- Paperback: 390 pages
- Publisher: Ballantine Books; Reprint edition (28 Nov. 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0345494024
- ISBN-13: 978-0345494023
- Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 2.3 x 20.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,041,846 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Plague Dogs Paperback – 28 Nov 2006
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Gripping. . . . A compelling tale of emotional force and high suspense. "The Wall Street Journal"
Adams takes us to places where no author author has taken us. "The Washington Post"
Engrossing. . . . Bears the abundant mark of sheer genius. "The Plain Dealer"
Better and more powerful than "Watership Down." "Providence Journal"
Marvelous. . . . An excellent drama. "Newsweek
Excellent. "New York Daily News
Adams writes brilliantly about animals. . . . When these dogs are on the move, they compel us to follow, trotting along the narrative path on all the legs we have. "Saturday Review
The genuine and moving feeling for animals that dominated "Watership Down" emerges here in intense dramatic form. Adams engenders such compassion, such desperate, urgent sympathy for the plague dogs, that the reader yearns for a happy ending. "Publishers Weekly""
About the Author
Richard Adams is the author of many bestselling novels, including "Watership Down" (1974), "Shardik" (1976), "The Plague Dogs" (1978), "The Girl in a Swing" (1980), "Maia" (1985), and "Traveller" (1988), as well as several works of nonfiction, including his autobiographical "The Day Gone By" (1991). The winner of the Carnegie Medal and the Guardian Award for Children s Literature, he currently lives in Hampshire, England."
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Top Customer Reviews
The book's two heroes are Rowf and Snitter - two dogs, and victims of scientific research. Rowf is a large, black mongrel who is constantly being drowned and resusitated while Snitter, a fox terrier, has had brain surgery. (There seems to be little point to the experiments - they're apparently being carried out just for the sheer hell of it). Naturally, Rowf has come to hate the water tank, while the surgery has left Snitter suffering from regular bouts of confusion. Unlike Rowf, who'd been bred for research, Snitter had once been a pet - and despite his operation, he knows there are better people out there than the "whitecoats." The pair are incarcerated at the Animal Research (Scientific and Experimental) labs, based in northern England's Lake District. (The institution's acronym, I'm guessing, gives some idea of what Adams thought about animal experimentation). The book opens on a Friday evening, and Snitter notices that Rowf's cage hasn't been properly closed. He manages to wriggle underneath the partition and the pair manage to escape into the outside world.
Although delighted to have escaped their tormentors, there soon realise that life on the outside isn't going to be easy. At first, Snitter tries to find them a new master - but each effort, naturally, ends in disaster. They soon realise they'll have to feed themselves, and find somewhere dry to sleep.Read more ›
The Plague Dogs is a simple tale as its core, treading the fine line between fact and fantasy, but it's certainly not a kid's book - there's too much hard swearing and gory imagery to recommend it for such audiences. It's an excellent YA novel, however, and will almost certainly inspire thought and conversation among anyone with an interest in animal welfare issues.
Want more of a challenge from talking animal stories? Then look no further than The Plague Dogs!
Snitter, in the lucid moments when he is not affected by experimental brain surgery, shows a fine understanding of human nature, learned from a kind master. Rowf has never been domesticated, and is strong and brave, but ignorant. Tod, the fox who befriends them, is canny.
Although the story starts in an Animal Research Station (from which the dogs escape), the author does not take sides on animal experimentation, merely reporting factually; he is not so even-handed when it comes to fox-hunting, the death of Tod is very upsetting.
The book takes you on a Lakeland tour, helped by Wainwright's maps, but out-of-season in late Autumn, when it is the domain of the sheep farmers, their dogs and sheep. Some of the humans come across as stereotypes (although I loved Annie Mossity!), but the redemption of the journalist Digby Driver is a nice touch.
The one difficulty I had with this book is the variety of dialects, both human and animal.
All in all, this is a book well worth reading, if you can find a copy- as it is out of print in paperback.
Well written, but maybe I need to see the film first, as that's what I did with Watership.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Am enjoying reading this for the second time. Still excellent!Published 4 months ago by Mrs A Morgan
Set in Cumbria this book follows the adventures of two dogs on the run from a research station. An exciting read based in a wonderful part of the country.Published 9 months ago by Andy
First read this in my teens many moons ago. An interesting book, and yes the animal experimenters still sit around thinking what experiments they can perform and get away with... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Anne L Wilson
Loved this book. Really made you feel what the dogs were feeling. Thank you Richard Adams, for saying it for animals.Published 19 months ago by A Lyon
The book I received couldn't be called 'good' quality by any means, more like 'average' or 'poor' at best, but was still a lovely read.Published 20 months ago by Rebecca