Review: Eva Hornung – Dog Boy

Dog Boy
Eva Hornung

After being abandoned by his mother and uncle, Romochka is adopted by a yellow dog, her two other adult dogs and four puppies. What follows next is confusing yet satisfying at the same time. Romochka becomes a weak dog, but a potentially powerful animal.

16566340For a novel which could have been quite dry as a translation, it spoke powerfully to me and I was thinking about it while I wasn’t reading it. It seemed like more of the straight forward questions I had were answered, yet at the same time, more questions were raised. Is this really possible? Can you be raised by dogs, or wolves as in The Jungle Book?

Something that both irritated and pleased me was the doctors, and how their perspectives were portrayed. I couldn’t believe how much they used him. Until just now, thinking about where the book is set (Moscow), and the medical ideas of the time, I had thought it was barbaric.

I couldn’t believe the events leading up to the end, and the end itself! I mean, I guess I should have seen it coming, but it was a shock and horror moment all the same. I am still struggling to come to terms with it, several days later.

Now, this book, this book should be on literature lists everywhere. If it isn’t, it’s a chastity. It’s got so many interesting themes and a good meaty (haha) storyline to keep readers enthralled. I know it worked on me! Better than Levi’s ‘If This is a Man’ any day. Less depressing but just as rich for thinking about past political times and complicated discussions of animals (including men).

I’m giving it 5 stars – I wish I had the time to reread it because I feel like it has so much more to offer me.


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