The Dog Doesn’t Die

Book reviews & random thoughts

Does the Dog Die? A Brief Review of The People’s Act of Love, by James Meek

This book caught my eye a few weeks ago and, since I’m always on the lookout for a good novel based on Russian history, I grabbed it. I think what I really want is a book that’s as good as the movie, Reds. The People’s Act of Love is good, although it isn’t that ideal Russian history novel I perpectually seek. However, author James Meek has some unusual characters, good plotting, and unexpected background situations. I would recommend it but for the fact that it is Extremely Unsafe* for animal lovers, especially in regard to horses.

Unfortunately, too, I can’t say something like “skip pages x through y” because a number of pivotal plot points occur in scenes that integrate the damage to horses. For example, one of the main characters is in the Russian cavalry and finds himself in the midst of a massacre that changes his life and the lives of other characters profoundly. It’s realistic that the horses would also be harmed and killed in this situation, and it’s shown. Meek does an excellent job portraying this and similar incidents, and like it or not, he goes into some detail.

I hope this provides some people with a better basis for making a decision about whether to read this book.

*If you don’t care about violence to animals, by all means get this book, read it, and enjoy. However, one of the main purposes of this blog is to provide people who don’t or even can’t enjoy books in which animals suffer or die with a means of screening books that might disturb them.


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

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