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Nessa's Thoughts

Just a British girl who reads a bit too much.

Currently reading

The Dead Zone
Stephen King
The Diving Bell And The Butterfly
Jean-Dominique Bauby
Clarissa, or, the History of a Young Lady
Samuel Richardson, Angus Ross
Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison
Piper Kerman
The Cuckoo's Calling
Robert Galbraith
The Plague Dogs - Richard Adams This is one of my favourite books ever. My beat-up old copy is one of my prized possessions. I'm planning on rereading it soon, and I swear, more people need to read this book.It's the tale of two dogs who escape from a laboratory that is very happy to use animals in its experiments. Whilst escaping, Rowf and Snitter pass through a room that is being used for research into the bubonic plague, and break a petri dish, thus convincing the scientists that these dogs have bubonic plague and are a public health menace. What follows is two very sheltered dogs trying to survive on the harsh, unforgiving moors of the Lake District, slowly running out of food, and having to rely on a fox to help them hunt.This book is also known for having an intensely depressing movie, and it's a fairly faithful adaptation, I'll tell you that.Hunter: (laying his rifle against his leg) "Here, boy! Come here! I won't hurt you!"Snitter: (catching his back paw on the trigger as he tries to jump up) "Human! I love humans! They're good people! Just like my master was!"*BANG*To its credit, the book has a MUCH more happy ending than the movie, which ends with a freaking Alan Price song and a realisation that the two dogs have probably just drowned. WHAT THE HELL, Nepenthe Productions? This movie had a theatrical release, and my DVD with the director's cut is only rated PG!So yes, let's go away from the movie and go back to what I love about this book.The writing is just gorgeous, and it's especially fascinating reading the interviews as the human characters try to piece together the full story. I love how Rowf and Snitter just feel so real, and you really feel for them when horrible things happen. Their mythology is beautifully explained, and goddamn it, I just wanted to hit Annie Mossity in the face with a frying pan. You don't sell an adorable dog like Snitter to a research lab, buy yourself a fur coat with the proceeds and then lie to your brother, Snitter's original owner! Gah!However, this book does have its Achille's Heel. Sometimes the scientists that Rowf and Snitter encounter are just... too evil. The scientists are all cruel and think nothing of putting chimpanzees in isolation containers, drowning dogs and doing other radical experimentation without any thought for the animal's welfare. Hell, it still goes on to this day. In 2009, around 5,923 dogs were used in laboratory experiments on animals. I'm not a hardcore animal rights campaigner, and of course, vivisection has had its uses in the past (such as isolating insulin) and present, but I imagine it was going for 'oh god, look how horrible this is, behind closed doors and kept top secret'.However, I'm still going to give it a high score. Slightly weak scientist characters be damned, it knows just how to tug at my heartstrings and show off some beautiful writing and mythology. 5/5.