Even The Dogs – Jon McGregor

Wow is all I can say right now.

Even the Dogs chronicles the details of what happens after a man’s body is found in an abandoned flat between Christmas and New Year’s.

The friends he had before his demise, who look on as ghosts from the shadows, keeping vigil with him as he is discovered, moved, autopsied, then cremated.

Some may not like the style of Jon’s writing in this novel.  Told in a fragmented stream of consciousness style, even for me it was awkward, but once I became accustomed to it, I was immediately engrossed in the tale of drug addiction, the story lines of the others interwoven into this stylish, dark, accurate novel.

Through their thoughts, the addicts point of view, getting their next fix to homelessness face them on a daily basis.  Their circumstances are preventable yes, but this is where they are, why they are there – their stories as shocking as the narration itself, leaves nothing to the imagination.

Not only intense, thrilling, and eye-opening, there is this small ray of hope that they all carry with them hoping, wondering.

I found interesting that living they are treated worse alive than when they are found dead.  The people take more time and emphasis on them while on a gurney in the morgue then they are on the streets.

I did attend the Canadian Launch of the book last night in Toronto at a wonderful independent bookstore – Ben McNally Books.  On had were two publicists that I work with on a steady basis.  It was a really wonderful time to finally meet face to face, talk about books, talk to the author and others who attended the event.  When I had a chance to talk to Jon, I asked him what kind of research he made while writing the book and he replied that he talked to people who are addicts that are now clean, talked to counsellors, pathologist, as well as others to be able to give the book a undoubtly authentic feel.  I agree on this point, breathtakingly accurate.

Jon was most gracious to sign my book, and my son Nick received a t-shirt that showcases the UK cover.  Here are a few pictures from the event last night.

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Jon’s Website

Penguin / Bloomsbury Books

An interview with Jon from the Torontoist

So, a heartfelt thank you to Jon for coming to Toronto, the publicists – Barbara and Bronwyn  that organized the launch.  It was really great to finally meet you face to face, I look forward to doing it again.


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