Book Reviews of The Dogs of Babel

The Dogs of Babel
The Dogs of Babel
Author: Carolyn Parkhurst
ISBN-13: 9780316778503
ISBN-10: 0316778508
Publication Date: 6/7/2004
Pages: 288
Rating:
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.
 401

3.6 stars, based on 401 ratings
Publisher: Back Bay Books
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

89 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 377 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 16
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.
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 18 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 12
This is an eerie, lovely, scary book all at once. This story will warm and scare one with the power of grief and what a human can do to ruin themselves and others.
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 9 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 12
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.)
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 41 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 9
This story was about a woman who suffered from mental illness. I found the book very depressing. It was about her husband's search into the cause of her death and the circumstances surrounding it.
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 69 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
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.
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
Although the premise is undoubtedly intriguing, I couldn't bring myself to finish this novel. It just didn't really hold any interest for me.
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
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.
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on
Helpful Score: 2
Very interesting plot, even though it is a bit disturbing. Being an animal lover, it was a bit sad for me.

The book was sad all the way around, but adding the element of dog mutilation and I almost cried a few times. It's worth the read.
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 33 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
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.
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on
Helpful Score: 2
This is a very intresting, emotional read that will stay with you well after you've turned the last page. I really enjoyed it!
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 36 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
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!!
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 135 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
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.
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
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.
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 140 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
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.
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 216 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
A bit sad, but well written. I enjoyed it.
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on
Helpful Score: 1
Interesting and poignent story of love and loss.
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 66 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A haunting story. It will stay with you...
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I enjoyed this book--it was a bit different, but interesting. I think you might enjoy it, too!
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 22 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Interesting story, but left me going, "Huh?" Good read, but not a great book. The theory kind of makes you wonder where people get this stuff! Teaching a dog to talk???
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 29 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
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.
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
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.
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 21 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
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.
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Another tear jerker, but a good, quick read.
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 112 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
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.
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 14 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
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.
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 22 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I loved this book. It was warm and positive yet melancholy. Very touching story.
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 65 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
What a disappointment. The author follows one path for the majority of the book and then abandons it in the end. Unnecessary images of dogs suffering. No real suspense. A total let down.
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 12 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
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.
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
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.
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 14 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I loved this book - touching and wonderful.
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A moving story of love and loss. I really enjoyed it.
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on
Helpful Score: 1
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.
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 134 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
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.
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 53 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I agree that this book is neither a love story nor a good book for dog lovers. Sort of more a mystery about a weak woman's way out of a lovely life. Still a decent read but happy by no means.
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
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.
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 30 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Outrageous but gripping story of a man trying to get vital information out of his dog regarding his wife's death.Bizarre but enjoyable
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
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.
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 411 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Not really my thing, but an interesting novel nonetheless.
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on
Helpful Score: 1
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.
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
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.
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I really enjoyed this book--had a hard time putting it down. I was completely caught up in the world of the main character as he unravels the mystery of his wife's death. Beautiful and compelling.
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 32 more book reviews
A strange creepy story - it gave me weird dreams.
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 5 more book reviews
I really couldn't get into this book. I tried three different times.
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 88 more book reviews
Wonderful book about love,loss and the desperation one feels being left behind without the answer to why. Another one I couldn't put down.
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 10 more book reviews
This was an excellent read! A strange, unique, and poignant work of fiction but very believably real. I can certainly understand why it was a National Bestseller!
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 55 more book reviews
I loved this book! It was very sad but I couldn't put it down. I really needed to knwo what happen to his wife. Only the dog was witness and its not talking!
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 30 more book reviews
This book is very intriguing. The author develops the characters in a fluid, dynamic way. The twist in the story is very powerful and handled exceptionally well.
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 3 more book reviews
This book is a easy read, flows well, and deals with the lost of a loved one thru the eyes of a widower. At times it is predictable.
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 32 more book reviews
I enjoyed this book. It did have a couple of odd twists. Overall it was a quick read, especially for anyone who is a dog lover.
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 44 more book reviews
I loved this book. It is a bit macabre (like Lovely Bones) and I could not put it down.
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on
I loved this book! It was so beautifully written and touching. We are able to learn about how complicated Paul's grief is, and we follow him on all the twists and turns of living with Lexy.
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on
I read this book years ago for book club--I had nightmares about it for months. This book is creepy and disturbing
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 11 more book reviews
This was a delightful tale of love and how a husband comes to terms with the questionable circumstances of the death of his wife.

It was a relatively quick read, but I really enjoyed it. A very different subject matter than I am accustomed to reading. But a great break from the genre I typically read.

I highly recommend, regardless of the type of books one reads!
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 114 more book reviews
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.
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 8 more book reviews
A heartwarming tale of a man's quest to use the only witness (his dog) to his wife's death to solve the mystery and bring him closure. It's both touching and funny.
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 82 more book reviews
Very interesting,sad book
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 283 more book reviews
This was a great book, especially for dog lovers. I love dogs and I really enjoyed this book.
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 70 more book reviews
Very original book. Interesting view into a marriage.
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 2 more book reviews
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.
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 33 more book reviews
Not what I expected, but I really enjoyed this book.
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 35 more book reviews
for lovers and dog-lovers. unique story you're sure to remember.
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 5 more book reviews
The mysterious death of a man's wife leads him to try to learn the language of the witness, his wife's dog. A great read.
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 75 more book reviews
How does one write a tale about love, enveloping grief and a linguist trying to teach his dog to talk? Incredible and really good.
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 88 more book reviews
Very good read, but sad!
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Very moving story, full of sadness and interesting thought.
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 54 more book reviews
Finished the book in one sitting. Odd, but compelling. Worth reading.
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 112 more book reviews
A quirky read by worth it!

Very enjoyable!

Ellen
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 30 more book reviews
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.
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 90 more book reviews
poignant and unforgettable story
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 10 more book reviews
Moving, original novel
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 19 more book reviews
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?
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 113 more book reviews
Fascinating topic - almost like a mystery, but with a twist.
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 58 more book reviews
This is really a good book. I got it by mistake and decided to read some and then couldn't put it down. Really enjoyed it
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 362 more book reviews
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.
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 6 more book reviews
A really surprising story that touches upon love, grief, marriage and mystery.
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 4 more book reviews
Wow...a really good book!
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 2 more book reviews
I loved this book. A nice summertime read!
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Very intersting book, was handed to me by anonymous person, and turned out to be a very very great find.
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 92 more book reviews
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...
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 130 more book reviews
Unusual story that I enjoyed very much!
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Tells the story of a man's quest to solve the mystery of his wife's death with the help of the only witness: their dog Lorelei.

Loved this book! May sound a bit weird,but it was a very sweet story.
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 48 more book reviews
Sad, funny, romantic, unusual....this book has it all!
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 6 more book reviews
Interesting and quick read.
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Interesting book.
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 51 more book reviews
I enjoyed this book very much. I recommend reading it!!!
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 237 more book reviews
The story of a man's quest to solve the mystery of his wife's death with the help of the only witness: their dog, Lorelei.
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 3 more book reviews
a widow and his wife's dog
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 78 more book reviews
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?
reviewed The Dogs of Babel on + 134 more book reviews
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.