Tuesday, 13 November 2018

The Shapes Of Dogs' Eyes by Harry Gallon

The Shapes Of Dogs' Eyes by Harry Gallon
First published in the UK by Dead Ink in November 2015

Featured in Cover Characteristics: Dogs

How I got this book:

Received a copy from its publishers via NetGalley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Convinced that London s young-professionals are being controlled by their dogs, a homeless bartender embarks on a drunken campaign to rescue his peers from domesticity. Sofa-hopping across a Hackney overrun with hungover musicians, craft brewers and their canine masters, he slips further into fantasy the more obsessed he becomes with setting himself, and everyone else, free. But after falling in love with a young actress, the thing he s fighting against may have become what he wants most of all.

The Shapes of Dogs Eyes explores the philosophies of love, homelessness, and a restless sense of uncertainty in a modern London as brittle and unmoored, as familiar and as chimerical, as the characters that move through it.

The Shapes Of Dogs' Eyes is an odd eyecatching title which encouraged me to check out this book's synopsis. Set in modern-day London, we are introduced to the pub scene of Hackney and thereabouts by our homeless sofa-surfing bartender narrator. In between pulling pints of craft beer and euthanising cockroaches, he thinks he has discovered an insidious plot whereby dogs are taking over the lives of their owners. Or maybe he's just imbibed one too many today.

I loved the language in The Shapes Of Dogs' Eyes. If Gallon hasn't ever been a Hackney bartender, I would be amazed. His understanding of his characters and insightful observations on their lives are put across in sharp evocative prose which made me want to be visiting this part of London as I read, walking those streets and inviting loathing by ordering coffee in one of the pubs! I admit that I didn't completely understand the whole dogs' plot idea, but the interaction imagery of these dogs and their owners is frequently superb. An unexpected delight!

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  1. That's funny. I can see the dogs plotting, my dog would want all the treats.

  2. This sounds really good. I wonder what my dogs would do if they took me over.

    1. You'd probably spend forever on a w.a.l.k. ;-)

  3. Interesting title *and* cover! This sounds kinda fun :-)

    1. An unusual novel, and a very entertaining read :-)