Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Plague Dogs -- finished #1

First book of 2009 is now finished, The Plague Dogs by Richard Adams.  Not a bad book I guess, but just a disappointment after reading Watership Down and still remembering Shardik in a good light.  It is probably these raised expectations that helped me now think of the book as just okay.  

I didn't get into the whole writing of the dialect by both the local people and the fox the dogs meet up with.  It is also a 1970s book, just a different mindset back then.  While some books it is not as noticeable, this one just seemed very noticeable at times.  The whole animal research angle was pretty much bashed on in the '80s & '90s to the point now where I am not sure if PETA is really even talking about it.  Of course, Adams had to write in his time, so this is certainly not his fault--just pointing out.  

The one thing that really seemed to stand out though in this book in a negative way was very long winded descriptions.  Now don't get me wrong, usually I enjoy this, but early on it just seemed too many of these were forced and it just continued through the whole novel.  Earlier I posted that it seemed that Adams was trying to be more prose like than just simply telling the story.  Then I kind of chalked it up to his just then recent success of Watership Down and having to try to live up to heightened expectations that had to be on him.  Kind of like what I felt before reading the book.  Now I am probably completely off on this, but it was what popped into my head very early on and stayed with me to the end.

I really cannot recommend this book.  Watership Down and Shardik should certainly be read first and only then if wanting to read all 3 of Adams novels, then have at it.  But for my taste there are better things to be reading.

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