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Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Lives of the Monster Dogs

Lives of the Monster Dogs

A Novel

FSG Classics

Kirsten Bakis; With a new introduction by Jeff VanderMeer

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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The twentieth anniversary of a postmodern classic, blending the gothic novel with bleeding-edge science fiction

After a century of cruel experimentation, a haunted race of genetically and biomechanically uplifted canines are created by the followers of a mad nineteenth-century Prussian surgeon. Possessing human intelligence, speaking human language, fitted with prosthetic hands, and walking upright on their hind legs, the monster dogs are intended to be super soldiers. Rebelling against their masters, however, and plundering the isolated village where they were created, the now wealthy dogs make their way to New York, where they befriend the young NYU student Cleo Pira and—acting like Victorian aristocrats—become reluctant celebrities.

Unable to reproduce, doomed to watch their race become extinct, the highly cultured dogs want no more than to live in peace and be accepted by contemporary society. Little do they suspect, however, that the real tragedy of their brief existence is only now beginning.

Told through a variety of documents—diaries, newspaper clippings, articles for Vanity Fair, and even a portion of an opera libretto—Kirsten Bakis’s Lives of the Monster Dogs uses its science-fictional premise to launch a surprisingly emotional exploration of the great themes: love, death, and the limits of compassion. A contemporary classic, this edition features a new introduction by Jeff VanderMeer.

Praise for Lives of the Monster Dogs

"...20 years later, as it gets a much-deserved reissue, Lives of the Monster Dogs feels undeniably like a classic.... [it's] is an unforgettable meditation on both animals and humans, their deep entanglement, and the ways in which neither can, thus far, escape the methods of their genesis and their upbringing." - The Atlantic -

Reviews from Goodreads

Kirsten Bakis; With a new introduction by Jeff VanderMeer

Kirsten Bakis’s Lives of the Monster Dogs was a New York Times Notable Book in 1997 and won the Bram Stoker Award for best first novel. Bakis is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and teaches at the Hudson Valley Writers’ Center. She lives in New York.

image of Kirsten Bakiso
Linda Avellar

Kirsten Bakis

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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