and writers' groups loved it. One local writer foud a depth to the book that I didn't find. He stated that the lives of the dogs, after they gained human powers, mirrored the lives of humansity in its variety, tragedy and uncertainly. Sort of existential dogs. Well, yeah, maybe. I thought it was a gimmick book based on the idea that the Greek Gods gift the dogs with powers they never had before and so they burst out from captivity at the vets and try to set up a society of their own. And so on.

In fact I was not thrilled with the entire list this year. I read The Right to be Cold, a memoir by environmentalist Sheila Watt-Cloutier and I thought it was a strong book but not perhaps the best of Can Lit this year. Actually I am not sure that Canada Reads has a mandate to pick the best for the contest. I liked the give and take of the discussions but I thought, where was Wonder by Emma Donaghue, Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood, The Birthday Lunch by Joan Clark, Son of a Trickster by Eden Robinson and several others that I read in the past twelve months.

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