book cover of Lives of the Monster Dogs
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Lives of the Monster Dogs

A novel by

Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction Best Book (nominee)
Bram Stoker Best First Novel
Women's Prize For Fiction Best Novel (nominee)
British Fantasy Society Best Novel (nominee)
What a strange and wonderful world Kirsten Bakis has concocted in her debut novel, Lives of the Monster Dogs. In the New York of 2009, 150 "monster" dogs arrive by helicopter and chartered plane, dressed in the clothing of 19th-century Prussian burghers, speaking through surgically implanted voice boxes, able to perform the tasks of humans by virtue of prosthetic hands and enhanced intelligence. The dogs come from a remote village in Canada. German followers of a mad visionary, Augustus Rank, have worked there since 1882 to create a superior race of canine soldiers that will possess the intelligence of men but the courage and loyalty of dogs. Eventually, the dogs rebel against their masters and, in need of a place to go, choose New York, the quintessential melting pot.

Bizarre as the premise is, it doesn't take Bakis long to convince the reader that it's absolutely real. The early chapters concerning the monstrous human, Augustus Rank, and those dealing with the dogs' rebellion (including a convincing libretto from an opera composed by a bull terrier) are especially strong.

Genre: Literary Fiction

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