Given its title, André Alexis’s new book Fifteen Dogs was bound to pique my interest. Luckily, the humans at Coach House Books lent the Lady a digital advanced reading copy so that we could review it.
This modern apologue surprised and delighted us. The story opens when the gods Hermes and Apollo, bored and looking for amusement, place a wager on whether animals, granted human intelligence, would be happier or unhappier than humans. The fifteen eponymous dogs, a mix of mutts and purebreds being held in the kennel of a veterinary clinic, are chosen as their test subjects. If even one of them dies happy, Hermes wins the bet. In an instant, Apollo transforms the unsuspecting dogs.