Despite the downright craziness of the plot, this is a touching an emotionally moving puzzle of a story. I would say that the central motif weaving through the story is language - the language barrier between owner and dog, the unspoken language between husband and wife that harbors secrets, the language spoken in our subconscious that somehow television psychics become attuned to, and the wife's poetic language that works itself from a penultimate, odd act into a real clue into her psyche.
If you're intrigued, give this book some time. You won't need much, as it's a relatively fast read.
Obviously I'm a minority of one. I hated this book, and I find it amazing that others are recommending it for dog lovers. How maiming and torturing a dog to satisfy one's own self obsession makes it a "touching love story" is beyond me. (And just as a side note, you must have language first in order to form and retrieve memories.)
A beautiful read. By the time I had finished the first page I knew I was going to need to finish the book in one sitting. The characters are carefully developed and the story spins back and forth from the present to the past to slowly spiral to its inevitable conclusion. This is one of those stories that's going to live in my brain forever. If you liked The Time Traveler's Wife, you'll like this one.
This book was interesting at first to get into but once I got to the major plot twist I was horrified but at the same time I couldn't stop reading. Once I finished the book I didn't really feel a sense of peace. I felt like there was a heavy stone in the pit of my stomach. I tend to think of characters as real people sometimes and I don't know how I feel about Lexy, I'm angry and upset at her character development.
I see that there are people who either love it or hate it.. I'm more in the middle but this will not be a book that I will want to read again.
Sad but interesting soriy about how the main character tried to get his dog to converse and tell him about how and why his wife died. The main character is so comsumed with "why" that he will try any means to find out. Since the dog was the only witness that day, he tries through various methods to teach the dog to converse in an understandable language. Although his friends feel this is far fetched, there are several successfull studies that the character uses to show that if can be done. But it also shows a different side of human nature and animal cruelty that I found offensive.
After finishing this book, I went into such a funk. Had I seen a Hallmark commercial of any kind, I probably would have started bawling.
However, this is not to say that this book isn't fantastic. It absolutely is. This book made me think and it touched me in an obvious way. This is a quite a different reaction from many of the other books I have read, which are often meaningless ways to pass some time.
This is a story about an incredibly deep romance between two people. The two participants are so different, but yet they bring out the best in each other. We find out about this romance after tragedy has struck.
As you are reading a review of the book, you know that the story occurs after the death of Paul's wife Lexy and that he is seeking meaning to her death. So, the book is also largely about grief and recovering from it.
I didn't want this book to end, and I read it in an afternoon. It was fantastic, hope you enjoy it too!!
This is one of the most unusual and memorable books I have ever read. A man's wife is dead, having fallen out of a tree. Did she fall or did she jump? The only witness was her dog. The grieving widower sets out to see if he can't teach the dog to communicate with him, to tell him. Very, very likeable characters. Great read.
This mess doesn't simply disappoint me, it angers me. I'd say I finish most every book I start, no matter how awful. Less than one out of twenty reads will I find impossible to complete. But I loathed this book so much I have to create a new category: Books I finished accidentally, since I couldn't stop thinking "It Can't Get Any Worse!" but, nonetheless, DO. If it presented itself as nothing more than a trite pulp romance, then it would bug me much less than it does. It comes, however, smugly trumpeting its depth while displaying a profundity about as vast as the palate offered by some run-down chain restaurant in a decaying suburban strip mall. Complete with the least-convincingly-male narrator I've ever come across, its shallow attempts to portray a bohemian central character's âquirksâ as ominously inevitable signs of underlying, ultimately fatal, mental illness read like an Onion-style satire of banality masquerading as insight. The writing is not only just terrible, it's incompetence clearly believing its own alleged brilliance. To add insult to injury, the supposed âmysteryâ is âsolvedâ by something the narrator has known all along, but is conveniently withheld until one of the most tritely shoehorned plots in decades demands its revelation in order to bring this self-indulgent tripe to a close. Inexplicably, this book arrives highly recommended by some pretty impressive people whose taste (and/or sobriety while reading) must now all be called into question by default. Just. Astoundingly. Bad.
This was a very interesting book. Different from anything I've ever read. I would definitely recommend it to everyone! His wife dies from a fall from the top of a tree in the back yard. He has lots of questions - why was she in the tree? Did she jump on purpose? Was it an accident? Only her dog was there to witness the event, so he decides to teach his dog to talk so that he can find out what happened.
I liked it as a book, but parts of the story were disturbing in regard to how dogs were treated. Just kept reminding myself that it was fiction. A bit far-out with some of the ideas. A quick read and hard to put down after the first page.
I found the whole premise of trying to force a dog to talk - and the secret society involved in this theory - a little sickening. I suppose it shows the depth of a man's grief over the loss of his wife. It was off-putting. Not one of my favorites.
I picked it up this book and saw that it was about a grieving young man who wants to find out the nature of his wife's death, by teaching his dog (the only witness) to talk.
I know, I know, that's what I said. Weird! So I was intrigued, not by the premise, but by wondering just how the author was going to pull this one off!
