56 of 61 people found the following review helpful
Heartbreaking but strangely beautiful,
This review is from: Even the Dogs (Hardcover)
I was very impressed with Jon McGregor's first two novels and this one was no exception.
The story begins with the body of a man (Robert) being discovered in his run-down flat. He has been dead for some time, and due to his shambolic lifestyle the police have difficulty piecing together the last moments of his life. Robert was an alcoholic, and the friends he allowed to doss in his flat were drug addicts, all living on the margins of society. This short but very descriptive book looks at the reasons behind each character's descent into this squalid existence, ranging from loss of their family or a childhood in care, to harrowing experiences serving Queen and Country in the Army.
McGregor uses a similar device to the one he used in If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things - that of the unnamed narrator/observer moving from one scene to the next as the characters' stories unfold. Again I think it worked very well, particularly when combined with his poetic writing style and wonderful ear for dialogue.
Yes it's bleak and uncomfortable to read at times, but it's also a very moving and poignant story and I found I really came to care about the people whose desperate lives were laid bare on the page before me.