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Fifteen Dogs
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Fifteen Dogs


" I wonder", said Hermes, "what it would be like if animals had human intelligence."
" I'll wager a year's servitude, answered Apollo, that animals – any animal you like – would be even more unhappy than humans are, if they were given human intelligence."

And so it begins: a bet between the gods Hermes and Apollo leads them to grant human consciousness and language to a group of dogs overnighting at a Toronto vet­erinary clinic. Suddenly capable of more complex thought, the pack is torn between those who resist the new ways of thinking, preferring the old 'dog' ways, and those who embrace the change.

The gods watch from above as the dogs venture into their newly unfamiliar world, as they become divided among themselves, as each struggles with new thoughts and feelings. Wily Benjy moves from home to home, Prince becomes a poet, and Majnoun forges a relationship with a kind couple that stops even the Fates in their tracks.

André Alexis's contemporary take on the apologue offers an utterly compelling and affecting look at the beauty and perils of human consciousness. By turns meditative and devastating, charming and strange, Fifteen Dogs shows you can teach an old genre new tricks.

Title:Fifteen Dogs
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Paperback
Number of Pages:171 pages
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    Fifteen Dogs Reviews

  • Glenn Sumi
    Dec 05, 2015

    A doggone clever and moving bookIf animals were granted human intelligence, would they die happier or unhappier? That’s the intriguing question at the heart of André Alexis’s imaginative novel, t...

  • Jill
    Dec 14, 2015

    If George Orwell decided to write his allegorical Animal Farm in 2015 instead of 1945, he might have come up with something like Fifteen Dogs.On second thought, scratch that. I don’t think anyone â€...

  • Jennifer (aka EM)
    Apr 01, 2015

    Edited: my first review was harsh. And although I stand by my overall evaluation, I don't really want to slam this little book, a Giller prize winner - and recognize that I am decidedly in the minorit...

  • Chris
    Oct 02, 2015

    Woof. Woof woof wruf wuf. Woof woof. Grrrr.Wruf wuf. Whimper.Goddamn it. Fuck you, Apollo!Woof wuf. Wuf.sobs uncontrollablyTranslation to follow once I stop crying.P.S. Wrrruuff woof Giller Prize wuf....

  • Matthew Quann
    Dec 17, 2015

    [4.5 Stars] Second Book of Alexis' QuincunxCANADA READS 2017 WINNER: CONGRATS TO ANDRÉ ALEXIS!In 2000, the Baha Men famously asked, “Who let the dogs out?” Little did they know that it would be o...

  • BookLover
    Mar 24, 2017

    Not sure what to say about this book. It did impact me deeply, though probably not for the same reasons the author intended. This was a mostly dark and bleak look at humanity. To be honest, I found it...

  • Wanda
    Feb 04, 2015

    An interesting novel, which has obviously caught the attention of a number of Calgarians. I had to wait a very long time to get it from our public library and when I returned it this morning there wer...

  • Alex
    Jul 08, 2015

    My dog can't talk. I checked again this morning. His answer to pretty much everything I say is to play bow and growl at me.Andre Alexis's book is about fifteen dogs who can suddenly talk - and reason ...

  • Paul Lima
    Nov 30, 2015

    Okay, I'm half way through this book and I'am not sure how I lasted this long. The author obviously knows nothing about dogs. To settle a bet, two Greek gods give 15 dogs in a pound human attributes, ...

  • Paul Bryant
    Dec 05, 2015

    Hmmm, a whimsical wager by two Greek gods lounging around in a Toronto bar? Eugh. Fifteen random dogs given human intelligence to see if this will make them happier or not? Yeuchhh. So we’re not in ...