Even the Dogs

Jon McGregor (Author) Yiyun Li (Introduction by)

Product Details

$16.95  $15.59
Publish Date
May 12, 2020
5.5 X 8.1 X 0.8 inches | 0.6 pounds
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

Jon McGregor is the winner of the International Dublin Literary Award, the Costa Novel Award, the Betty Trask Prize, the Somerset Maugham Award, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters E. M. Forster Award, and has been long-listed three times for the Man Booker Prize, most recently in 2017 for Reservoir 13. He is professor of creative writing at the University of Nottingham, England, where he edits The Letters Page, a literary journal in letters.


Praise for Jon McGregor
Winner of the Costa Novel Award
Winner of the American Academy of Arts & Letters E. Forster Award
Winner of the IMPAC Dublin Award
Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize

Praise for Even the Dogs
Winner of the 2012 IMPAC Dublin Award

"A ferocious book, at once intense and alarmingly unsentimental." --James Wood, The New Yorker

"As a novel about the consequences of addiction--particularly heroin addiction--'Even the Dogs' is harrowing. It details the physical, psychological, social and environmental damage, and portrays the all-consuming nature of the life...Using ghosts as narrators gives the book a haunting overtone. It lends resonance even to a simple observation like 'We see things differently now.' And it lets McGregor write with a gritty omniscience." ―New York Times Book Review

"Ambitious, haunting... thought-provoking." ―Boston Globe

"In his third novel, two-time Booker nominee McGregor follows a band of ghostly drug addicts, who act as a Greek chorus as they witness their friend Robert's body being carted out of his squalid apartment and taken to the morgue. Among them is Danny, an abused victim of the foster-care system; Steve, a traumatized war vet; and Heather, a once-popular groupie now an aging wreck. Robert himself gave into alcoholism years ago after his wife left him, taking their young daughter with her. Paralyzed by their desertion, he continued to drink himself into oblivion while serving as the toastmaster to neighborhood addicts, who, in turn, exhaust themselves in an endless round of scoring, eating, scrounging up money, and scoring again. With its complex flashback structure, fractured inner monologues, and grim characters, this novel makes for dense reading. Yet McGregor succeeds in paying homage to the dispossessed and the hopeless, who live and die on the margins of society." --Joanne Wilkinson, Booklist

"Those who enjoyed Hubert Selby Jr.'s "Requiem for a Dream" will value the style and the subject matter." ―Library Journal

"McGregor succeeds in paying homage to the dispossessed and the hopeless, who live and die on the margins of society." ―Booklist

"McGregor puts the reader into the minds of this interconnected web of people bent on various journeys of self-destruction. He constructs a powerful, disjointed narrative about dependency that is nearly impossible to put down, though it's not easy reading." ―PopMatters

"Unmissable ... McGregor's prose is unflinching yet luminous." --The Guardian

"A taut tale that packs an extraordinary emotional punch ... Animated with such tenderness and empathy that it never becomes oppressive ... An important book." --The Daily Telegraph

"It is a work of art as well as a subtle polemic, but above all his graceful, vivid prose conveys an eerie reality, existence as endured by the marginalised ... The narrative is cinematic, creating the illusion of a camera sweeping over the horrors ... Here is a brave, masterful novel that lives and weeps and, most emphatically, tells the stories behind those faces that no one seems to see." --The Irish Times

"A rare combination of profound empathy and wonderful writing." ―Mark Haddon, author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

"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, author of Letters to a Young Writer

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

Praise for Reservoir 13
Winner of the Costa Novel Award
Winner of the British Book Awards Fiction Prize
Long-listed for the Man Booker Prize
Short-listed for the Goldsmiths Prize
Short-listed for the Folio Prize
Long-listed for the IMPAC International Dublin Literary Award
Longlisted for the Goldsboro Books Glass Bell Award
A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice
An Amazon Best Book of the Year
A Barnes & Noble Best Book of 2017
A Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2017
A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2017
A Los Angeles Review Best Book of the Year

"McGregor's book achieves a visionary power. . . . He has written a novel with a quiet but insistently demanding, even experimental form. The word 'collage' implies something static and finally fixed, but the beauty of Reservoir 13 is in fact rhythmic, musical, ceaselessly contrapuntal. . . . A remarkable achievement [and a] subtle unravelling of what we think of as the conventional project of the novel." ―James Wood, The New Yorker

"McGregor is a beautiful, controlled writer, who can convey the pathos of a life in a few lines. Despite the large cast of characters, each feels specific and real. . . . [An] unconventional but affecting novel." --The New York Times Book Review

"Fiercely intelligent. . . . [An] astonishing new novel. . . . Strange, daring, and very moving. . . . The book is a rare and dazzling feat of art that also (in my reading of it) outs us, in a gentle way, for a certain gratuitous drama-seeking tendency we all tend to have as readers―a tendency that makes it harder to see the very real, consequential, beautiful, and human-scaled dramas occurring all around us in real life, in every moment (in nature, in human affairs)." ―George Saunders, The Paris Review Daily

