[ Reading ] DogsbodyAuthor Diana Wynne Jones – Freepe.co

The Dog Star, Sirius, Is Tried For Murder By His Heavenly Peers And Found Guilty His Sentence To Be Reborn On Earth As A Dog Until Such Time As He Carries Out The Seemingly Impossible Mission Imposed On HimIn His Earth Guise, Sirius, Renamed Leo, Truly Lives A Dog S Life Although He Is The Pet Of A Girl Who Loves Him, Both Child And Dog Are Mistreated By The Family With Whom They Live But The Worldly Obstacles Leo Faces Are Minor When Compared With His Chilling Encounters With The Dark Powers That Are Set Against Him His Quest Seems Hopeless Until At Last Sol, Moon, And Earth Itself Come To His Aid Dogsbody Is A Tense, Exciting, Sciencefiction Fantasy, A Thriller, And A Touching Dog Story All In One

10 thoughts on “Dogsbody

  1. says:

    The librarians of my childhood failed me I m sorry, there isn t a nice way to say it They let me check out armloads of Goosebumps books week after week, when just a few shelves away, there were a dozen magical, wonderful books by Diana Wynne Jones just aching to be discovered and devoured by a dork like me, who would clearly have loved them At least I was lucky enough to randomly stumble across Daniel Pinkwater on my own Of course, I can t judge the librarians too harshly The late 80s were a different time J.K Rowling had yet to light up the dollar signs in publisher s eyes, and fantasy books by authors like DWJ went in and out of print haphazardly In fact it is because of Harry Potter that I found her at all fueled by children s wizard lust, many unheralded 80s fantasy books came back into print in the late 90s so bookstores could offer alternate reading selections no, really, there is a very interesting blog post about it from a buyer at Barnes Noble here.I can still resent them though I have said this before when reviewing DWJ, but many of her books, while perfectly enjoyable for adults, are clearly meant to appeal the weirdly absorbent brains of children, who do not try to cram in a few pages of reading during their lunch breaks while letting their minds wander to unpaid bills and unfinished assignments Kids, real readers at least, hyper focus they read like the rest of the world has ceased to exist This is much, much harder to do as an adult, and does a disservice to DWJ, who focuses on character over detailed plotting and relies on her readers to fill in the gaps Invariably, I finish one of her books scratching my head a bit, but feeling like it isn t the book, it s me Does this make any sense, or am I idealizing youthful reading again I don t think I am it so explains why the epic books of my youth seem so small in the harsh light of adulthood.Dogsbody This book is hard to find these days, and has been out of print for at least 10 years I can kind of see why For one thing, the story is very strange, which makes it hard to classify, which makes it hard to sell, probably you see, there are these supernatural beings who live in control the stars and planets One of them, the Dog Star Sirius, is accused of a crime and sentenced to live out his punishment in the earthbound body of a dog He has a chance at redemption, but if he doesn t complete his mission in time, he ll die when his dog body dies There are a few other luminaries of dark purpose who wouldn t mind seeing that happen Just a warning there is a puppy drowning scene Right You can see why this one is of a hard sell post Potter than Oh yeah, Chrestomanci, these books also have a Wizard School Also, there are elements that read strangely today, to children in the U.S at least Sirius, in dog form, is taken care of by a sweet little girl named Kathy Kathy has to live with her clueless uncle and his horrid wife because her father, a member of the IRA, is in jail Kathy s Aunt Duffie and cousin treat her like dirt and she is constantly picked on by neighborhood kids because she s Irish I honestly have no idea how much of this still goes on in the U.K., but if I am any indication, American schoolchildren are taught next to nothing about Ireland s tortured political history, nor would many of them think to bother hating on a classmate for being Irish I mean, as long as you re white, right.Then there s the fact that few publishers have managed to produce cover art that isn t off putting or unspeakably childish or obtuse Which, I mean yeah It s a high bar But it s a wonderful book The creativity of the premise extends throughout, and I loved the scenes in which Sirius, in dog form, carries on snarky conversations with the sun, who gets no respect from the other luminaries, and the Earth, which is decidedly miffed about all these stars getting up in its business There s the gentle sadness in Kathy s story, and lonely kids which is most kids at one time or another will find real truth in her struggles Most of all, this is a book about animals that can talk to one another, but it is never cutesy Sirius has to work to overcome his innate dog nature, which is let s face it , dumbness and excitability I love any scene where he talks to another dog, because all they want to do is keep saying HI If you are correct in your preference for cats, this book also has excellent and dignified cats Anyone who realizes that cats aren t the villains gets a gold star.Diana Wynne Jones died last week Even though I came to her books late in life, it was a very sad author death for me It also made me stop and really consider the ending of this book, which reminds us that present pain need not be permanent, you ll find friends and family where you make them, and it s always worth holding on to hope.

