Dogs and Monsters

Dogs and Monsters

Summary

From the bestselling author of The Porpoise come eight mesmerising stories moving between Greek myth and the near future to explore what, ultimately, makes us human

Weaving together Ancient Greek fables with more recent dystopian narratives, Mark Haddon jump starts the heart of these legends told and retold for millennia, and demonstrates their lasting relevance again, in new and unexpected forms.

The lover of a goddess, Tithonus is gifted eternal life, but without eternal youth he must stare into a future of endless old age. The myth of the Minotaur in his labyrinth is turned into a wrenching parable of maternal love for a damaged child – and of the more real monstrosities of patriarchy. Actaeon, changed into a stag after glimpsing the naked Diana and torn to pieces by his hunting dogs, becomes a visceral metaphor about how humans use and misuse animals.

From genetic engineering to the eternal complications of family, from fear of the future to the cruel world of the English boarding school, Haddon showcases masterfully how we are subject to the same elemental forces that obsessed the Greeks. Whether describing Laika the Soviet space-dog on her fateful orbit, or St Anthony wrestling with loneliness in the desert, his astonishing powers of observation are at their height when illuminating the thin line between human and animal.

About the author

Mark Haddon

Mark Haddon is a writer and artist. His bestselling novel, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, was published simultaneously by Jonathan Cape and David Fickling in 2003. It won seventeen literary prizes, including the Whitbread Award. In 2012, a stage adaptation by Simon Stephens was produced by the National Theatre and went on to win 7 Olivier Awards in 2013 and the 2015 Tony Award for Best Play. In 2005 his poetry collection, The Talking Horse and the Sad Girl and the Village Under the Sea, was published by Picador, and his play, Polar Bears, was produced by the Donmar Warehouse in 2010. The Pier Falls, a collection of short stories, was also published by Cape in 2016. To commemorate the centenary of the Hogarth Press he wrote and illustrated a short story that appeared alongside Virginia Woolf's first story for the press in Two Stories (Hogarth, 2017). His most recent novel, The Porpoise, was published by Chatto & Windus in 2019.
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