The Book of Dog

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 06 Nov 2018

Member Reviews

Again this is another book I had already read but my review didnt make it on here apparently. 
I got 20% done with this book and just couldn't do it. It just felt like all kinds of things were just thrown together in this book.
Thank you for allowing me to read and review this eARC.
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Thank you NetGalley! This is one of those books that requires a rating of more than 5 stars. It's insightful and inspiring. The author's  clear-eyed view of religion and patriarchy and their influence on politics is spot-on. She attacks both with unwavering ferocity and the apocalyptic battle between good and evil is deliciously laden with vivid, devilishly clever metaphors and alluring alliteration. When realizing the true depravity of the President, Stella observes “she had been taken in by his slimy charms, and she had made excuses for him, and she had blamed herself when he behaved badly, and only now was his true nature revealed to her, as he spittled and spat, and as his blistery skin glistened in the heat of a sun that looked far too close and too big.” This book is not a criticism of religion per se, but it is a condemnation of fanaticism and blind obedience, as well as a critique of the patriarchal underpinnings of most. The fact that the name of the book is reminiscent of The Word of God is no mistake. The message that those most marginalized, particularly females, will save us should not come as a surprise. The imagery of Mother Earth as protector and redeemer and life-giver is inextricably tied to the identity of the women who join together to fight the beast. The childlike, disarming illustrations belie a powerful message of hope and persistence. This is a must-read for anyone tempted to give up. You are not alone. You are not insignificant or powerless. When we join forces, we can overcome. Woof say all!
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Even as an avowed cat lover (which species gets a bit of short shrift towards the end of the book!), I couldn't help but be charmed by this sui generis parable. Others have invoked Orwell, Kafka, and Thurber (for the droll drawings) in attempting to find authors with similar themes/styles, all of which are certainly germane - I'd add in Tom Robbins and Jeff VanderMeer - but Ms. Benobi is in a class by herself and believe me, you've never read ANYTHING close to this. In these perilous times, it is heartening to read a book that wholeheartedly opts for goodness overcoming evil.

My sincere thanks to Netgalley, Vegetablian Books, and the author (a very recent GR friend!) for their generosity in providing an ARC in return for this honest review.
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Thank you to Netgalley for the ARC. 
Now onto my review. 
What the hell did I just read?  Believe it or not, I mean that in the best way possible!  What the heck did I just read.   As far fetched as this story was, I seriously couldn't put it down, especially because it did keep me giggling.  
It was hugely entertaining and unlike anything I have ever read before.  5+ stars from me!
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Very odd take on end times prophecy mixed with today’s dystopian flair.

In the wake of a yellow puff-ball mushroom cloud, a yellow fog is making its way across the world.  Rivers have run dry, earthquakes are occurring, and volcanoes are erupting in multiple events that may be signaling the end of the world.  Through all the chaos, six women are tied together through a common prophecy.  As people continue to vanish, causing many to believe the rapture has occurred, a series of events has been set into place that could be the end of humanity as we know it unless the six women are able to work together and bring it to an end.

So, this book was really different.  I’ve read a lot of end times prophecy books and this followed (partially, or at least hinted of) the biblical revelation.  However, it wasn’t in a serious manner.  In fact, most of it was hilarious.  It got to the point that it was so crazy, that I just kept turning the pages to see what would happen next and I never saw what was coming next.  It kept getting nuttier with each page, but the story line was enjoyable all the same.  

This is definitely a book that needs to be read by a mature audience.  There is quite a bit of language throughout as well as some rather graphic sex based material that would not be suitable for a young audience.  If you are looking for something different and can keep an open mind, check this out.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher.  The views and opinions expressed within are my own.
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The Book of Dog is one of the strangest books you'll ever read, yet somehow it works. This apocalyptic tale of the coming of the rapture pairs American ignorance with freakish occurrences, sending the read on a dystopian path through the stories of six women and the inevitable end of the world as we know it. I can't begin to describe how strange of a read this is, and I'm amazed at how well all of the bizarre pieces work together to create this quirky story.

NOTE: I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest, unbiased review. I only publish reviews of books I enjoy, and this novel meets that criterion.

THE BOOK OF DOG

Lark Benobi
Vegetablian Books, September 2018

QUICK SUMMARY

Six women begin a day like any other that quickly descends into chaos. The world is changing rapidly and nobody knows what to do about it. At the center is a woman on her way to give birth to a child who could decide the fate of the world.

WHY I LOVED IT

CULTURAL COMMENTARY

There's so much going on in this book, making it a daunting task to break it down. The strongest commentary centers on American ignorance of bad news and our belief that if we ignore what's happening, it will simply fix itself. The beginning moments of the book paint this picture perfectly. A woman is leaving a job, heading to a new city when she sees a mushroom cloud in her rearview mirror. Were this an action movie, cars would have swerved, people would be jumping out of their cars to gawk at the terror and run screaming. Instead, the character keeps driving, pretending it isn't happening.

