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The Plague Dogs
by Richard Adams | Literature & Fiction
Registered by cluricaune of Belfast, Co. Antrim United Kingdom on 8/5/2007
Average 9 star rating by BookCrossing Members 

status (set by marsala): travelling

This book is in the wild! This Book is Currently in the Wild!

2 journalers for this copy...

Journal Entry 1 by cluricaune from Belfast, Co. Antrim United Kingdom on Sunday, August 05, 2007

9 out of 10

Richard Adams was born in Berkshire in 1920, and is probably best known for his debut novel, "Watership Down" - a story he originally told to his children, to help pass the time on long car journeys. "The Plague Dogs" was his third novel, and was first published in 1977 - and, like its predecessor, it was adapted into an animated film.

The book's two heroes are Rowf and Snitter - two dogs, and victims of scientific research. Rowf is a large, black mongrel who is constantly being drowned and resusitated while Snitter, a fox terrier, has had brain surgery. (There seems to be little point to the experiments - they're apparently being carried out just for the sheer hell of it). Naturally, Rowf has come to hate the water tank, while the surgery has left Snitter suffering from regular bouts of confusion. Unlike Rowf, who'd been bred for research, Snitter had once been a pet - and despite his operation, he knows there are better people out there than the "whitecoats." The pair are incarcerated at the Animal Research (Scientific and Experimental) labs, based in northern England's Lake District. (The institution's acronym, I'm guessing, gives some idea of what Adams thought about animal experimentation). The book opens on a Friday evening, and Snitter notices that Rowf's cage hasn't been properly closed. He manages to wriggle underneath the partition and the pair manage to escape into the outside world.

Although delighted to have escaped their tormentors, there soon realise that life on the outside isn't going to be easy. At first, Snitter tries to find them a new master - but each effort, naturally, ends in disaster. They soon realise they'll have to feed themselves, and find somewhere dry to sleep. Unfortunately, when they start taking sheep, the local farming comunity decide the dogs are a burden they could do without. The farmers suspect the dogs had indeed escaped from the research station and, when the tabloids get involved, there is a good deal of hysteria whipped up...

I read "The Plague Dogs" for the first time when I was thirteen, and - having re-read it many years later - I'd still rate it very highly. It isn't always an easy read, though; in fact, the first edition of the book's apparently had a slightly different ending to later editions, one that was slightly less warming. There's plenty of cruelty, thanks to ARSE's scientists and their experiments - though few of the humans in the book cover themselves in glory. There's little in the way of happiness, and throughout the book I just couldn't help feeling sorry for the dogs. They really only have one ally, a fox who speaks with a Geordie accent. Nevertheless, some of the writing is wonderful - Adams clearly loved the Lake District area, and the descriptions of the scenery are vivid. However, some of the characters' accents might be a little tricky enough...  

Journal Entry 2 by cluricaune from Belfast, Co. Antrim United Kingdom on Saturday, March 01, 2008

This book has not been rated.

To the finder:

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Journal Entry 3 by cluricaune at YMCA Lagan Meadows in Belfast, Co. Antrim United Kingdom on Saturday, November 05, 2011

This book has not been rated.

Released 6 yrs ago (11/5/2011 UTC) at YMCA Lagan Meadows in Belfast, Co. Antrim United Kingdom


In the bookbox at the back of the gym. I feel a bit bad about letting this go, after having kept it for so long... 

Journal Entry 4 by cluricaune at Belfast, Co. Antrim United Kingdom on Tuesday, March 06, 2012

9 out of 10

Nobody seems too interested, it's been sitting there for months. I'll try releasing somewhere else. 

Journal Entry 5 by cluricaune at Camden Court Hotel in Dublin, Co. Dublin Ireland on Thursday, April 12, 2012

This book has not been rated.

Released 6 yrs ago (4/13/2012 UTC) at Camden Court Hotel in Dublin, Co. Dublin Ireland


Aiming to release this at the Convention tomorrow. 

Journal Entry 6 by marsala at Chiswick, Greater London United Kingdom on Monday, April 16, 2012

This book has not been rated.

This book found it's way into my bag for the release walk and has thus been released somewhere in Dublin, probably in the St Stephens Green area.  

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