"The novel that blew me away this year was Jon McGregor's Reservoir 13. It's one of the most finely wrought books I've read in recent years. Only an extraordinarily accomplished writer can create, and people, a world with such linguistic restraint yet to such moving, even haunting, effect. It's a slow burn and deeply satisfying." ―Eimear McBride, The Wall Street Journal

"Disturbing, one-of-a-kind. . . . Most books involving crime and foul play provide the consolation of some sort of resolution. But Mr. McGregor's novel, which was long-listed for this year's Man Booker Prize, shows how life, however unsettlingly, continues in the absence of such explanation." ―Tom Nolan, The Wall Street Journal

"Jon McGregor has revolutionized that most hallowed of mystery plots: the one where some foul deed takes place in a tranquil English village that, by the close of the case, doesn't feel so tranquil anymore. . . . McGregor's writing style is ingenious." ―Maureen Corrigan, The Washington Post

"An ambitious tour de force that demands the reader's attention; those willing to follow along will be rewarded with a singular and haunting story." ―Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Meticulously crafted. . . . A stunningly good, understated novel told in a mesmerizing voice." ―Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"McGregor masterfully employs a free, indirect style that forgoes quotation marks and seamlessly blends narrative, dialogue, and wonderfully observant, poetic musings. . . . Longlisted for the Man Booker, McGregor's novel's subtly devastating impact ultimately imparts wisdom about the tenuous and priceless gift of life. For fans of Elizabeth Strout and Richard Russo." ―Booklist (starred review)

"The writing is extraordinary." ―Library Journal (starred review)

"An intricate and absorbing mosaic-like structure of miniature stories, scenes and snapshots. . . . While Reservoir 13 starts out with the familiar hallmarks of a crime novel, it quickly develops into a quite different literary beast, one that acquires power and depth through bold form and style, not gripping drama and suspense. . . . This is unconventional storytelling, a daring way to tell a tale, but one that yields haunting and stimulating results." ―Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

"McGregor's lyrical prose and sense of detail totally immerse the reader." --BookPage

"Jon McGregor's haunting mystery novel about the ways in which we measure our lives will get under your skin. Let it." --Bustle

"Reservoir 13 explores the rhythms of the natural world and the repeated human gift for violence, unfolding over thirteen years as the aftershocks of a stranger's tragedy refuse to subside." ―The Rumpus

"Reservoir 13 is a gorgeously written story of the disappearance of a girl and how this event affects the community. McGregor has a way of flawlessly intertwining different storylines, something which is evident in this subtle yet artfully complex novel. This intricately woven and free-flowing will stay with you long after you have read it." --Rabeea Saleem, Chicago Review of Books

"Jon McGregor has been quietly building a reputation as one of the outstanding writers of his generation since 2002, when he became the youngest writer to be longlisted for the Booker prize . . . Reservoir 13 is an extraordinary achievement." --The Observer (UK)

"Fascinating . . . McGregor is a writer with extraordinary control . . . Reservoir 13 is an enthralling and brilliant investigation of disturbing elements embedded deeply in our story tradition." --Tessa Hadley, The Guardian

"[McGregor] excels at charting how, over the years, relationships fray, snap or twine together . . . There are images Seamus Heaney might have coveted." --The Sunday Times (UK)

"A haunting, beautiful book." --Daily Mail

"This is above all a work of intense, forensic noticing . . . It deserves to be set alongside the works of such varied brilliance as Ronald Blythe's Akenfield, Jim Crace's Harvest and Dylan Thomas's Under Milk Wood." --The Times Literary Supplement

"A humane and tender masterpiece." --The Irish Times

"Reservoir 13 is a masterfully paced and grippingly controlled read that finds the shadows, the wildness, in the ordinary heart of a community." --Colin Barrett, author of Young Skins

"Jon McGregor is a terrifyingly ingenious writer." --Yiyun Li, author of Dear Friend, from My Life I Write to You in Your Life

"Quite extraordinary." --Roddy Doyle, author of Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha

"Absolutely magnificent; one of the most beautiful, affecting novels I've read in years . . . I don't know how he's done it. It's beautiful." --Eimear McBride, author of The Lesser Bohemians

"If you don't yet know you should read novels by Jon McGregor, then I can't help you." --Evie Wyld, author of All the Birds, Singing

Praise for The Reservoir Tapes

"[T]erse, gripping stories. . . . [T]hese stories, which can be read independently of the novel, relate brisk, character-driven episodes . . . McGregor's penchant for experimentation is on display once again."--New Yorker

"A companion piece to his Man Booker-longlisted Reservoir 13, McGregor's latest works perfectly well as a standalone, offering an alternately sweet and suspenseful depiction of a community as it reacts, person by person, to the disappearance of a teenage girl."--Entertainment Weekly

