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. Books > Reviews

 

Lives of the Monster Dogs


by Kirsten Bakis

 

Good original concept, terribly written


Aside from an original concept, there really isn't anything here. This novel is somewhat amazing in its badness on all fronts. From ridiculous narrators to trite writing to meandering plotting to one dimensional characters, this book has it all. A high school English teacher would reject the writing level as sub-par.

Despite the novel’s amateur prose from page 1, the New York Times Book Review bestows shocking praise on the front cover. The quote reads "...unfolds like a rich, resonant dream... A dazzling, unforgettable meditation on what it means to be human." Unbelievable. I have no idea why the New York Times would spread-eagle itself before this mess. I suppose you would have to be a publishing house insider to know, but the fix was definitely in on this one.

To provide an example of the rudimentary writing style and content, here are the very last lines of the clichéd ending: "I pray that... I'll get word of whether he is still alive and where he is. Even if I couldn't know that, I'd like to have a dream about him, just to see him again. But I never do. I miss him." The whole novel is like that! This book could be held up as an example of how not to write a novel. Stay away or you will suffer.