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The Dogs of Babelby Carolyn Parkhurst
Despite a few annoying detours — the story's romance is actually kindled in Disneyland — Parkhurst's story moves both mind and heart. What else does a novel need? If your answer is "a soulful Rhodesian Ridgeback named Lorelei," then this is the book for you. A fine piece of work.
Synopses & Reviews
When his wife dies in a fall from a tree in their backyard, linguist Paul Iverson is wild with despair. In the days that follow, Paul becomes certain that Lexy's death was no accident. Strange clues have been left behind: unique, personal messages that only she could have left and that he is determined to decipher.
So begins Paul's fantastic and even perilous search for the truth, as he abandons his everyday life to embark on a series of experiments designed to teach his dog Lorelei to communicate. Is this the project of a madman? Or does Lorelei really have something to tell him about the last afternoon of a woman he only thought he knew?
At the same time, Paul obsessively recalls the early days of his love for Lexy and the ups and downs of life with the brilliant, sometimes unsettling woman who became his wife.
"Try a novel you can't put down: The Dogs of Babel by Carolyn Parkhurst....This tightly woven tale has all the right stuff: romance, suspense, fantasy, and an ending that does not disappoint." Redbook
"A wonderfully original and richly imaginative novel that moves in unpredictable, continuously surprising — but perfectly reasonable — directions as it explores the ways that we are all masked from one another, masked even from those we love most. It's a mystery story of the most resonant kind, but it's also a love story and, at its core, about the quest of grief for meaning." Kermit Moyer, author of Tumbling
"The story is poignant and suspenseful, with richly drawn characters, including the soulful hound who seems to hold the key to the mystery." Parenting
"Carolyn Parkhurst's The Dogs of Babel — so luminous, heartbreaking, comic, and daring — is an astonishing debut. Parkhurst writes of love and loss, and, above all, of what we can and cannot know of one another, with power and deeply earned grace." Richard McCann, author of Ghost Letters
"The brilliance of Parkhurst's novel lies in the subtle buildup of emotion as Paul digs deeper and deeper to discover the truth about the woman he loved....The beauty of the novel lies in how powerfully that emotional wave hits the reader. An unforgettable debut." Booklist, starred review
"I read it without stopping, and I loved it completely." Anna Quindlen
"A heartbreaking exploration of memory and language, grief and redemption." Esquire
"A neatly, almost perfectly constructed novel." Time
"Parkhurst tells her tale with considerable skill...a humanistic parable of the heart's confusions..." Entertainment Weekly
"A poignant, affecting tale....Parkhurst delivers a remarkable debut in quiet, authoritative prose....Highly recommended." Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal
"The Dogs of Babel is the most unique and imaginative book I have read in recent times. Parkhurst is a wonderful writer and her story is daring, tender and full of surprises as well as wisdom and insight. I simply could not put it down." John Searles, author of Boy Still Missing and Senior Books Editor of Cosmopolitan magazine
"Carolyn Parkhurst writes as well about talking dogs and square eggs as she does about the limits of language and the intractable mysteries of the self. The Dogs of Babel is a strange, beautiful and very moving novel that asks us to look, in equal measure, at the puzzle that is grief and the puzzle that is love." Elizabeth Graver, author of The Honey Thief and Unravelling
In Paul's fantastic and even perilous search for the truth about his wife's death, he abandons his everyday life to embark on a series of experiments designed to teach his dog Lorelei to communicate. Could she really give him the answers he is looking for?
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