'magic realism' has rarely worked for me, but over 390 richly textured pages, Sun Dog suspended both my scepticism and disbelief. The story is a simple one but deeply affecting. August, alone, rootless, blowing in the wind and literally changing with the seasons, seeks desperately to root himself, in a relationship with the flower girl Leola, and in his own history. In less skilful hands it might all have been unreadably fey, but by fixing the magical flights and departures of the story so firmly in the dusty streets of Shepherd's Bush, Monique Roffey makes it work brilliantly. It's a rather marvellous book.
All the reviews have called it enchanting, magical and fabulous (in the sense that it is fable-like). And I agree. What they haven't said so much is that it is very funny and reads like a dream. The author looks at things sideways, and then looks again; the imagery is startling, and will stay with the reader for a long time. In short, it's a buyer.
I absolutely loved this book! It is almost a modern fairy tale and telles the story August, a man who's body is starting to change sending him on a voyage of self-discovery. Along the way we learn about Henry and Rose who work with August, his mother Olivia, the delightfully barmy and poetic Cedric and Cosmo a figure from August's past who has come back to haunt him. The tale is beautifully told, drawing the reader further and further in until this book becomes unputdownable!
I simply adored this book! The characters were engaging and likeable, despite their flaws,and the descriptions were so beautiful that at points I had to stop reading and just absorb the powerful imagery and feeling that came with the words. It's certainly a unique book that combines the mundanity of everyday life in London with a subtle fantasy. Trying to pull together a book about both normal life and magic or the superntural is often hard as it can become cheesy and immature but Monique Roffey, in my opinion, created a beautiful adult fiction about both to great effect. It's definitely worth buying!
Monique Roffey introduces us some great characters, not least August, the focus of the book. The trials and tribulations that August goes through, from contracting frost, growing plants from his navel and his hair falling with the autumn leaves, are superbly written and made it a difficult to put down book. A thoroughly recommended read.
With its original and heartwarming plot, perfectly constructed characters and beautiful imagery, I was totally under its spell. This novel captivated me from day one. Travelling with August (the lead character) through the four most significant seasons of his life was so wonderful I was upset when it ended. This is a must!
When I read this book, it entered my imagination so strongly that I was walking around London looking at people in a very different way. The character August is weird and loveable, his story kept me entirely interested, and even though I read it a while ago, I still have some very strong images from a few of the scenes in my head. I think this is a great and enjoyable read, I recommend it.