Becky’s Two Hundred and Fourteenth Book Review: “Dogeaters” by Jessica Hagedorn

“Dogeaters” by Jessica Hagedorn was a Wall Street book club pick last year. It took me awhile to get through it and I was left with unclear feelings for the novel, hence the extreme delay in writing this review. Even now I’m struggling with what I really want to say about the book and the overall reading experience.

On the one hand, I think that Jessica Hagedorn has a very interesting writing style. The characters were so diverse from one another, and yet they all had something or other in common. I didn’t love the fact that the chapter titles did not reference which character was narrating; I found that to be confusing. I would get a few pages into a chapter and realize that it was a completely different character that was narrating from what I originally thought.

Maybe it is just because it took me such a long time to get through the book, or that I finished it so long ago and am only now writing the review, but I don’t really remember much about it. I remember not enjoying parts of it and then finding other aspects of the book very entertaining. I know that I didn’t like most of the characters in the novel – they were just bad people for the most part. I remember one of the characters killed a dog, and that never goes over well with me. I get extremely turned off from a novel when the dog is killed, especially in a violent manner.

Would I recommend this book? Probably not, I certainly would not pick it up again. I think that while it is something that would appeal to a certain type of reader, I’m not that person. I enjoy the fact that following the WSJ book club that I am branching out to books that I would otherwise never have picked up. That being said, I do not love all the book club picks and I wouldn’t pick up another work by Jessica Hagedorn.

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