  2. says:

    I first read this book when I was nine and I can t count how many times since that I ve read it Since acquiring an account though I ve been able to buy DWJ books and then managed to own my very own copy of Dogsbody I wish I could have the version of book I read as a kid though.This is the first book I could say I truly loved, adored and became obsessed with It doesn t matter how many times I ve read this, I still enjoy it each time nothing has diminished.I guess I was attracted to it because as a kid I adored dogs I was obsessed and so the cover art attracted me as well as the story If I ever do get a dog of my own, you can be sure that I will be naming it Sirius not for Sirius Black but the first Sirius I loved.I love this book Simply and utterly It is full of DWJ s magic and brilliant characters that come to life and jump off the page at you.I get lost in this book every time I read it Quite often I ve been reading away and forgot to get off the bus, off the ferry let the bus sail right past me at the stop When I read this book, the world stops Every time.

  3. says:

    I didn t find out what a dogsbody was a drudge or menial worker, in case you didn t know either until years after I d read this book, so the double meaning passed me by Sirius being in the body of a dog Sirius losing his position of power to become a humble and powerless creature Fortunately, it doesn t matter at all This is a delightful story on so many levels.Since Sirius the luminary star denizen doesn t have any idea about Earth life or humans than Sirius the abandoned puppy does, everything he learns is filtered through the dog s perceptions This is something DWJ is amazing at, being able to look at some ordinary thing like a telephone cord and describe it the way someone would who d not only never seen a telephone cord before, but didn t even understand the concept of telephones It just occurred to me that kids today might not know what a telephone cord is either Now I feel old I love working out what Sirius is seeing I also like the path Sirius takes from being an arrogant, powerful being with anger management issues to becoming someone who cares about others and puts their needs first It could all be down to how very helpless he is, even when he s a full grown dog, but I figure someone truly irredeemable wouldn t have changed no matter how helpless he became.The characterization is just superb, as usual, and once again DWJ gives us a dysfunctional family that is maybe too realistic for comfort Kathleen is the poor relation who s in the same situation Sirius is, dependent on a family in which the adults are unreliable Basil s the oldest son, kind of a jerk because he s bigger and a bully Robin s the middle child, too weak to stand up to Basil even though he likes Kathleen Mr Duffield, Kathleen s uncle, is the distant father who doesn t notice anything that isn t important to him And Duffy, his wife, is a nasty shrew whose laziness and viciousness is most obvious when she blackmails Kathleen into doing all the cooking and household chores to keep Sirius Leo, as Kathleen names him from being thrown out or killed I don t know how old Kathleen is, but she can t be older than 11, and the thought of a healthy grown woman standing by while a child struggles with responsibilities she s not ready for makes me sick One of the things I love most about this book is when Miss Smith, a kind and intelligent old lady who knows Leo is than he appears, view spoiler adopts Kathleen to get her out of the Duffields house and give her a real home I don t care that that was probably unrealistic even for 1975 I want to believe that a horrible biological family is not a life sentence hide spoiler

  4. says:

    I m already a fan of Diana Wynne Jones, and I d heard this was one of her best books in spite of being one of her earliest , but neither of those things prepared me for how deeply this story moved me.I think that part of what gives this story its power is that Jones pulls no punches here The antagonists and the abuse they deal out are not made safe for kids by an over the top Roald Dahl treatment as they often are in Jones other books The nasty adults do and threaten to do things that real nasty adults do The nasty children do things that real nasty children do Nor does Jones avoid other subjects that usually aren t permitted in books for kids overt racism against the Irish the story takes place at the height of IRA violence , parental death, and mindless mating attraction among the dog characters no sex is actually described Even the solving of the mystery involves the recognition of a painfully adult level betrayal There are good people in the story, even good adults that are almost too good to be true, if you didn t know that there are people that good in the world This isn t a cynically dark story, but it is a realistically dark one And yet ultimately a hopeful one Hopeful enough to bring a tear to my cynical old eyes.

  5. says:

    Dogsbody has so many strange and magical fantasy elements in its vast realm of a story I loved the author s quaint writing style, too.