She did a good job! The book was well written, and there were several flashbacks which took us back to the relationship of the couple in all of it's stages. I loved the charecters, I loved the dog. It was a love story, and a mystery all rolled into one. Pick it up.
You have got to read this book. This guy wants to teach his dog to talk, because the dog is the only witness to his wifes death, and he wants the dog to be able to tell him what happened. Amazing story. Wonderfully written. Very entertaining.
I was a bit disappointed with the plot, because I guess I was reading it thinking it was more so a mystery with a big "ah-ha" moment. The author is so descriptive it kept me interested in reading it all the way through though.
I liked this book but I did keep putting it down. It didn't truly hold my attention until I got half way through. I think the book was sad overall, and frustrating, I wanted to know the answer to his wives death as much as he did. That is why I gave it 4 stars. It did have some plot twists that were interesting and some that were disturbing. If you are sensitive about animals I do not recommend this book there is some animal abuse that has stayed with me unfortunetley.
I wasn't sure if I liked this book after I read it, but it stuck in my brain, so I reread it about a year later. A touching look at how people deal with grief and pain, looking to the outside so they don't have to acknowledge what they know on the inside.
I wouldn't exactly call this a love story, but I can't really classify it under anything else. It sort of needs a category of its own, and that's why I find it so intriguing. This book is unique, and though it's not the best book I've ever read, it's pretty much the most interesting, different, and therefore worthwhile novel I've read in a while.
A beautiful but quick read, really pulls you into the character's relationships. The writing was excellent and the plot, while at times disturbing, was well-developed throughout; an emotional and unusual book.
This was a short, fast read. I really enjoyed the beginning, but soon found myself wondering how and why this couple came together and then stayed together. They both had their own issues which became more clear as the book progressed. It was well written, but it did leave me shaking my head.
Even though this book is a little sad I really enjoyed it. It is about a man who's wife is found dead by a tree in the backyard. The question is brought forth accident or suicide? The only witness to her death was her Rhodesian Ridgeback, Lorlei. In his grief, the man decides he is going to teach the dog to speak so that he can find out what really happened to his wife. Without revealing the story, it will suffice to say that in the end he does find out what lead to his wife's death. This story leaves you with a feeling that maybe you don't know the people in your life as well as you think you do. It also makes you think about your own masks that you wear everyday... The book explores the husbands reactions to his loss and his groping their past lives for answers.
Amateurish drivel! Author's voices for characters aren't very well distinguished, overly simplistic stereotypes, thin plot... Pop romance fiction yes. Literature-No. This is like really bad YA fiction.
This is a beautifully written love story and a mystery. A young husband tries to uncover the reason for his wife's death. This is a huge task considering that the sole witness was the couple's dog! This is a really unusual story, but one that should definately be read.
Such an interesting and entertaining read about a man trying to teach his dog to speak so that the dog can tell the man what happened on the day that the man's wife fell from a tree to her death. A mystery, a love story, an original.
I really loved this book. Although I was a little skeptical on the storyline, I was amazed how well it was handled. It is really a touching book for people who love animals as well as people who do not.
This was an intriguing and touching mystery about a man whose wife has died with only one witness- their dog. He tries everything to teach the dog to talk and to determine what really happened to his wife. It sounds like an odd premise for a book, but the love story that was interwoven into the story was quite touching.
The Dogs of Babel, is original enough: after his wife Lexy dies after falling from a tree, linguistics professor Paul Iverson becomes obsessed with teaching their dog, a Rhodesian Ridgeback named Lorelei (the sole witness to the tragedy), to speak so he can find out the truth about Lexy's death--was it accidental or did Lexy commit suicide?
I never expected what happened. He's a linguist, he's going to teach the dog to talk...an interesting horror/mystery book, perhaps. No, it was not. It was a page-turning story of love, loss, anger, disappointment. And then acceptance. It did not go the way I imagined, and for that I am very appreciative of the author. A wonderful read.
Great book...strange, but fathomable for animal lovers. Great main character development (esp. Lexy's) and homage to the intelligence of the family pet. This was suspenseful and intriguing, a quick read...
The quirky premise of Carolyn Parkhurst's debut novel, The Dogs of Babel, is original enough: after his wife Lexy dies after falling from a tree, linguistics professor Paul Iverson becomes obsessed with teaching their dog, a Rhodesian Ridgeback named Lorelei (the sole witness to the tragedy), to speak so he can find out the truth about Lexy's death--was it accidental or did Lexy commit suicide?
When his wife dies in a fall from a tree in their backyard, linguist Paul Iverson is wild with despair. In the days that follow, Paul becomes certain that Lexy's death was no accident. Strange clues have been left behind: unique, personal messages that only she could have left and that he is determined to decipher. So begins Paul's fantastic and even perilous search for the truth, as he abandons his everyday life to embark on a series of experiments designed to teach his dog Lorelei to communicate. Is this the project of a madman? Or does Lorelei really have something to tell him about the last afternoon of a woman he only thought he knew? At the same time, Paul obsessively recalls the early days of his love for Lexy and the ups and downs of life with the brilliant, sometimes unsettling woman who became his wife.