The Dogs of Babel

The day I read this book is still fresh in my mind - it was around the holidays and I was on my favorite green love seat in my parent's basement voraciously consuming this novel, earmarking pages left and right amidst a few tearful moments. Carolyn Parkhurst's The Dogs of Babel became one of my very favorite books as soon as I finished the first chapter. I was still in high school at the time and going through a period where I was not so happy with my life. I think that, were I to read this novel for the first time today, I would relate to it a bit differently, maybe I wouldn't even like it half as much. But during my senior year I was particularly drawn to the tortured and tragically beautiful heroine, Lexy, in a way that makes this book ring true for me even today.

Regardless of your age or your level of satisfaction with your life, The Dogs of Babel is still a beautiful and moving love story. True, the premise is a bit unorthodox. After Lexy mysteriously died in her own backyard, her linguist husband Paul sets out to discover what happened in the moments before his wife's death. The only witness was Lorelei, Paul and Lexy's beloved Rhodesian Ridgeback, and as Paul learns more about the possibilities of canine speech, he becomes ever more obsessed with getting Lorelei to reveal the truth.

The major tenents of the plot may turn you off, but I really believe this novel is worth a shot. I fell in love with this book largely for the re-telling of Paul and Lexy's romance. From their first meeting when Paul made square hard-boiled eggs for Lexy to their first date that lasted an entire week, from their darkest times to their happiest and most intimate, we are privy to the beautiful intricacies and unrepeatable moments that make each and every relationship unique.

I don't want to give away too many of the notions that bolstered this romance, nor the episodes of darkness that ultimately give way to Paul's obsession with the cause of his wife's death. Instead, I'll simply suggest you give this book a try. I couldn't help being compelled by the love story, and Lexy's darkest of thoughts, and the prime role awarded to a canine character, among numerous other aspects that made this book such a delicious read. Though it may not be the most challenging book on your shelf, it will certainly be among the most enjoyable and emotional.

I still have yet to meet someone who was as much a fan of this book as myself. Have you (or someone you know) read it? Let me know what you think!


  1. I read this book when it first came out. I remember liking it a lot but I don't remember much about it.

  2. I haven't read it but it looks like a fantastic recommendation! Thanks for sharing!


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