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Summary The Dog by Joseph O'Neill

The author of the best selling and award winning Netherland now gives us his eagerly awaited stunningly different new novel a tale of alienation and heartbreak in Dubai Distraught by a breakup with his long term girlfriend our unnamed hero leaves New York to take an unusual job in a strange desert metropolis In Dubai at the height of its self invention as a We never learn the real name of the narrator in Joseph O Neill s new novel but we do learn that his professional name begins with the letter X He won t reveal his given name under pain of humiliation X thinks of himself with a little help from his former lover as the dog as in it appears I m in the doghouse He thinks fairly rationally probably due to his legal training but with long trailing parenthetical asides sometimes reuiring up to five or six parentheses together to finally close the ellipses of his ruminations and bring him back to the point And the point isour man just an ordinary man by the sounds of him has got himself out on a very thin limb andhe really has no friends Or rather he does have friends but only the kind that helpfully change the subject when it looks as though someone might actually say something revealing or personal You know the kind of friends that might offer you a job but might not be the kind you actually want to work for Which he did Take the job In Dubai That is to say he uit the job he had in the law firm he shared with his nine year not uite wife abandoned his rent controlled one bedroom in Gramercy Park escaping initially to a luxury rental in New Jersey near the Lincoln Tunnel and then he moved to Dubai As X himself writes a person usually needs a special incentive to be here or perhaps accurately not to be elsewhere and surely this is all the true for the American who rather than trying his luck in California or Texas or New York chooses to come to this strange desert metropolis Either way fortune will play its expected role I suppose I say all this from experienceOne way to sum up the stupidity of this phase of my life a phase I m afraid is ongoing would be to call it the phase of insights There is something vaguely embarrassing yet deliciously sexy to witness this man s emotional strip tease He is not a hard edged corporate lawyer the I can handle anything type of man but one who is perplexed and bewildered to find himself living a life he doesn t actually like nor want He is clearly still a little in love with his longtime former lover Jenn and recognizes that he bears some blame for being emotionally blank and linguistically blocked when it came to expressing 1 his lack of interest in moving away from his rent controlled one bedroom to a larger apartment and 2 his lack of interest in starting a family at 36 years old Once X begins to see that in fact he is not enjoying himself at all despite living in an expensive apartment in an expensive city and outwardly living the life of Riley and he lets down his normal reserve enough to start telling us about itwellit is frankly hysterically funny Because yes if one looks at it from a simply voyeuristic point of view he simply has nothing at all despite the aforementioned apartment in the gleaming city by the seaand the desert It s almost nauseating to see the sand wherever the efforts to cover it has not yet succeeded When he begins to think aloud how liberating it is that he could actually hang himself at any time because he has no kids nor spouse to worry about in terms of timing we can t help but chuckle Not a good reaction to have but this guy is already eviscerated We d just witness the burialX s apartment in Dubai looks out on a city constantly under construction The buildings are tall and spectacular and one construction site catches X s imagination He calls it Project X After one day sending his man Ali out to find out what it will be Ali comes back with the news that the building is a mock up a scale representation of another building Project X isn t a project at all It s a dummy runThe action has moved somewhere else Sadly our minds flit to X himself imagining his now empty 36 years as a mock up for a life of promise and fulfilment and honor Later when he faces legal action himself his shocked outburst this is my good name we re talking about prompts his employer to respond Your name What name If one ever wondered what exactly it would be like to live in Dubai here you will have one answer X calmly and pointedly gives us Dubai s crimes of nature against man and the Dubaian counterattack on the natural as well as his increasingly distressed and alienated view of the expat scene But when he returns to New York on a business trip and expresses horror at the lumpy streets and soot blackened store fronts with some regret we note his former home is home no AlasModern man as we wish we never saw him O Neill our Scheherazade unravelling his gossamer veils one by one I wish it didn t endThe Random House Audio production is brilliantly and dolefully read by Erik Davies I found myself wanting to uote large sections of this in my reviewbut there was too much Gorgeous language

