Customer Reviews for

The Dogs of Babel

Average Rating 4
( 158 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(82)

4 Star

(25)

3 Star

(21)

2 Star

(13)

1 Star

(17)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Amazing!

When I read the reviews of this book, I thought it sounded rather strange. I am a dog lover though, so I was also intrigued, so I bought it anyway. I'm so glad I did. The writing is marvelous, the story is compellingly told, and I actually cried. I can't recommend t...
When I read the reviews of this book, I thought it sounded rather strange. I am a dog lover though, so I was also intrigued, so I bought it anyway. I'm so glad I did. The writing is marvelous, the story is compellingly told, and I actually cried. I can't recommend this book highly enough. You won't be sorry!

posted by Anonymous on June 19, 2003

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Most Helpful Critical Review

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

Why all the positive reviews?

I don't get it at all. The vast majority of people on this site seem to love this book. Why? Lexy is an extremely self-centered, unlikeable 'heroine' and Paul is a complete dolt whose moronic actions cause horrific consequences for the poor dog, Lorelei. W...
I don't get it at all. The vast majority of people on this site seem to love this book. Why? Lexy is an extremely self-centered, unlikeable 'heroine' and Paul is a complete dolt whose moronic actions cause horrific consequences for the poor dog, Lorelei. What is there to like in this book? If you're a dog lover or want to get caught up in characters you can actually care about, run, don't walk, away from The Dogs of Babel.

posted by Anonymous on November 8, 2005

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2005

    Why all the positive reviews?

    I don't get it at all. The vast majority of people on this site seem to love this book. Why? Lexy is an extremely self-centered, unlikeable 'heroine' and Paul is a complete dolt whose moronic actions cause horrific consequences for the poor dog, Lorelei. What is there to like in this book? If you're a dog lover or want to get caught up in characters you can actually care about, run, don't walk, away from The Dogs of Babel.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2006

    Appalling!!

    The book starts off fine but as an avid dog lover, I was appalled that someone could even think of dog mutilation as described in detail in the book much less write and publish it. It could have been a lovely story. I'd give it zero stars if I could!!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2006

    I couldn't stand it...

    First of all, why do people feel the need to summarize the book when giving a review... Having said that, being a dog lover, this book was probably the worst book I have ever read. I don't know how some one could possibly come up with something so completely cruel and inhumane. Whose mind works like that? And even more, what publisher thought it was a good idea to publish it? When I finished the book, all I could do was sit in the floor with my girls (dogs) and love them. I was stressed that there was some one out there that could even think of something like this. If there was an option for no stars, I would choose it instead of one star.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 3, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Deeply Disappointing

    I bought this book at a local resale shop, thinking the premise sounded interesting. The lead female character Lexy has obviously had psychological problems since her teenage years. She did have an interesting profession, but ultimately I found her character self-centered and exhausting. Then I reached the part starting on the grotesque animal experimentation. I have spent decades trying to eradicate animal abuse of all kinds and if I had known it contained this aspect I would never have started reading it. Because her husband Paul could not admit to himself that his wife committed suicide he embarks on a ridiculous quest to teach his dog to talk, leaving his job, and sinking into depression. Then comes the part about the demented group of men who surgically experiment on dogs thinking they can teach them human language! This aspect of the story made me ill, and I don't care how the book ended, I stopped reading and will probably get rid of it. I would not recommend this book to anyone.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2006

    Not convinced

    I had high hopes for this book. It kicked off powerfully, but later lost momentum and finally crashed and burned somewhere out in left field. The book is about a man's quest to use his dog to find out the truth about his wife's murder. However, as a dog owner and a woman, I found Parkhurst's portrayals of the wife (Lexy) and the dog (Lorelei) as contrived and outright unbelievable. The author included many flashbacks to describe the dead wife's previous time with the husband. The wife was supposed to have been portrayed as slightly wacky but lovable, but I found her to be selfish and spoiled and not lovable at all. The crux of this novel is to have a shared nostalgia for this dead wife. I disliked her character and therefore cared not about how she died, instead I was confused and annoyed at her husband who was obsessing over her death. The novel ends weakly, when the husband discovers the manner in which the wife died, which was no real surprise. The author has some gift for prose, but no gift for realistic or believable storytelling. I will be trying to get my money back for this book.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 1, 2004

    A lovely book up until the middle... then it's TERRIFYING.

    I would not recommend this book. I was left with terrible nightmares about mangled dogs and death masks. The ending left me with a lot to be desired. I cannot stress enough about the horrifying images I was left with. Never before have I felt such fear for a character of a book as I did with Lexy and the members of the 'Cerebrus Society'

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 24, 2003

    Put It Down NOW!

