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The Dog: A Novel Audiobook, by Joseph O'Neill Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Joseph O'Neill Narrator: Erik Davies Publisher: Random House Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2014 ISBN: 9780553545753
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***A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK*** ***LONGLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE 2014*** ***PWs Best of the Year 2014*** The author of the best-selling and award-winning Netherland now gives us his eagerly awaited, stunningly different new novel: a tale of alienation and heartbreak in Dubai.   Distraught by a breakup with his long-term girlfriend, our unnamed hero leaves New York to take an unusual job in a strange desert metropolis. In Dubai at the height of its self-invention as a futuristic Shangri-la, he struggles with his new position as the “family officer” of the capricious and very rich Batros family. And he struggles, even more helplessly, with the “doghouse,” a seemingly inescapable condition of culpability in which he feels himself constantly trapped—even if he’s just going to the bathroom, or reading e-mail, or scuba diving. A comic and philosophically profound exploration of what has become of humankind’s moral progress, The Dog is told with Joseph O’Neill’s hallmark eloquence, empathy, and storytelling mastery. It is a brilliantly original, achingly funny fable for our globalized times.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A fine, complex portrait of a modern-day soul in despair.”

  • “This novel is often wonderfully droll, especially in its portrayal of the oddities of a city whose ‘mission is to make itself indistinguishable from its airport.’ Also, always amusing are the protagonist’s mentally composed emails, never-to-be-sent missives in which he lists all of his grievances like an office-computer version of Saul Bellow’s Herzog."

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “With consummate elegance, The Dog turns in on itself in imitation of the dreadful circling and futility of consciousness itself. Its subplots go nowhere, as in life. But, unlike life, its wit and brio keep us temporarily more alive than we usually allow ourselves to be.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Every page of The Dog is a little masterpiece of comedy, erudition, and linguistic acrobatics.”

    Washington Post

  • “More than a comic novel. The writing is brisk and funny, but O’Neill is also exploring deep questions about ethics and happiness in a globalized age of instant information and economic inequality. His narrator is a fascinating creation: charming and repugnant, selfless and self-absorbed, erudite and steeped in popular culture.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • "The Dog is a brilliant satir…[O’Neill] has a fabulous ear for language, as good as nearly anyone in American literature.”

    Boston Globe

  • “As he did brilliantly in Netherland, O’Neill, in his latest, creates a character who is alienated from his home and social class, and who feels dangerously vulnerable in a country in which he lives a luxurious but precarious existence…Clever, witty, and profoundly insightful, this is a beautifully crafted narrative about a man undone by a soulless society.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “A humorous meditation on the dialectics of attention and distraction in the modern world, O’Neill’s work playfully skewers the global economy of consumption and our abstract notions of responsibility in its perpetuation.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • “Lost love impels a New York lawyer to try to change his life with a job overseas…Shades of Kafka and Conrad permeate O’Neill’s thoughtful modern fable of exile.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “A manically ruminative tale narrated by an anxious, lonely, and mordantly funny attorney who leaves New York in 2007 to work for his college roommate Eddie Batros’ Lebanese family as trustee of their immense fortune…O’Neill has created a bravura and astringent tale about conscience, entrapment, and the power and limits of language as the vehicle for morality.”


  • “O’Neill’s novel is a seriously philosophical and absurdly funny work. It’s heavily laden with its protagonist’s monologue, which Erik Davies delivers in a monotone in an obvious effort to portray the narrator’s feelings of isolation and resignation. While Davies’s approach works well for those emotions, it downplays the character’s humor, at times giving what should be funny a sense of tediousness. However, during the less frequent dialogue exchanges, Davies shines as he gracefully delivers a wide array of accents and intonations. The humor in these conversations carries a stronger impact and is more engaging.”


  • Longlisted for the 2014 Man Booker Prize
  • A Publishers Weekly Top 10 Book of 2014
  • A New York Times Editor’s Choice
  • A 2014 New York Times Notable Book

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About the Author

Joseph O’Neill, a novelist and non-fiction writer, was born in Ireland. His novel Netherland was awarded the PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction, and he has garnered numerous other nominations and accolades for his work. Additionally, O’Neill writes literary and cultural criticism, most regularly for the Atlantic Monthly. He practiced law for ten years in Ireland before moving to New York City, where he currently teaches at Bard College. 

About the Narrator

Erik Davies is an accomplished audiobook narrator and voice-over actor. His stage credits include G.R. Point, Unpublished Letters, and Flats Fixed. Some of his television and film appearances include ER, Third Watch, and a starring role in the hit indie comedy High Society: A Pot Boiler. His audiobook narration has won three AudioFile Earphones Awards.