Only the Animals

This a very clever, inventive and highly original book. Each of the ten chapters is narrated by the soul of an animal who was caught up in an historical human conflict - such as a cat living in the trenches on the Western Front, or a dolphin sent to Iraq by the U.S. Navy. Each chapter has its own style - some are more light-hearted, others more touching - but they all provide unique insights into human nature, from the point of view of the animals. 

The book is filled with references to famous literary figures, such as Virginia Woolf, Henry Lawson, Leo Tolstoy and George Orwell - to the extent that it inspired me to revisit some of these literary masterpieces. As much as I loved this book, though, it wasn't generally a favourite of the book club. Most people found it too heavy, and difficult to 'keep going'. It was suggested that it's the kind of book you should keep beside your bed, reading only one chapter at a time - perhaps when you're in between books - rather than consuming as a novel.

Only the Animals: Stories
By Ceridwen Dovey