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The Dog by Joseph O'Neill

Comic and philosophically profound exploration of what has become of humankind’s moral progress The Dog is told with Joseph O’Neill’s hallmark elouence empathy and storytelling mastery It is a brilliantly original achingly funny fable for our globalized timesA NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOKLONGLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2014 PWs Best of the Year 201 With a heavy heavy disclaimer that Joe O Neill is an old and good friend I will say that I am still making up my mind about this book but there is much that is seriously brilliant here It is Bartleby for the 21st century Also undercurrents of Kafka the stranger and remains of the day A lot to think about before bedtime

Joseph O'Neill Ð 5 Download

Futuristic Shangri la he struggles with his new position as the “family officer” of the capricious and very rich Batros family And he struggles even helplessly with the “doghouse” a seemingly inescapable condition of culpability in which he feels himself constantly trapped even if he’s just going to the bathroom or reading e mail or scuba diving A I see that one reviewer has already described this book as too smart for most people so there in a nutshell you have it One the one hand it is a breathtaking analysis of the Gulf States coupled with a masterly exploration of the themes of displacement alienation and the uintessence of No whereNo one A re Kafkaization of the post modern novel and an intelligent insightful examination of the Condition of Man if you will On the other it is a somewhat meandering never uite amounting to a plot ramble of a read but not in the familiar way of Virginia Woolf nor come to that in a truly Kafkaesue way For one thing I lamented the absence of a character in whom I could take a than a slight passing interest let alone love doubtless some would say that this is the author s point Stylistically it smacked a little too much of a lawyerly tone and his increasing use of a collection of closing brackets to tie up all the parentheses at the end of a paragraph wonderful the first time paled after a whileReading it I had the sensation that I was looking through a kaleidoscope one with truly beautiful enigmatic patterns which could change my life if only I were able to have got the damn thing into focus properly Doubtless I will have to wait until someone smart enough can explain it all to me


10 thoughts on “The Dog by Joseph O'Neill

  1. says:

    We never learn the real name of the narrator in Joseph O’Neill’s new novel but we do learn that his professional name begins with the letter X He won’t reveal his given name under pain of humiliation X thinks of himself with a little help from his former lover as “the dog” as in “it appears I’m in the doghouse” He thinks fairly rationally probably due to his legal training but with long trailing parenthet

  2. says:

    First I have to admire O'Neil for taking uite a risk after his successful and engaging novel NETHERLAND which not only put him on the map but established him as a fine author in the theme of dislocation and alienation Here

  3. says:

    45 A very interesting book And not at all what I expected from Joseph O'Neill whom I'd taken for American fiction's Mr Boring on the strength of Zadie Smith's famous essay Two Paths for the Novel even if the piece's essential idea did seem over

  4. says:

    Joseph O’Neill’s “The Dog” arrives trailing clouds of glory from his previous novel “Netherland” which was longlisted for the Booker Prize won the 2009 PENFaulkner Award and managed to make cricket cool in Amer

  5. says:

    I see that one reviewer has already described this book as too smart for most people so there in a nutshell you have it One the one hand it is a breathtaking analysis of the Gulf States coupled with a masterly exploration

  6. says:

    Amazing but how can I say this without insulting the general public I can't not for everyone because it's too smart for most people Comically

  7. says:

    With a heavy heavy disclaimer that Joe O'Neill is an old and good friend I will say that I am still making up my mind about this book but there is much that is seriously brilliant here It is Bartleby for the 21st century Also undercurrents of Kafka the stranger and remains of the day A lot to think about before bedtime

  8. says:

    Never written a review this early into a book but the writing is absolutely eye watering I've never read a literary writer whose prose looks so much like programming language and by that I mean lots and lots of nesting statements This is not a good thing When he's not nesting statements he's ualifying things t

  9. says:

    Man Booker Longlist Publisher's Weekly Top 10 Surely notI was really hoping for a book based around the ironies that form modern day Dubai instead I got a rambling nonsense of facetious observations pornography meaningless words and multi bracketsSo here's an example of one needlessly wordy sentence I felt ashamed specifically ashamed that is which is to say filled with shame additional to the general ignomi

  10. says:

    This is the story of a man who moves to Dubai to work for a company with incredible wealth but uestionable deali

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