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Even the Dogs by Jon McGregor

Even the Dogs

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Selected by Sarah Broadhurst

Featured on The TV Book Club on More4 on 6 Mar 2011.

Intense, exhilarating, and shot through with hope and fury, Even the Dogs is an intimate exploration of life at the edges of society - littered with love, loss, despair, and a half-glimpse of redemption.

If you like Jon McGregor you might also like to read books by Bret Easton Ellis, Donal Ryan and Cynan Jones.

Who is Sarah Broadhurst


Even the Dogs by Jon McGregor

On a cold, quiet day between Christmas and the New Year, a man's body is found in an abandoned apartment. His friends look on, but they're dead, too. Their bodies found in squats and sheds and alleyways across the city.

Victims of a bad batch of heroin, they're in the shadows, a chorus keeping vigil as the hours pass, paying their own particular homage as their friend's body is taken away, examined, investigated, and cremated. All of their stories are laid out piece by broken piece through a series of fractured narratives. We meet Robert, the deceased, the only alcoholic in a sprawling group of junkies; Danny, just back from uncomfortable holidays with family, who discovers the body and futiley searches for his other friends to share the news of Robert's death; Laura, Robert's daughter, who stumbles into the junky's life when she moves in with her father after years apart; Heather, who has her own place for the first time since she was a teenager; Mike, the Falklands War vet; and all the others.

Theirs are stories of lives fallen through the cracks, hopes flaring and dying, love overwhelmed by a stronger need, and the havoc wrought by drugs, distress, and the disregard of the wider world. These invisible people live in a parallel reality, out of reach of basic creature comforts, like food and shelter. In their sudden deaths, it becomes clear, they are treated with more respect than they ever were in their short lives.

Intense, exhilarating, and shot through with hope and fury, Even the Dogs is an intimate exploration of life at the edges of society--littered with love, loss, despair, and a half-glimpse of redemption.


'Absolutely OUTSTANDING ... Jon McGregor is a writer who will make a significant stamp on world literature. In fact, he already has ... an incredible book, I just adored it'
Colum McCann

'McGregor brings the underclass we instinctively turn away from into razor-sharp and sympathetic focus. A stone cold brilliant achievement'
John Harvey

'A rare combination of profound empathy and wonderful writing'
Mark Haddon

About the Author

Jon McGregor

Jon McGregor is the author of four novels and a story collection. He is the winner of the IMPAC Dublin Literature Prize, Betty Trask Prize, and Somerset Maugham Award, and has twice been longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. He is Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Nottingham, where he edits The Letters Page , a literary journal in letters. He was born in Bermuda in 1976, grew up in Norfolk, and now lives in Nottingham.

Photograph © Dan Sinclair

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Book Info

Publication date

4th January 2011


Jon McGregor

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Bloomsbury Publishing PLC


208 pages


Literary Fiction
NewGen - YA Fiction
Books for the Boys
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
War & combat fiction



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