Lives Of The Monster Dogs came decked with words like "Dazzling", "Moving", "Brilliant" and so on on its cover. None of which really do justice to the sheer badness of the book within.
You would think that a book about genetically modified, bipedal dogs with the gift of speech arriving in New York could not fail, but it does, rather badly.
It is written in a very flat style and though Kirsten Bakis employs heaps of different narrators (A young New Yorker human, diaries written by the crazed creators of the dogs, letters and papers written by one of the dogs, even the libretto of an opera written by the dogs), none of them are terribly distinctive or interesting. The parts supposedly written by the dogs don't feel very doggy. The parts written by the human, Cleo, are bland. For some reason, we are told what Cleo is wearing every third page or so. WE DON'T WANT TO KNOW WHAT SHE IS WEARING, WE WANT THE DOGS! But when we get them, we find they are really just as banal as she is.
(ASIDE: Would the only journalist given privileged access to the secret dealings of the dogs, really have titled their first article, "Doggy Style"? Really?)
Even the denouemont is hopelessly fluffed. I won't say more, incase someone is foolhardy enough to try and read this book despite what I have written, but the grand finale did have potential. But not here. Once again, we get inane dialogue and unnecessary descriptioon of Cleo's clothing.
Look, I really wanted to like this, simply because it was such an unusual idea, but I really can't find it in me to give it two stars. Absurd + original + tragic would usually get two stars, but not in this case. Deep apologies to Ms Bakis, and well done on trying something, but please, reconsider the manifests of Cleo's wardrobe.