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ISBN:
074759905X
Language:
English
Publisher:
BLOOMSBURY PUBLISHING PLC
EPUB book:
1719 kb
FB2 book:
1424 kb
DJVU:
1126 kb
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Rating:
4.5
Votes:
427


Dog Boy (2009) is a novel by Australian author Eva Sallis, writing under the pseudonym Eva Hornung. It won the 2010 Prime Minister's Literary Award for Fiction. It was inspired by the story of feral child Ivan Mishukov.

Dog Boy (2009) is a novel by Australian author Eva Sallis, writing under the pseudonym Eva Hornung. Romochka is a feral child, raised by dogs and found on the streets of Moscow in the summer of 1998. He appears to be six years old and has been with the pack for two years. This novel examines his life on the streets and the changes he undergoes as he transforms from "dog" to "boy".

FREE shipping on qualifying offers. Caught between and left with a chance for a new life, Dog Boy is a book about so many things it is hard to encapsulate without taking away much of the stories punch and there is a great deal of that in this short novel. A truly different and wonderful look at emotion, experience, and life. It takes a lot to survive in the basement of an abandoned church, but perhaps more to survive in the world as we know it.

The two small sisters, Little Gold and Little Patch, tumbled and shoved around it. It began suddenly to sob and wail, thinly at first, then louder and through more jagged breaths. Everyone’s hackles rose. Even Romochka could smell the fear puffing into the dark lair from under their tails and necks. Romochka couldn’t settle. His skin prickled and itched.

A Dog Boy is the nickname given by Coalition States armed forces to the humanoid psychic sensitive they use to sniff out psis and supernatural beings within CS territory. The name is often applied regardless of the individual's gender. The Dog Boy is genetically uplifted from domestic canine or wolf stock in the laboratories of the Coalition State of Lone Star and exported primarily to the Coalition State of Chi-Town.

Every now and then a book comes along that you know will change your life. You may not know how, exactly, but the reading of it touches you in a way so profound, resonates so deeply inside you, that you recognize at once it will become part of your soul, for want of a better word, part of your being. Eva Hornung’s Dog Boy is such a book for me. See my discussion here.

  • Erienan
I can't stop thinking about this book. It picked me up, made me cry, made me cringe, made me laugh, made me so happy I read it. The final scene often comes back to rattle my brains. We've all heard of dog boys and Russia probably comes to mind. It makes a fine novel when you think: "Wait... did this actually happen?" If it did, it would happen this way. Love is abandoned in despair and constantly sought by those abandoned. I don't know if I wanted Romochka to continue his life with the dogs or be "redeemed" by caring humans. It's been a few months now and I still can't decide.
  • Lanin
The twin brothers Romulus and Remus, raised by a she-wolf, were the founders of Rome. Mowgli was the hero of Rudyard Kipling's `The Jungle Book`. Tarzan was "King of the Jungle." Stories of feral children raised by animals have a long tradition. We are fascinated by the freedom it promises, stories of survival, of man in a perfect Rousseauian natural state, but we are also repelled by the grotesque behavior and unsanitary conditions. Such as it is with Australian author Eva Hornung in `Dog Boy`, a realistic recreation of the true story of 4-year old Ivan Mishukov, who lived with a pack of wild dogs in Moscow for two years, surviving winters of -20 degrees with no heat or cooked food. Although a fictionalized treatment, it probably goes further at achieving the truth than journalism. We learn intimate details of living as a wild dog: the sense of existing in the moment from one meal to the next, of dangers from "Strangers" (foreign dogs outside the pack), marking territory, play, social hierarchies, mating and birthing behaviors, smell and memory. This is not a "talking animals" novel, it is not `Watership Down`, the dogs and people all act in recognizably realistic ways, it is not a fable like `Animal Farm`. By the novels close you have become like a dog, thinking and acting appropriately, the world of dogs opened. For that reason alone, it's a great book for dog owners or anyone wishing to better understand animal human relations. It also implicitly questions mans superiority over animals. A great read for anyone curious about feral children, the wild dogs of Moscow or animal/human relations.
  • Marirne
I had wanted to read Dog Boy for some time and finally got the chance on a plane. It was a short read, over in a four sitting, but every moment was engaging. The thing I found the most enjoyable was that we are not presented with a figure to pity. In the story of a boy who ends up living with a pack of feral dogs, becoming a part of that family - the author was presented with many times when that could have been the image presented - something to look down on and feel immeasurable sorrow for; a boy abandoned. Instead we are shown a stark story of survival, love, dedication, and a humanity that was lacking in great respect in the rest of Russian society as presented by the novel.

While some of the concepts in Dog Boy are complex we are faced near the end with a powerful choice as the reader: do we side with the citizens trying to be helpful by rehabilitating the titular "Dog Boy" or feel a sweep of anguish at the actions taken not out of simple desire to fix what they see as broken but to advance careers while doing so? That's the thing about Dog Boy, we're presented with a novel where emotion is so simple as to be complex. Love is layered with duties, responsibilities, and survival. When we begin to encounter humans more frequently we are bombarded with the complex psychology that we, the readers, deal with every day in society. It is placed against a stark backdrop of simple need, and the betrayals felt by the characters are something you can feel ripping through the pages into your own psyche.

I am not sure whether this book is depressing or uplifting, ultimately it is best described as a mixture of both. It leaves you wanting the simplicity of that hybrid family, the honesty that comes with the life of a boy abandoned in a building who had to survive in what we would deem as some of the harshest urban conditions imaginable. It also leaves you sad that such a thing could come to pass, a young child who with no option other than to starve is left bereft of human kindness and is taken in by a pack of dogs, filthy, starving at times, covered in sores, and in danger not only of attack from other packs but those of his own species.

Caught between and left with a chance for a new life, Dog Boy is a book about so many things it is hard to encapsulate without taking away much of the stories punch and there is a great deal of that in this short novel.

A truly different and wonderful look at emotion, experience, and life. It takes a lot to survive in the basement of an abandoned church, but perhaps more to survive in the world as we know it.
  • Marilbine
If you can suspend your disbelief long enough to care about the four-year-old Russian boy, Romochka, DOG BOY will offer something different for you. I was expecting some kind of comment from Eva Hornung, either a forward or an author's note about a documented event where a dog accepted a little boy into its litter, but she didn't offer one. All I had to go on was The Romulus and Remus myth and the notion that this could have happened in post communist Russia with millions of homeless children wandering the streets.

Anyway, I was able to overcome that minor foible, and I did grow to care about Romochka, Mamochka, Black Dog, Golden Bitch, and the other dogs in Romochka's clan.

Eva Hornung offers enough twists to keep us engrossed. We watch as Romochka learns how to ride the subway and gets lost in the process; we see him captured by the militia, and we see him establish a relationship with Doctor Dmitry Pastushenko and his wife Natalya, who try to discover whether Romochka was really raised by dogs.

My favorite scene was when Romochka breaks into an apartment and is attacked by a miniature guard dog. The little guy puts up a monumental struggle before tiring, humiliated, winning Romochka's respect.

Hornung strains credulity again at the end when she has Romochka do something that's really hard to believe, considering his attachment to the pack. It's as if she couldn't think of any other way to end the story.

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