The Lives of the Monster Dogs
by Kirsten Bakis
A GROUP of dapper, elegant, top-hattted and monocled dogs arrive in New York in 2008 and are instantly welcomed and instantly become celebrities.
Intelligent and glamorous, the dogs are the creation of a German scientist. They walk on their hind legs and speak via voice boxes, their story is told by a woman called Cleo who is welcomed into their inner circle. The wealthy dogs’ lives seem enviable but once she befriends them Cleo discovers that they are suffering from an incurable disease and that all of them will eventually die. The dogs then withdraw from the limelight, with Cleo being one of the only humans allowed to witness their demise.
This was Bakis’s debut novel and one that is full of admirably inventive ideas, but does require a suspension of belief on the reader’s part. It deals with the impact that the dogs and Cleo have on each other’s lives, and how they struggle to adapt to one another, Bakis making points on the dying of cultures and the effects of isolation.
Enjoyable and thought-provoking. It’s high time she wrote another.