  6. says:

    Plucked out of the way back machine based upon the compelling recommendation of none other than Neil Gaiman, in his collected non fiction View From the Cheap Seats, which, of course, was originally the introduction to modern version of Dogsbody that I read , this short, quick, but importantly interesting and different period piece was a fortuitous find There s a lot going on here mostly fantasy, a dabble of sci fi, a dollop of British Irish historical tension and ugliness, families, loss, love, hope, longing, and dogs and even cats.There s no question I enjoyed it, and I m always glad to expand my horizons and welcome new authors and idea and perspectives At the same time, I didn t love it, and I don t necessarily crave of it, but that doesn t mean I wouldn t recommend itIn the end, it s an intriguing find and a likely recommendation for dog lovers no, this isn t Edgar Sawtelle or Racing in the Rain or Until Tuesday no, they re horses of a different color , but don t be quick too quick to lump it with Red Fern or Old Yellar either, but I digress , childrens young adult readers and, importantly, those of us who have discovered innumerable gems too often ignored because of their young adult genre stigma , and younger librarians who ve run out of recommendations after that precocious, somewhat nerdy kid they see every weekend has blown through the Bruce Coville shelf, but is bored by the modern, cookie cutter serial fantasy and sci fi.I m a sucker for a satisfying ending, conclusion, wrap up, denouement and, while I fully appreciate an ear to ear grin or a sentimental tear I m pretty open to a wide range of resolutions, epilogues, or codas For me, the final riff, indeed, the last chapter, felt unnecessarily abrupt and truncated It s not a spoiler and, indeed, Gaiman s introduction warned readers that Wynne Jones doesn t offer a conventional finale, but like so many things in the book what she leaves you with is sufficiently unique to be, at a minimum satisfying enough.

  7. says:

    I ve been asking people to look over my list of unread books and pick out one or two, or even a few, that really interest them and talk to me about it Dogsbody is the first of the books I ve read picked out for me like that the clinching factor apart from it being short and written by Diana Wynne Jones was that I was told it has an end that is both happy and sad.That turns out to be true A lot of the story is very young at heart the main character becomes a young puppy and slowly has to grow up and learn about the world, and he s adopted by a young girl who he adores and who adores him He plays and learns and gets in trouble in a very doggish way that I think anyone could enjoy It s often funny, and Jones seems to have got dogs and cats and people just right.Then there s the complicated layer, the sci fi fantasy issue of Sirius crime, trial, and eventual reinstatement There s references to the Irish Troubles, and the difficulties of race relations between the Irish and the English There s the issue of child abuse And there s the old, Celtic, barely glimpsed appropriate, because barely remembered mythology and its strange rituals, Arawn and his houndsI think there s a lot there that could be confusing if you expect to get all the answers What is a Zoi, why Sirius Companion do what she did, who and what exactly is the Earth s dark child In that sense, it s unsatisfying, because there aren t that many answers But this way, you get to keep thinking and wondering long after you ve closed the book.

  8. says:

    In the universe of Dogsbody, stars are ruled by spirits called luminaries When a nearby star goes nova and a device called the Zoi falls to earth, the luminary of Sirius is falsely accused of murder His punishment is to be born on Earth as a dog and retrieve the Zoi or die trying Yes, it s quite a bizarre book I normally associate DWJ s stories with whimsy, charm, and magic, and this book is a bit of a departure from those themes Of all the books by her that I ve read, Dogsbody stands out as the most fantastical and the most realistic, the most tragic and the most uplifting After reading it a few years ago, and having since then recommended it to 2404297851 people, I decided it was about time that I re read it to make sure it was as good as I remembered.I have to say that there were parts in the first half of the novel that I found somewhat slow, but once it picked up momentum it was thoroughly action packed and impossible to put down The personalities of the Sun, Earth, and Moon are wonderful anthropomorphic, yet clearly not human I especially enjoyed Sun s protectiveness of Earth Animals personalities were portrayed equally well, as was Sirius s constant inner battle to get around his dog nature to remember where he came from or vice versa, when his dog nature saves his life There s definitely a fairy tale element to this story, with some surprising departures from the norm.At its core, I think this story has a pretty bitter theme being betrayed, and then being the betrayer but it s also full of beauty I closed the book with an immense feeling of awe and gratitude.

  9. says:

    I checked this book out of the library from a small town I lived in for a short time I think I was in fifth grade The book managed to haunt me in all the right ways well into my adulthood, but I could never find it again until someone ordered a copy off and gave it to me my freshman year of college The second time I read it, I finished it in a couple of hours It made me cry both times The plot does fail to explain itself Something deep and wonderful is going on just beyond the pages, and DWJ sees no need to explain it Maybe that s what made it so haunting for me As a child, I completely missed the Irish subtext that made such integral backstory to Kathy s character, but as an adult it was an amazing discovery to make and further proves just what a many layered, fast read this is.

  10. says:

    A short and beautifully written story about a celestial being falsely accused of murder who is sentenced to live on earth in the body of a dog Yet this is so much than a murder mystery where the main character tries to return to his previous life It s about someone sensing for the first time the natural world around him with all of its sights and smells the latter a particularly vivd and wonderfully written Most of all its a touching story of the bond between a young girl who is mistreated by almost everyone around her and the dog who starts to wonder if going him is better than the life he has on earth Very moving, and reminds you that what you have in the here and now, no matter how simple is sometimes the best.