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HarperCollins Publishers (AU)
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The Dog Kindle Edition
‘I’m in love with this book … It’s superbly written and very very funny and also very true’ David Aaronovitch
‘On page after page, O'Neill can still dazzle as a compellingly intelligent writer. Everywhere you look, there's a shimmering portrait of modernity waiting to be glimpsed … [An] ambitious, lucidly thought-through novel’ Guardian
‘Our only truly international writer … Breathtaking … O'Neill's writing reflects the individual's concerns in our desolate modern world in prose that is illuminating, amusing, sometimes beautiful, but never showy … A joy to read … Supremely insightful and intelligent … You can open the book anywhere and find sparkling sentences that perfectly describe what is momentarily in focus … Original and brilliant’ Irish Independent
‘O’Neill has become a writer extraordinarily attuned to the global and the post-national … Like “Netherland”, THE DOG has captured the zeitgeist … This is where O’Neill feels at home: telling the stories of those who cease to belong’ Telegraph
‘Sharp, sad and sometimes hilarious, this is a fable for our times’ Daily Mail
‘A mercilessly absurd portrait of the city’s wealthy residents … Our narrator is like Woody Allen trapped inside a Kafka novel … Brilliant … One of the wittiest critiques of modern, materialistic life that you’ll read for a long while’ The Times
‘The best comic novel I’ve read for ages’ The Scotsman
‘Enraged, brutal, witty and at times brilliant’ Sunday Times
‘Erudite and deliciously comic … like a mix of Martin Amis and Thomas Bernhard …With consummate elegance, THE DOG turns in on itself in imitation of the dreadful circling and futility of consciousness itself … Its wit and brio keeps us more temporarily alive than we usually allow ourselves to be’ New York Times Book Review
‘A mordantly funny and, surprisingly for these times, deeply moral tale of lost love and economic betrayal’ John Banville, Observer, Books of the Year--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Joseph O’Neill is the author of three previous novels, ‘This is the Life’, ‘The Breezes’ and Man Booker-longlisted ‘Netherland’, as well as a memoir, ‘Blood-Dark Track’. He lives in New York.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
- ASIN : B00J1XSFM2
- Publisher : Fourth Estate (25 July 2014)
- Language: : English
- File size : 1292 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 257 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 0007275749
- Best Sellers Rank: 478,059 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top review from Australia
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In this case, the narrator is not a nice man. A New York attorney of Swiss heritage, he has found himself running the sizeable fortune of the Batros family – an elderly Beiruti businessman and his two shady sons. Our narrator, who goes to some lengths to conceal his name (which is probably Xavier), takes a fairly hands-off approach to the work, batting away bothersome e-mails and simply signing documents provided by the Batros brothers, apparently without even bothering to read them. This allows our narrator to spend his time more usefully engaged in diving, running, wa*king and looking out of his impressive apartment window. He has a flunkey, Ali, to take care of any actual work that might pop up; when it doesn’t, Ali is a useful substitute for a real friend.
Our narrator affects nonchalance and modesty. He feigns compassion. Yet, when push comes to shove, everything is somebody else’s problem. He gazes intently at the inequalities in Dubai, shrugs his shoulders and sighs. Perhaps he gives a few dollars to a couple of NGOs to help alleviate the plight of the poor, but these donations are almost certainly less generous and more expedient than he makes out. For real charity, he believes his payment of Russian call girls represents a fair trickle down of wealth.
Our narrator has a past. He, like so many expats in Dubai, is escaping from a failed relationship which, despite his rationalisation, does not make him look good. But the present to which he has escaped is portrayed as shallow and worthless. There are material comforts, but there is envy of those who seem to have so much more. Despite being American, our narrator is still hired help. When he is obliged to offer an internship to Sandro Batros’s obese son, it becomes clear who calls the shots.
The narrative style is self-consciously legalistic. Long words are used, sometimes misused, when shorter ones would have done. There are brackets within brackets within brackets. The story wanders and rambles from one thread to another – which is useful in obscuring the fact that not much actually happens. There are loose ends all over the place; there are matters of intrigue that would not have had a second glance had our narrator and his colleagues not all been quite so bored. There are word-plays, hypothetical e-mails, barbed sarcasm. Most of all, there is self-promotion. Our narrator strives to assure us of his decency, intellect, good taste whilst bragging constantly of his close connections to serious players. It looks grotesque and Joseph O’Neill wants it to look grotesque.
Dubai itself is depicted in great detail – obviously through the jaundiced view of a man who is no longer in love with it, but nevertheless in a convincing way. The fragility of the model: palaces in the desert, artificial lagoons, multi-million dollar jobs, sports cars – all could be taken away at the click of someone’s fingers. Joseph O’Neill clearly presents the differentiated levels of privilege on offer, depending on your passport or ethnicity. This is compared and contrasted with the relatively recency of a modest history. There is a sense that, for expats, ambitions based on wealth and status only have meaning back home; in a foreign country the rules are different; status has no reference point and everything becomes ephemeral – living for the moment.
Sometimes it is said that the greatest gift is to see ourselves as others see us. Joseph O’Neill used the concept of the Anglo-Dutch outsider to give a quirky, offbeat view of New York in Netherland. Here, he uses the New Yorker to give an offbeat view of Dubai. Alas, Dubai is perhaps not quite substantial enough to warrant such a dissection; the quirkiness of Netherland and its plans for a cricket league are just not quite recreated in The Dog. It’s still a good novel, but it’s not Netherland.
Top reviews from other countries
This is the first book I've read in years that has immediately gone to the charity shop - it's so dire I refuse to keep it on the shelf.