I have finally finished Bret Easton Ellis and The Other Dogs by Lina Wolff. I have been relentlessly adding new books to my ‘to read list, so to be honest I was more focused on finishing this book to move on to others instead of really enjoying this novel. So take that into consideration while reading this review, I may be more of the problem here.
This novel definitely is not the usual read for me, but I was excited to try something different. The back of this book promises a story centered around an eccentric short story writer and a brothel in which the girls adopt stray dogs and name them for famous male authors and the whole thing is set in Spain. Sounds intriguing enough, right? This novel just didn’t really do anything for me. It felt very disjointed. A Goodreads review described it as very loosely connected short stories. I have to agree with that, which would’ve been fine except it was a novel not a short story collection.
The main character is a girl who lives below the short story author Alba Cambo. The girl and her mother are infatuated with the writer. Then it jumps to the one short story that Cambo had published. From there we meet an uptight French teacher. And then the girl’s best friend becomes a prostitute. The last third of the story is a long-winded story told by a seemingly unimportant character.
Wolff has wonderful detail and beautiful sentence structure but the plot is all over the place and I have no idea where it is going or why it matters. I can see the overall themes but there is just no connection. I was most looking forward to the brothel with the stray dogs, but that is only two pages in a retold story, not a plot point. I think this book would’ve been better as short stories, but as a novel I was expecting a lot more.