The Dog Doesn’t Die

Book reviews & random thoughts

Does the Dog Die? A Brief Review of The Debt to Pleasure, by John Lanchester

This is an odd book. I hate comparing authors to each other, but I’m going to do that now: this book reminded me of Patricia Highsmith, except it was way too light-hearted, even amusing in spots. Highsmith couldn’t have pulled it off, but I kept thinking of her as I read. As far as the animals are concerned, there are some unpleasant but brief images, and a pet hamster dies, although we don’t actually see the hamster’s demise. So I am going to declare this book Mostly Safe for animal lovers.

The published reviews for this book are all rather cagey, and there’s a reason for that. I think there’s a tendency among readers to trust first-person narrators, at least at first. But is this trust warranted? If the answer is “maybe” or “no,” it leads to a cagey review. Like this one.

Lanchester takes his narrator through some long, winding asides that are often amusing. I liked the book and recommend it for most readers, but if your primary values are fast pacing and snappy dialogue, this is not the book for you. It’s not a beach read, though it might be a beach-house read, if you get the distinction.


May 30, 2008 - Posted by | animals, Book Reviews | , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. Very nice blog.Keep up with the good work.

    Comment by Loan holder | June 3, 2008 | Reply

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