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Dog Boy

Four-year-old Romochka is left alone in a dark, empty Moscow apartment. After a few days, hunger drives him outside, where he sees a large, yellow dog loping past and follows her to her lair on the outskirts of the city. During the seasons that follow, Romochka changes from a boy into something far wilder. He learns to see in the dark, attack enemies with tooth and claw, and understand the strict pack code. But when he begins to hunt in the city, the world of human beings, it is only a matter of time before the authorities take an interest.
Product Details

Promotional Information

A breathtaking modern twist on the perenially fascinating story of the child raised by beasts - a Jungle Book for our times The UK debut of this highly acclaimed Vogel Award-winning author A major international lead title

About the Author

Eva Hornung is the author of The City of Sealions, Fire Fire, Hiam (winner of the Australian/Vogel Literary Award), and Mahjar. She lives in Australia.


Ramotchka's uncle fails to return one night, and the five-year-old is left alone in an abandoned building. He eventually decides to venture out to look for his uncle and mother, who disappeared some time before. Hungry and lost, he follows three dogs, associating them with warmth and food. Ramotchka not only takes shelter with the dog clan, but soon establishes a role in their family. Dog Boy is an empathetic book, immersing you in the life of a Russian street-kid- through freezing winters, fear of other people, and his unique relationships with his animal companions. The book is gritty and detailed. As Ramotchka learns to detect things by sound and smell, and recognises both his human advantages and the disadvantages involved in not being canine, the reader learns too. There is no glossing over the vivid smells and tastes of the dog world, our own animality, and the rough life of the many children who are homeless or abandoned in Russia. It is ultimately moving, frightening, and heartbreaking. The story also has a true universality. Hornung (previously Sallis)-a strong supporter of humanitarian issues, and the author of The Marsh Birds, five other novels, and some wonderful short fiction-is proving herself an important figure in Australian literature. Angela Meyer is a writer, blogger, and Bookseller+Publisher's editorial assistant

'In exploring what it might be like to be a dog from a human perspective, Dog Boy sheds much light on what it is like to be human. Utterly compelling and believable' Yann Martel, author of Life of Pi 'A involving, careful book, marked out by a rare sympathy for the natural world ... It offers, also, a frightening and edifying insight into the barbaric systems of contemporary Russia' Daily Telegraph 'A revelation. In creating such a convincing portrait of pack life, she challenges all our assumptions about what it means to have family, individual identity, to be human. Vivid, visceral and compelling, the shock of the closing moments will linger in your mind for days' Psychologies 'An extraordinary novel. Depicting the bleakness of poverty and homelessness in Moscow's underworld with an unflinching eye, Hornung creates a story that is starkly affecting, in which a boy's adoption by a pack of dogs is a disturbing and bewilderingly beautiful phenomenon ... Lyrical, unsettling and impossible to forget' Attitude

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