Friday, 20 January 2012

Friday Fiction 2/52

Even The Dogs by Jon McGregor

I picked this up at my local library, because I recognised the author's name from another on my to-read list 'If nobody speaks of remarkable things', but not knowing anything about his writing style, or the story.

Set in a bleak housing estate, as recounted by a faceless matter-of-fact narrator, the story begins with a dead body being discovered and begins to work back through the events that lead to it's discovery and death, chronicling the lives of a group of homeless drug addicts and their struggles. It takes a while before you get to learn anything about the characters, so I was initially quite bored with the story, but trust me, it gets good quickly. Yes, it's incredibly bleak and a little harrowing, but you'd kind of expect that from a book about addiction, no? Don't read it expecting it to be much fun, but it is beautiful in it's own way.

The only real gripe, other than it's initial pace, that I had with it was the way the paragraphs faded out, mid-sentence, leaving thoughts and observations unfinished. This device worked really well during Ben's search for the others, desperate for a fix, when his thoughts were erratic, and when the story is jumping around, but it began to grate when it continued past that. I felt it was less effective as a result of it's over use and it was quite annoying by the end.

It was still very well written though, so I'd give it a 6.5/10.

I've got my hands on a copy of If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things, so I'm interested to see how they compare, and hopefully all the things I liked about Even The Dogs will be in it, but not the rest.

Have you read either? I'd love to hear your opinion on it. How does my review compare to your experience/thoughts?

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