Throughout, we hear news broadcasts and religious sermons, focused more on heralding the end of the world than actually finding solutions to the issues at hand. We see a man who didn't take any precautions because his specific news network didn't talk about it, so it couldn't be true. The world is literally falling apart and people are continuing to go about their daily lives. Even when they begin to turn into animals, they don't think anything of it. They just think 'wow, I'm an animal' and go on with their lives. It's astounding to imagine people reacting this way, but believable given the direction our news-driven culture is going.

LEGEND-LEVEL STORYTELLING

The writing style is something I haven't seen before. At first, the dialogue seems stunted and the general narrative feels awkward. After a few chapters, it becomes obvious that the author is telling the story more as a legend or than a typical novel. Dialogue isn't realistic in its cadence or casualness. It's more formal, while somehow also being informal. This approach works well given the unfathomable happenings. It's hard to articulate something nobody believes can happen, and the author has done just that, telling us an unbelievable story in an unbelievable fashion.

THE MATTER-OF-FACTNESS

This aspect is what makes the novel work. People turn into animals, the oceans are boiling, everything is falling apart, and the people just continue with their lives. There is no panic or fear on display, just groups of people living their lives as something different than they were yesterday. There are explosions of anger and confusion coming from the televisions and the radios, but everyone turns them off and rolls their eyes. This approach takes the story to a tall-tale level, lending a credibility to the events that feels strange to accept.

THE ABSURDITIES OF GOVERNMENT

The world is ending, so what does the government do? They hide underground and shoot missiles at things, hoping that will help solve the multiplying list of problems taking over the world. They remain huddled deep within their mountain, the President telling everyone that he will save the day. Unsurprisingly, the day isn't saved and they don't solve a single problem. It's an obvious criticism of our modern leaders taken to the next level.

A STRANGE (AND HOPEFUL) ENDING

I don't want to say much about the end of the book beyond the statement that it's as wild as they come. The combination of political satire and criticism with the biblical rapture ends in a no-holds-barred sequence of events that leaves you laughing at its originality and boldness.

CONCEPTS

Dystopia, Alternate Reality, Science Fiction, Government, War

The review will be posted at the following link on October 3: https://reviewsandrobots.com/2018/10/03/the-book-of-dog-book-review
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I was pleasantly surprised by The Book of Dog. It is a very interesting take on a dystopian future of women taking the shapes of animals and depleting the world of men. It was a funny and enjoyable read that took me by surprise. I did not think I'd like this book as much as I did.
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Fun and fearless, and somehow both trenchant and sweetly optimistic at the same time.  What an unexpected treat.  It's a quick read, playful, clever and with a very satisfying ending.  Woof Say All!
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A Feminist Fable of the End Times

A group of six women are caught up in the destruction of the world. A yellow fog is moving across America sowing chaos across the country. People are being turned into animals. The women band together to confront the apocalypse beast and save the world. 

Although the book has political overtones, it can be read and enjoyed as a fable. The line drawings add a nice addition to the text. In many ways, the book is whimsical recalling Watership Down, Animal House, and other fantasy tales.

The characters are interesting. Each woman has a distinct personality which isn’t easy with so many characters. The book moves at a good pace and the writing is clear. If you enjoy fantasy novels with a political bent, you may enjoy this book. 

I received this book from PR bu the Book for this review.
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Playful and politically charged, The Book of Dog is a truly modern fable, beautifully complimented by simple illustrations. I loved every moment.
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A fable of the book of revelations, clearly influenced by the politics of 2017/8 America. Clever, thoughtful, and addictive. I read it in a few hours on a lazy Saturday. The style reminds me of Douglas Adams. Highly recommend!
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This tale is quirky and written well and with a lot of emotion thrown in, with sly digs at a lot of the current political goings on.The story begins with a weird poem but then goes on to tell the story of the poem in prose. There is a yellow fog that is enveloping the world, starting with western USA. This fog is deadly in a strange sort of way ( notice the similar tone of the descriptions used by me, such as strange and weird). It is not a very big story and revealing any more of it will take the fun out of actually reading it. 

The most fun can be derived if you can look past the words at the politics that is being discussed. The only reason that I give it only three stars was because I liked the starting poem so much that I expected something different from the rest of the book. I am sure most people who read it would like it more than I did!
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Weirdly enjoyable. Thank you to NetGalley and Vegetablian Books for the free advanced copy.

