Top positive review
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Love this book but it's hard to read
on 24 November 2017
I love this book but it's one that I find very hard to read.
I've recently been re-reading books from my childhood, this one's from my just-turned-teen years and is definitely a sad one. It marked me profoundly; I'm approaching 50 now and only just been able to read it again.
Great book, but a harsh story, not easy to stomach if you like animals. Supposed to be an adventure story, and yes it is. But the backdrop is about vivisection and generally how animals are treat badly by humans. (To be fair, the author acknowledges through one of the dog characters that people "probably treat each other badly, too".)
Enjoyable as a well-written book (and yes an exciting adventure story); nothing like Watership Down, and definitely not for kids.
The first time I read it I was surprised and delighted by the happy ending because from the rest of the book I couldn't see how this would end well. How naive was I? When planning to re-read the book I did a bit of 'reading around' and I found out that wasn't the original ending - the original idea was to end it after the dogs 'escape' from the beach. But apparently the author changed it on advice from his editor and others who felt it was just too bleak. (I gather the animated version of the story does end as per the original.)
May seem strange to say but despite that this is still one of my most favourite books. Some people have 'that book' that upsets them so much they can hardly bear to read it, but it means a lot to them just the same. This is mine. Not 'easy' but enjoyable in it's way and one I'm glad I've read.
If you're an animal / dog lover then you've been warned - open this book at your peril!