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Plague Dogs by Richard Adams
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Plague Dogs (edition 1981)

by Richard Adams

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1,480None5,016 (3.62)53
Member:MikeBriggs
Title:Plague Dogs
Authors:Richard Adams
Info:Fawcett (1981), Paperback
Collections:Your library, Publishers of Note, To read
Rating:
Tags:Animal, Told from the POV of Animals, British Author, Have But Not Yet Read, Own, Fawcett, Paperback, Fiction, British Fiction, Male Author

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The Plague Dogs by Richard Adams

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» See also 53 mentions

English (19)  Swedish (1)  All languages (20)
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
I found it hard to finish this book. I'm a sentimental person. Dogs have it hard enough, with some masters, and then we add research. .(for all the dogs reading this).I'm sorry guys, we really have cruelly exploited your boundless faith in humans. I'll try to do better. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Sep 8, 2013 |
I didn't find this to be all that terribly bad, I just felt that it was incredible average and quite honestly blah in parts. From what I have heard, and read myself, I feel that this is definitely the low point in Richard Adams' writing.

I think that my two main problems with this book are first the amount of space that Adams uses to push his political agenda down the reader's throat. While I totally agree that the inhumane treatment of animals in research facilities is deplorable and that something definitely must be done about such activities, after a while when reading the novel I began to dread the sections of the book that did not concern themselves directly with the dogs' activities. This leads directly to my second issue, the sections of the book that concern themselves with the dogs begin to get rather droll as well as the dogs never really make any progress towards any sort of productive goal. As a matter of fact, they travel around the countryside for days and end up returning to the same spot that they were in after their first day of freedom following their escape. It gets to be very frustrating. The last fifty pages or so, the pace does change quite a bit and the book does have a satisfying conclusion.

I had no problems what-so-ever with Adams' writing style; he does have a way with putting sentences together that make them flow fairly easily. I also rather enjoyed several of the characters in the novel, especially the two dogs and because of this, really wanted to like the novel, but just simply found it to be more of a chore to read than a pleasure. ( )
  StefanY | Jan 7, 2013 |
If I could blurb THE PLAGUE DOGS, I'd say, "A lovely, terrifying, satisfying read in every way ... with the best ending of all time."

Here's a mini-story within the story, told by Snitter, the brain-damaged terrier, to his questing companion-dog, Rowf, the bete noir with a heart of gold:
"'O for the wings of a sheep!' sighed Snitter, and they began once more to follow the inexorable tod [fox] up the gill's pools and cascades towards Willie Wife Moor. [Place names are from the Lake District of the English-Scottish border.]
"'Wings of a SHEEP, Snitter?'
"'Yes - they had them once, you know. What happened was that one flew up into the sky, so naturally they all followed. Then they took off their wings and began feeding and as the sun moved on across the sky they went with it, to keep warm. Well, towards evening a wind got up and blew all their wings away from the place where they'd left them. They never got them back - you can see them all up there, blowing along in the blue to this day.'
"'But how did the sheep get back to the ground?'
"'Why, a long way off the sky curves down and touches the land - you can see it does. They had to walk round the long way - took them ages.'
"'Well, I never knew that. You are a clever little chap, Snitter.'" (pg. 220)

And here is Rowf, pushed to the limits of suffering, delivering his "Job's lament" soliloquy:
"Rowf threw back his head and barked at the close, muffling sky. The snow, which had ceased during the night, had been falling steadily again for the past hour, and in the swirling confusion neither dog could make out either the hills whence they had come or what lay beyond the main road, where the cars and lorries went whang-whanging past behind the dismal sheen of their lights in the gloom.
"'Rowf-rowf! Rowf-rowf! Go on, pour down the lot and bury us underneath it, blast you! I don't care! You're not as cruel or contemptible as the whitecoats [animal research scientists] who used to put me in the [drowning] tank! They were supposed to be masters - you're not! I'm just a dog, starving to death, but I'm still better than you, whatever you are! You're licking the whitecoats' hands. Aren't you ashamed? Miles of bitter sky sky and freezing cold powder against a couple of starving dogs! Rowf-rowf! Rowf-rowf!'" (pg. 269)
  maryoverton | Oct 6, 2012 |
Don't want to reread or own this one! An extremely depressing story. ( )
  fuzzi | Jul 8, 2012 |
wow this book is excellent. it's the tale of two dogs, Snitter and Rowf, that escape from an animal experimentation laboratory and their journey over the english countryside to escape capture and survive. i had put off reading it for awhile because i had saw a spoiler from it online and was hoping to forget about it before i read the book. when it became obvious that i wasn't going to forget the spoiler i just was like "fuck it" and decided to read the book. turns out the "spoiler" didn't even happen, so the end was a suprise for me. yay! while sections of this book can get slow, overly descriptive, and some of the british dialogue is really hard to understand, other sections are exciting and heartwrenching. for me the ultimate compliment i can give an author is that i love/hate their characters. i know that sounds kinda weird but when fictional characters can inspire rage, love, pity, tears, ect..., you know the author is doing something right. it's this way for me about Harry Potter, The Once And Future King, The Book Of Merlyn, A Monster Calls, His Dark Materials, Watership Down, and now The Plague Dogs ( )
  angie_ranck | Dec 21, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (10 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Richard Adamsprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Butler, JohnCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Piet EggenCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
QUEEN: I will try the forces

Of these thy compounds on such creatures as

We count not worth the hanging, but none human . . .

CORNELIUS: Your Highness

Shall from this practice but make hard your heart.

--Shakespeare, Cymbeline
There is in this passage nothing that much requires a note, yet I cannot forbear to push it forward into observation. The thought would probably have been more amplified, had our author lived to be shocked with such experiments as have been published in later times, by a race of men that have practised tortures without pity, and related them without shame, and are yet suffered to erect their heads among human beings.

--Dr. Johnson
Dedication
To Elizabeth, with whom I first discovered the Lake District.
First words
The water in the metal tank slopped sideways and a treacly ripple ran along the edge, reached the corner and died away.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
With the same warm sensitivity that made a bestseller of Watership Down, Richard Adams creates a lyrical and engrossing tale, a remarkable journey into the hearts and minds of two canine heroes, Snitter and Rowf, fugitives from the horrors of the animal research center.

The escape from man's cruelty is only the beginning of their chilling experiences as the flee to the isolation - and terror - of the wilderness.

First, they strike an unlikely bargain with a fox who will teach them to live by instinct alone if they agree to hunt with him. Then they find enemies springing up all around them - excitement seekers of all kinds - incited by an ambitious young reporter who calls the dogs carriers of a deadly plague.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0345494024, Paperback)

"Thousands and thousands of people will love this book!"
THE BOSTON GLOBE
A lyrical, engrossing tale, by the author of WATERSHIP DOWN, Richard Adams creates a lyrical and engrossing tale, a remarkable journey into the hearts and minds of two canine heroes, Snitter and Rowf, fugitives from the horrors of an animal research center who escape into the isolation--and terror--of the wilderness.


From the Paperback edition.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:25:57 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

A large black mongrel named Rowf and a white terrier named Snitter escape from an animal experiment center in England's Lake District and may be carriers of bubonic plague.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

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