I am still not quite sure how to frame my review of The Book of Dog by Lark Benobi. The novel took me about 40-ish pages to get into, but once I started reading the story flew by. Essentially, the story follows six women during an apocalypse: a giant yellow cloud - the result of a chemical agent negligently released (I think...? I don't know if this was ever fully resolved) and is turning women into animals. While women are turning into animals, the Rapture happens, and most of the men are raptured into heaven. A teen girl, Stella King, is impregnated by the Devil, but she doesn't know the man was the devil. She runs away from home to get to the city of Nethalem in Northern California. Along the way, she meets various characters who all eventually turn into animals. The American Government is in chaos and doesn't know why women are turning into animals, but decides to bomb tons of countries in retaliation and also tries to kill all the women-turned-animals. The President of the United States turns into the Beast of the Apocalypse and tries to eat Stella's baby, but she stabs him in the balls, and along with the five women who have turned into animals, defeats the beast. No men remain and the women live in a newly established Eden and procreate without the aid of men. 

The Book of Dog reminded me a lot of a more modern Doctor Strangelove in novel form. There were a lot of hilarious absurdities and subtle (some not so subtle) references to current events. The Beast of the Apocalypse was clearly Donald Trump (thanks to the illustrations and the fact that the Beast was orange and the Beast yelling "WITCH HUNT!" upon his death). I also appreciated Benobi's many literary references.

What I appreciated was that the characters that had the most intelligence as animals (the dogs) were the first to recognize that they had been infected by the chemical agent. The animals that were slower to develop intelligence and an ability to communicate with other animals were the ones who denied the apocalypse the longest - and eventually die along with the Beast. This is a good analogy to the nature of "truth" that keeps getting bandied about in current politics. Even with - take your pick, climate change, the current president's collusion, etc. - no matter how many blatant and objective facts are presented, some people will still continue to deny the fact that such facts exist. Hopefully, however, once the Beast of the Apocalypse is gone, only women will remain to rule the world. 

The Book of Dog would be an excellent book club read - I had the feeling upon finishing that I would either need to read it again or discuss it in a group to fully digest the analogies and metaphors Benobi presented.
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The Book of Dog was a surprisingly fun read. The writing is clear and concise throughout and the additional artwork helps to set the tone of the story. While I was not quite expecting the twist at the end, I was never confused about what was happening at any point. This book is a well-written and humorous portrayal of current events that only requires part of an afternoon to get through.
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The Book of Dog is a brilliant homage to Kurt Vonnegut with both doodles and a post-apocalyptic bend.  I think he'd be quite proud to read this little novel.  Especially a surprise little doodle towards the end with some political relevance - I personally liked that one best.

I must admit, about halfway through the reading of this novel my apprehension of where things were going to end up almost caused me to proverbially throw my kindle across the room in annoyance.  As a nonreligious person, I do not take kindly to proselytizing on any level.  However, the climactic reveal and resolution of this story are so deeply satisfying that now I applaud the discomfort the rising action put me through.  Well done, Lark Benobi.  You've made a new and loyal fan in me.
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Let's start with the Thurberesque line drawings of characters human and animal which set the whimsical style of this pre? post? apocalyptic road trippy adventure. Delightful. And, together with the plain spoken but off kilter dialogue, signal that nothing too terrible is going to happen and the good gals will win. Or will they? A short read with laughs aplenty.
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The Book of Dog was completely unlike any other book I've ever read.  The mix of the apocalypse and politics and fantasy was brilliant.  It took a few chapters for me to adjust to the story and the writing style.  There were times where I thought the writing style was too simple, and then the next page would blow me away with depth.  As it went on, I grew to appreciate the writing style, and I ended up really liking the book.  It's not my normal type of read (I'm not even sure how to classify this as a "type of read"), but it captivated me and I finished it fairly quickly.  Overall, it was a fun read with a great ending of hope.
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This is at once very clever and very simple, and I loved it. This is a book about women, and how strong women are despite how the world, and men in particular treat them. Which, as a feminist, I loved. But it's much more than that. The characters in this book were great, and how they interacted led to a great story. I also really enjoyed the illustrations (I assume by the author?) which complemented the story really well and really added something.
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This story is a twisted, comedy of errors as he world we know goes to hell. You have five normal women that have been changed into animals yet can retain their human logic. You have a pregnant teenager with the spawn of Satan. Then you have the beast straight from the book of Revelations. Oh, don’t forget that the president has been changed into a Bichon Frise. 

This book was laugh out loud funny with its humorous and snarky look at the world. It was the perfect read for me as I needed a laugh. It was a great break from the dreariness of regular life and one that I recommend everyone checking it. If you laugh at least once, this book was worth it.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily chose to read and post an honest review.
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This is great reading - not only for its mythic quality, but for the chance to be truly surprised by a book that does not seem to resort to "gotcha" moments.  I couldn't stop reading it.
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