Winner of the 2015 Scotiabank Giller Prize and Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize, author Andre Alexis begins the story with a whimsical bet between the gods Hermes and Apollo to explore the nature of happiness. Granting human consciousness and language to 15 dogs brought together by chance, they watch to see whether any of these recipients of the gods' dubious blessing will die happy. The pack is torn between those who embrace the new world suddenly open to them, and those who reject the double-edged gift, clinging fearfully or loyally to their doggy lives. As we follow their short, impassioned lives, and experience their poignant deaths, we are being taught something about the nature of happiness that transcends the dogginess of the book. The book is an allegory about the Good Death, and about the choices and compromises that shape our lives, and thus our deaths.
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