So He Takes the Dog

Jonathan Buckley

On a beach in southern England, a dog returns to its owner with a human hand in its mouth. The hand belongs to a homeless eccentric named Henry, who has been wandering the south-west of England for the last thirty years. As the local policeman and his accomplice piece together Henry’s movements prior to his death, talking to those who knew and watched him, they uncover an extraordinary life. And as the story of Henry’s life becomes clearer, so the life of the narrator becomes more and more complex, in ways he could never have expected. ‘So He Takes the Dog’ is a detective story like no other, a novel that further confirms Jonathan Buckley as one of the finest writers at work in this country.

Reviews of So He Takes the Dog

  • ‘Brave, unsettling and brilliant.’ Independent

    ‘Buckley manages [his story] with aplomb. There are some lovely, slightly unsettling images and a real sense of the rhythms of suburban life…George Orwell would almost certainly have approved.’ Observer

    ‘Beautifully quiet…“So He Takes the Dog” is a testament to the power of the modest, the gracefulness of the still.’ Patrick Ness, Guardian

    ‘A hugely satisfying read.’ Daily Express

    ‘Buckley is expert at stringing together the tiny dramas of individual lives.’ Daily Mail

    ‘Buckley’s novel is subtle and gently paced after the shock of a visceral opening…He writes with real compassion about both the victim and those touched by their proximity to human despair…The result is intensely moving and haunting. These fractured lives are too close to our own to make for comfortable reading, but it is testament to Buckley’s writing that we can’t look away.’ Time Out

    ‘A very well written and beautifully observed piece of work…Buckley has a rare talent for putting the oddities of modern day life into the spotlight.’ Irish News

    ‘Affecting, carefully crafted, quietly tumultuous. The elusiveness of our emotionally stunted sleuth is its greatest achievement.’ Times Literary Supplement