Even the Dogs
4 journalers for this copy...
McGregor's third, and i'm hopeful for another atmospheric, literary and powerful fiction
(April'11) includes spoiler
McGregor, whose writing I greatly admire, has taken on a momentous challenge; to make the down-and-outs and the drunk and alcoholic and the feckless sympathetic, or at least understandable and engaging. And, despite the almost constant depression and degradation he just about pulls if off, although mostly through his incredible prose and creation of believable people and places.
I can only explain the premise by giving away a big part of the plot. The story of the death and life of Robert Radcliffe is tragic in itself, but he is also surrounded by a rag-tag gang of equally unfortunate individuals with mental and physical illnesses, sufferers of dysfunctional upbringings & post-traumatic stress, the addicted underclass. These friends and acquaintances ‘witness’ the aftermath of his death up to an including the coroner’s court and cremation, and piece together what went wrong with his life…and the bizarre circumstances of his passing.
I will give you 2 examples of the depth & breadth of McGregor’s writing. First, and possibly the only humour in the book, the clearly greatly disturbed (schizophrenic?) Mike, ‘Straight up, I don’t think I’d even have mental-health problems in the first place if the voices were just a bit nicer to me…’. And the title, veteran Steve taking an aid delivery to Serbia, ‘There is nothing for you there. There, even the dogs are dead.’ Steve, Robert, his daughter Laura, Heather and her eye tattoo, Ant, Mike & Danny are the ‘dogs’, they lived in the gutter like proverbial dogs, and died…or would die sooner, not later… like unloved and unlovable dogs.
Journal Entry 2
CoffeeLink, Neptune Marina in Ipswich, Suffolk United Kingdom on Saturday, May 14, 2011
Released 8 yrs ago (5/14/2011 UTC) at CoffeeLink, Neptune Marina in Ipswich, Suffolk United Kingdom
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
I'm taking this along to today's Ipswich meet-up, to share and stock up the various Ipswich bookshelves. If you find this, enjoy, and welcome to bookcrossing :)
Journal Entry 3
Ipswich, Suffolk United Kingdom on Saturday, May 14, 2011
Picked up at today's Ipswich meeting.
Journal Entry 4
Ipswich, Suffolk United Kingdom on Thursday, September 08, 2011
Not the most cheerful read by any means, but a interesting story.
Journal Entry 5
CoffeeLink, Neptune Marina in Ipswich, Suffolk United Kingdom on Thursday, September 08, 2011
Released 8 yrs ago (9/10/2011 UTC) at CoffeeLink, Neptune Marina in Ipswich, Suffolk United Kingdom
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
Taking to this month's Ipswich meet up.
Journal Entry 6
Ipswich, Suffolk United Kingdom on Sunday, April 22, 2012
Jon McGregor is a writer I deeply admire, and ‘Even the Dogs’ was my train journey reading whilst visiting relatives over the Christmas season. It’s about the discovery of a body in a council estate flat, and the damaged or drug-addled people who might have prevented the tragedy from occurring. Equally culpable are the myriad authorities who seem to have little compassion for the living, but lavish reverence and expense on the dead. Not the most festive title I could have chosen, it’s a brutal and poignant read.
Journal Entry 7
Caffe Basso in Ipswich, Suffolk United Kingdom on Saturday, April 28, 2012
Released 7 yrs ago (4/28/2012 UTC) at Caffe Basso in Ipswich, Suffolk United Kingdom
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
Left in the window with the magazines and things. I had a cappuccino, by the way.
Journal Entry 8
Ipswich, Suffolk United Kingdom on Friday, January 17, 2014
Picked this up yesterday ( Jan 16 2014 ) Hard to believe it's been sat in the window of one of my favourite coffee shops all this time. When I have read it, I will release it a little further afield - perhaps London or Yorkshire.