    This book is disturbing and almost unbearably depressing. Sections on the torturous dog surgery gave me nightmares, and the human characters don't fare much better. Being both a dog lover and someone who has lost loved ones, the ideas of searching for cause and meaning as well as the use of a beloved pet as a seeker of truth were appealing to me. I was horrified with the manner in which these themes are explored.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2003

    Amazing!

    When I read the reviews of this book, I thought it sounded rather strange. I am a dog lover though, so I was also intrigued, so I bought it anyway. I'm so glad I did. The writing is marvelous, the story is compellingly told, and I actually cried. I can't recommend this book highly enough. You won't be sorry!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2013

    Great read

    A quirky entertaining read that will keep you thinking what if!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2013

    Wow

    Coolcooclcoolcoolcoolc

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2013

    Great

    Very good book, i suggest anyone to read this book. Such a easy read and kept me interested

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2013

    This was a great read. Rich prose, singularly original and compe

    This was a great read. Rich prose, singularly original and compelling plot. I look forward
    to reading more of her work. And, by the way, for those 'offended' by the character's actions with regards to teaching the dog to speak, I will remind you that this is FICTION. Get over it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2012

    I really got into this book early on, but was very disappointed

    I really got into this book early on, but was very disappointed in the way it ended. I agree with some of the other reviewers in that I began to lose interest as I learned more about Lexy and found her less likeable. Additionally, once the narrator, Lexy's husband, sought out the meeting of the dog mutilation group, I didn't like him all that much either, even if he had no evil intentions. But I also give it three stars because of its honesty. I had just finished reading a couple of books where the main characters were either sickeningly sweet and flawless or completely psychotic and evil, and so this book reminded me that people are far more complex. After all, aren't we all flawed, but worthy of some love? And aren't there people in our lives that aren't always lovable but who we love nevertheless?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2012

    In my top 20

    Haunting, this story is achingly beautifu, sad, sweet and has the least trite description of what it is to love someone. And even when love cant save certain people its still everything.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2012

    Not very good

    Not believable or enjoyable. I feel like I wasted my time.

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  • Posted April 11, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    !

    This book broke my heart. Broody, introspective and a bit...weird. I love it.

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  • Posted February 26, 2011

    The DOGS OF BABEL

    this book is the best its got all the detail in it.

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  • Posted October 5, 2010

    Highly recommend to any reader

    I was a little unsure if I'd like this book but I decided to purchase it anyways. I'm so glad I did, it is now my favorite book. You fall in love with the characters and can't stop reading. I would recommend this book to anyone who loves a good book with mystery, heartbreak, and love. After reading this book I'm definitally interested in reading Carolyn Parkhurst's other books, I just hope they can compare. Definitally read this book, you won't be disappointed.

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  • Posted August 22, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    From Dogs To Nobodies

    If you want to read Dogs of Babel after reading Carolyn Parkhurst's latest novel, The Nobodies Album, be prepared for a very different kind of book. Dogs of Babel does not match up to the latest, but it has its own quirky appeal, as it is very offbeat while at the same time a touching story. On the other hand, it's not as good as her latest. Getting better with each novel is a good thing!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 10, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Great read!

    As a science fiction scholar and as a lay scholar of linguistics, I was pleased to start reading what I thought was a work of "soft science fiction" -- that is, I thought the novel would focus primarily on the supremely wonderful idea of a linguist's teaching a dog to communicate, for crushingly sad reasons. That misunderstanding was what made me start to read the book.
    When I realized I was mistaken, I was too hooked, too emotionally involved, to stop reading.
    Let me be clear: I adore every scene in which Paul Iverson tries to teach the Rhodesian Ridgeback, Lorelei, to communicate. These scenes fill me with joy. Iverson (that is to say, Carolyn Parkhurst) has brilliant ideas, which, alas, are more suited to teaching another primate or a deaf child to speak. Lorelei's wonderfully doggie inability to understand what Paul tries to communicate is always delightful and exactly right.
    But the central, painful focus is the story of Paul's grief and guilt and search for redemption.
    Parkhurst provides genuinely scary moments, and lovely moments of loving, and I wept over all of them. In her word-jokes, in her stories about the creation of masks, in Paul's grieving yet exalted memories of his dead wife, I felt the touch of the numinous sublime, again and again.
    I wholeheartedly recommend it to ... well, to everyone. There truly is something for every reader in this marvellous novel.

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