"McGregor has an uncanny ear, and such an elegant way with words." --Patrick deWitt, Vanity Fair

"An electrifying new novel . . . It's scary stuff, this book, pounding as it does again and again with the insistent menace of people who go missing. But as the chapters accumulate, you begin to build a mental and emotional map of what's left behind: a wounded town, fully specific enough to be engrossing but also slyly universal enough to make one consider their own common ground . . . McGregor's too inventive a writer not to dazzle and surprise, to create moments that confound and stir. In pages that recall some of our most excitingly dense and playful postmodern stylists, such as Padgett Powell and Robert Coover, it becomes clear, rather quickly, how dedicated to, among other pursuits, McGregor is to crafting first and final sentences."--Los Angeles Times

"[The Reservoir Tapes] is more like a play--one of Harold Pinter's memory plays, maybe . . . It consists of quick, often tender fragments . . . This is McGregor's sixth book, and he has shown himself to be engaged most finally and seriously with the idea of community . . . In comparison to that dark tale, Reservoir 13 might as well be Akenfield. But the two have in common a fascination with what exactly a small community becomes together over time, its spider web intricacy and delicacy. This is part of the offhand skill of The Reservoir Tapes. We're used to stories in which a single fatal moment radiates outward, but McGregor is interested, rather, in the inverse, inspecting how incidental a tragedy can become to the life of a village after its first moments of gossipy tension and excitement . . . McGregor may offer the closest contemporary approximation we have to [Joyce's early stories]. Both writers have a gift for the feel of adolescence . . . And both can summon a language that pierces our deepest habituations. Even leaving aside this lofty comparison, though, it's clear that McGregor, working from subtle materials, has become a major writer. The Reservoir Tapes is further confirmation of it. Now we wait." --Chicago Tribune

"[A] remarkable collection of linked short stories... McGregor demonstrates an extraordinary ability to create complex, multidimensional characters in only a few spare sentences. He is also a master of mood, investing his stories with an air of the ominous while proving also to be a superb stylist... Irresistibly readable, the book is, in sum, a memorable celebration of literary fiction."--Booklist (Starred Review)

"On its own, this book is a noteworthy event. When put in conversation with Reservoir 13, it is nothing short of a remarkable experiment in storytelling. McGregor is a must-read writer."--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Fresh and absorbing. . . McGregor has a naturalist's eye, with details worthy of a poet in the vein of Ted Hughes. And he keeps you invested in the mystery while resisting the urge to continually drop clues as to Becky's fate. . . there is nothing commonplace about McGregor's work. But it is from that innovation that so much of the thrill arises."--amNew York

"Widely accessible as a stand-alone work, The Reservoir Tapes turns the concept of a thriller on its head, building suspense through a close examination of the everyday trials of witnesses, neighbors, and those simply passing by. The result is sharp, brooding work about the evils present in men and the cruel desires that lurk just below the surface. A frightening work, indeed."--The Gazette (Cedar Rapids, IA)

"The vignettes are succinct and impressively subtle, wavering between a mix of reflective and tangential thoughts, offering brief but revealing portraits of the narrators as they see themselves. . . By taking the story of Becky Shaw's disappearance from its original long form to a more truncated prologue, McGregor has enriched his story that much more, making the mystery at its center that much more compelling." --ZYZZYVA

"A brilliant book about the social realities of a small English village. . . . A thriller of another kind, one where the writing is deft and the mood uneasy, this book illuminates the complexities of the human condition in a truly imaginative way."--Literary Hub

"In these spare, elliptical tales, McGregor revisits the unnamed village in England's Peak District that was home to his critically acclaimed novel Reservoir 13, a work New Yorker critic James Wood justifiably called one of 'visionary power.' And though its setting and mood evoke McGregor's earlier book, this collection is a fresh reminder of his versatility and talent . . . Daring in format, its accumulated glimpses flesh out some of the details of Becky's last hours with her family only hinted at in Reservoir 13."--Shelf Awareness

"...[T]his will be one of the most highly anticipated novels around come August... It's hard to prepare readers for the power of this unfolding McGregor series: how incisive the prose, how deep the insights run. Suffice it to say, McGregor is one of the most profound authors at work today, and the Reservoir novels are a must-read for anyone who believes in the significance and potential of crime fiction."--One of the Most Anticipated Titles of the Summer, CrimeReads

"The outsider observing the village's goings-on is a powerful viewpoint, and the return of the central mystery of Becky isn't old; in fact, it becomes startlingly fresh and newly disturbing in this book." --Read It Forward

"McGregor is a maestro at demonstrating the reverberations of catastrophe across space and time, building strong backstory and consequences in only a few lines. As a standalone, the novel is quietly consuming, but as a companion to Reservoir 13, it serves as an exquisite elaboration on the mysterious characters that are the heart of both novels."--Publishers Weekly