Fifteen Dogs by Andre Alexis

FiftDogs Any blog about the best of the year should include the best of 2015’s Canadian novels.  The story concerns a group of dogs left overnight in a Toronto veterinary clinic and given human consciousness in a bet between Apollo and Hermes.  The new awareness divides the animals between their old “dog” ways and their new abilities. The gods continue watching the dogs as they escape and explore the world with new eyes. The personalities and skills of each dog are distinct and it becomes easy to identify with each animal. Moments of anger and violence, are balanced with touches of tenderness, and the relationships between the dogs and humans are thought provoking. Alexis shows all the virtues and foibles of human nature as the novel ranges through the lives of the dogs, combining humour and pathos.  While this is a thin volume, the language is lyrical and the themes are timeless.


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