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Laika by Nick Abadzis


by Nick Abadzis

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5754026,442 (4.08)25

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Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
This is a wonderful and terrible book.

Wonderful in bringing to life a moment in history. Wonderful in its captivating portrayal of Laika and her history - some imagined, some historical.

And terrible - in a good way - in how it will, if you have any heart for our canine friends, leave you mourning a brave little dog. ( )
  mrklingon | Apr 22, 2019 |
"Work with animals is a source of suffering to all of us. We treat them like babies who cannot speak. The more time passes, the more I'm sorry about it. We did not learn enough from the mission to justify the death of the dog." - Oleg Georgivitch Gazenko, 1998

Laika was the first animal sent into space, an unwitting pioneer destined never to return home. This account of her life was painstakingly researched and weaves fact and fiction into an educational, and ultimately heartbreaking look at the lives that Laika touched. Prominent throughout the book is just how powerfully working with a dog affected those closest to her, and perhaps a bit startlingly...the most touching moments are all fact, and not fiction.

This is a short, moving text that illuminates the cost of animal testing. Much was gained from working with dogs, yes, but was it worth the cost? Was it worth Laika? The quote that closes the text, and that begins my review, shows just how the bulk of everyone felt. Nevertheless, Laika is still remembered, and fondly so. It warms my heart to know that a statue of her is there, among the cosmonauts, and that her name will never be forgotten. ( )
  Lepophagus | Jun 14, 2018 |
You know how this book ends. Laika dies. Alone. Orbiting the Earth in a small metal compartment. It's a dead dog book. There will be tears. So why read it?

To see how she gets there, of course.

A fascinating glimpse into the Soviet space program, at a time when they were handily kicking the United States' collective ass. There is a little over-sentimentalizing here, what with Laika's dream sequences and everything, but there is so much content here that it's easy to forgive. The political pressure, the complicated relationships between researchers and test animals, different relationships between people and dogs in general. And all, of course, enmeshed in cold-war era Soviet Union.

Painful. But worth it. ( )
  greeniezona | Dec 6, 2017 |
This will mark the first time I've cried and felt so torn by a graphic novel. This story was simply heart breaking and necessary. ( )
  lissabeth21 | Oct 3, 2017 |
It was good to get more information on this rarely told story of space exploration. ( )
  EllsbethB | Jan 18, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
Abadzis's artistic style put me in mind of Tin Tin -- the little doggy with the curly tail didn't hurt -- a childlike, cartoony line that is nevertheless expressive and expansive. It nicely complements the subject matter, contributing much to the sweetness of the story, and serving as counterpoint to the exhaustive research.
added by lampbane | editBoing Boing, Cory Doctorow (Nov 19, 2007)
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This is the journey of Laika, the abandoned puppy destined to become Earth's first space traveler. With the blending of fact and fiction, this story intertwines three compelling lives. Along with Laika, there is Korolev, a driven engineer at the top of the Soviet space program and Yelena, the lab technician responsible for Laika's health and life.

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