Canada Reads·Canadian

Fifteen Dogs

André Alexis's novel won Canada Reads 2017, where it was championed by Humble The Poet. The book also won the 2015 Scotiabank Giller Prize.

André Alexis

When Hermes and Apollo make a bet about human happiness, they grant 15 dogs staying at a veterinary clinic the power of human consciousness. The dogs instantly become divided between those who prefer their old dog ways and those who want to take advantage of their newfound increased intelligence. 

What unfolds is a powerful story about what it means to have consciousness, and the good and the bad that comes with it. Fifteen Dogs won the Scotiabank Giller Prize in 2015. 

Humble The Poet championed Fifteen Dogs by André Alexis to a win on Canada Reads 2017.

From the book

They went hunting. That is, some went in search of what they knew as food and others went after the animals they atavistically associated with sustenance. They were tremendously successful. Their instincts led them infallibly to the small animals — four rats, five squirrels — that they killed with ingenious efficiency, corralling or ambushing the poor creatures. After two hours, as the morning sun lit the land and turned the lake bluish green, there were rats, squirrels, hot dog buns, bits of hamburger, handfuls of French fries, half-eaten apples, and sugary confections so covered in dirt it was difficult to say what they had been. The only real disappointment was that they had not managed to catch any geese.

From Fifteen Dogs by André Alexis ©2015. Published by Coach House Books.


Writer André Alexis talks to host Paul Kennedy about the philosophical underpinnings of his prize-winning book "Fifteen Dogs".

More about the book

Book trailer: Fifteen Dogs for Canada Reads 2017

6 years ago
Duration 0:34
André Alexis' modern-day parable Fifteen Dogs will be defended by Humble The Poet on Canada Reads 2017. The debates will take place March 27 to 30, 2017.

André Alexis reads from Fifteen Dogs

6 years ago
Duration 1:09
André Alexis reads the most memorable sentence he wrote for Fifteen Dogs. The novel will be championed by Humble The Poet on Canada Reads 2017.

Other books by André Alexis