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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Far more than a puerile analogy.
The cover cleverly plays off Richard Dawkin's recent best seller yet it alludes to something far less seminal; furthermore, the synopsis does no justice to the content.
This book is an extremely interesting and well based macro-view of social, cultural and political human behaviour, with numerous humourous narratives and anecdotes, providing additional substance to...
Published on 18 Mar 2008 by R. Galloway

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3.0 out of 5 stars Rowson sans rage
I've long thought of civilisation as a by-product, or, as Rowson puts it (p17) a 'long.. suicide note' or Gaia's equivalent of a bad cold. The whole preposterous experiment, since the Industrial Revolution in particular, is a vast morality tale; Rowson, neither historian nor philosopher* though a highly intelligent man who can also tell jokes, is here its detached...
Published on 23 Jun 2012 by Simon Barrett


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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Far more than a puerile analogy., 18 Mar 2008
By 
R. Galloway (Henley, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Dog Allusion: Gods, Pets and How to Be Human (Paperback)
The cover cleverly plays off Richard Dawkin's recent best seller yet it alludes to something far less seminal; furthermore, the synopsis does no justice to the content.
This book is an extremely interesting and well based macro-view of social, cultural and political human behaviour, with numerous humourous narratives and anecdotes, providing additional substance to enjoy.
In short, it provides a wealth of thought provoking material and possibly even engenders answers to the meaning of life!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent wee guide to what we think about the gods and why we think it, 3 Nov 2008
By 
E. Moore (Glasgow UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Dog Allusion: Gods, Pets and How to Be Human (Paperback)
Do disregard the Telegraph quote guys - this wee book really has sod all to with loving or hating dogs. It is rather a very witty guide the nature of belief, with much interesting digression for a bonus: few of us, know, for example, that the English were once renowned for their cruelty to animals.

Mr Rowson is of course one of our finest ever cartoonists - this book shows he is also a very fine writer.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Rowson sans rage, 23 Jun 2012
By 
Simon Barrett "Il penseroso" (london, england) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Dog Allusion: Gods, Pets and How to Be Human (Paperback)
I've long thought of civilisation as a by-product, or, as Rowson puts it (p17) a 'long.. suicide note' or Gaia's equivalent of a bad cold. The whole preposterous experiment, since the Industrial Revolution in particular, is a vast morality tale; Rowson, neither historian nor philosopher* though a highly intelligent man who can also tell jokes, is here its detached observer. Too detached - and I can't say I share his empathy with pets, whose enforced dependency (rent-a-friend!) infantilises and demeans both them and us (I make an exception of hens, whom I class as wild and who like certain breeds of dog make themselves useful). This slight, meandering confection should really have been five fifteen-minute talks on the radio (it originated as a talk to Lewisham humanists, jokes and all) but I suppose the title was thought too good to pass up. Christopher Hitchens' God is not Great is loads more fun

*The best thought is probably from Rowson's son Fred and his mate Rory on page 122. The animal noises in Appendix D are quite a handy resource too - though I'm pretty sure a Brazilian duck goes quoing quoing (who was your informant, Rowson?)
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars book good condition poor, 4 Nov 2013
This review is from: The Dog Allusion: Gods, Pets and How to Be Human (Paperback)
I do not like buying books that have their previous 2nd hand labels half torn off especially when they are for less than the asking price - for this reason the book was not in great condition - covers scorched and mired by stickers
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars woof what a good read, 22 April 2013
This review is from: The Dog Allusion: Gods, Pets and How to Be Human (Paperback)
Yes the cover blatantly rips off Dawkins' `The God Delusion' and yes for that matter the title does too, it is even written in the same sort of fun, accessible, conversational, almost magazine style that ensures even the layest lay person can understand the arguments put forward. The links to Dawkins are more a marketing choice though because the content is good enough that a blank cover would have sufficed, still if the link gets it into even more hands than it would have done in our style over substance market led world then you can't really begrudge it because this book really does deserve to be read.

Rowson argues well for the need to move away from the word `better' which has mistakenly been tied to evolution where evolution has been mistakenly defined as a linear engine of `progress'. This issue is well highlighted in his `air conditioning unit' analogy.

Rowson differs from Dawkins mainly on the point that for Rowson religion isn't really a big problem. Rowson just wants us all to get along in a live and let live way. Let there be fairies he cries, as long as those fairies don't interfere with anybody else, what's the problem. Words to live by perhaps but it ignores the fact that while it may be live and let live for some what happens to the school that pushes religion as a given? How do we deal with that?
While Richard Dawkins produced an all out attack on a dangerous enemy, Rowson takes a more relaxed, maybe even more idealistic view of the world; what he essentially does is wipe the strength of religion out in one fell swoop by simply stating in fact that actually religion doesn't even matter. Religion isn't a big deal and at the end of the day why fight something that is so obviously fantasy anyway? Rowson realises that the problem is the people who seek to tell people what to do who are the problem.

Rowson realises that all things are nuanced and we must always ensure that we don't blanket things under generalisation because there are always subtleties that must be understood, he realises that absolute freedom of speech is absurd and must always come with the condition that you can say what you like as long as it doesn't hurt anybody. Freedom of speech was a left wing idea hijacked by right wing crazies who think freedom of speech means being racist, sexist and homophobic.

The strength of this book is that he recognises depth, even depth in the unpleasant (something that if our politicians could manage we may end up living in some kind of paradise) the suicide bomber, for instance, doesn't kill himself because of religion, even if he thinks he does, but because of deep and very complex socio economic and political issues. In the same way that Christians with too much time on their hands seek to control sexual behaviour (to the detriment of many people's lives and health), religion is just the gloss for the gritty reality that these people are tyrants who desperately want something to be able to control.

Rowson reasons in the most honest form, rather than produce absolute truths founded on nothing much, Rowson attempts to understand and to produce this understanding rather than finding a pure truth in this way he seems to do what others cannot which is to unearth real cause and effect (cause 1, cause 2... cause 3,000 and then finally effect) Depth of though in action. Rowson doesn't need to find an enemy in a social construct because he reveals the roots of the problem and the need for examination to start at these roots.

While I really admire this approach I wonder if we can only intellectually look at the world as a Rowsonian after the military like attack that is Dawkins has made some headway no matter how contradicting that may sound, because in the end I suppose even pacifism must be fought for.
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The Dog Allusion: Gods, Pets and How to Be Human
The Dog Allusion: Gods, Pets and How to Be Human by Martin Rowson (Paperback - 6 Mar 2008)
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