We are thrilled to be continuing our book club this year, and are very excited to read our first pick ’15 Dogs’. If you haven’t got the book yet, Simi’s monthly picks will be offered at 20% off in all Black Bond Books locations!
Join us on February 4th as Simi shares her thoughts on the story.
Below are some discussion questions to think about as you read and topics we’ll be discussing next month.
1. Which dog are you most drawn to? Least? Why?
2. Can you imagine how the story might have been different if Alexis had chosen cats? What about elephants or mosquitoes?
3. Hermes and Apollo’s wager is decided by whether or not one of the dogs is happy at the moment of its death. Is it fair to evaluate the quality of one’s life by the quality of one’s end-of-life? How accurate of an evaluation is this in the case of the dogs?
4. The form of the apologue is meant to be a moral fable: a pleasant vehicle for a useful lesson, often with animals as stand-ins for human characters. What are the central lessons that Alexis means to teach us in Fifteen Dogs?
5. Some readers find themselves more moved by the deaths of the fifteen dogs than they would have been if it had been fifteen humans. Why do we sometimes have more compassion for animals than people? Can you think of examples of this in the real world?
6. True to canine nature, Atticus’s pack is ruled by brute power and a clear sense of hierarchy. But Hermes and Apollo’s wager is about happiness, not power. What is the relationship between power and happiness for the dogs? Is there a clear correlation?
7. Do you find the violence in this novel to be gratuitous? It has been said that violence results from inarticulateness; is it strange that the dogs seem to become more violent after they have come to possess the gift of (human) language?