The Dog by Kerstin Ekman – Book Review

Book Title: The Dog

Author: Kerstin Ekman

Translators: Linda Schenk, Rochelle Wright

Genre/Category: Literary Novella, Translated Fiction

Blurb from Goodreads

In the heart of the tranquil countryside, a young puppy leaves his home to eagerly follow his mother and master. But away from the safe haven of the farm, the puppy soon becomes lost and is left to struggle for survival in the wild.

Suddenly, he must find food and a safe place to sleep, and outwit his competitor, the fox.

The puppy becomes wild himself, trusting no human and furiously fighting the hunting dogs that enter his domain.

But one man is intrigued by the now-unruly dog and very slowly begins to gain his trust. Each day he visits the dog, bringing food and awakening memories of his distant domestic past.

The lost relationship between man and dog is rebuilt in this sensitive and intelligent story about the true nature of trust and friendship.

My Review

“At first hunger is a spur, making legs grow long and forcing nose to the ground. Then it becomes a whip, lashing out at sensitive ears with sounds, striking through a deep sleep. It releases scents that soon are lost. It gnaws and torments from deep inside an aching cavity. The body, with matted fur, legs that dash, claws that tear and scrape, is merely the shape hunger assumes. There’s nothing else inside. Only hunger.”

  • How would it feel to suddenly be isolated from all that you know?
  • To be lost, to be alone.
  • To be so young but then have to grow up immediately.
  • To learn to fend for yourself.
  • To live only from hour to hour feeling the growing ache of hunger in your belly. Scavenging. Never feeling satiated.
  • What would go through your mind?
  • What would isolation and hunger do to you?
  • How would you be altered?
  • After a lifetime on your own would you ever learn to trust again?

This gorgeous novella examines all these questions from the viewpoint of a young puppy who gets separated from both his mother and master in the wilds of somewhere in Scandinavia.

As anyone who is at all familiar with me you will know that I am an unabashed lover of all things canine. So a book about a dog… it had me at woof!!!

But even so, the writing style in this…

It was so atmospheric, so descriptive. I could feel the anxiety, the fear, the loneliness, the confusion, the isolation and the heartache.

The words painted beautiful pictures on the page and embedded this story deep in my heart. And when I put the book down at 2am in the morning it made me have to climb out of my bed to go cuddle my own beautiful dog.

“It seemed as if each and every creature around him had scents and trails that were their own and he was the only one searching for a way to make sense of a jumble of sounds and restless shadows.
But he didn’t find it.
He could find no trace of the pack he’d once belonged to.”

A hidden gem of a book. Highly recommended

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