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Outside the Dog Museum Hardcover – Apr 11 1991


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Hardcover, Apr 11 1991
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown (April 11 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0356195899
  • ISBN-13: 978-0356195896
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.5 x 2.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 476 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,293,442 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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First Sentence
I'D JUST BITTEN THE hand that fed me when God called, again. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Hardcover
There are books I read again and again. Some of them are old friends who give me a place to come home to, some of them disturb me in ways I need to be disturbed.
Outside the Dog Museum always encourages me in ways I most want to be encouraged. I love this book. More than any other.
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Format: Hardcover
Harry, a famous architect recently recovered from a bout of insanity, has been asked by the Sultan of Saru to build a Dog Museum. The rest of the book is centered around Harry's responses to this request-- refusing, agreeing, making plans, changing plans, understanding and failing to understand. There's lots of Carroll's famous magic realism sprinkled along the way, and at least a little bit of emotional exploration carried out via Harry's relationships with his two very different mistresses.
Unfortunately, this book is cursed with too much glibness-- the achilles heel that sometimes makes Carroll feel dangerously like a more esoteric Tom Robbins. Still, a clever, well-written, and generally entertaining book.
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By A Customer on April 17 2000
Format: Hardcover
Lot of wild, zany colorful action. However, the characters (including the narrator) are flat and act with no emotional consistency. Despite the many "profound" realizations, insights, magical occurences, etc., none of the characters really change or develop.
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Format: Hardcover
Jonathan Carroll proved that he is one of the best writers in the world. All his books are classics. Outside the dog museum is a book that in few words cant be described in words. Magic and sensitive also combining a supernatural essence this book is one of the best.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 15 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
A fascinating literary trek into magical realism courtesy of Jonathan Carroll Dec 2 2006
By John Kwok - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
When the likes of fantasy authors as diverse as Neil Gaiman, Peter Straub and Jonathan Lethem are praising Jonathan Carroll's work, offering it the finest compliments that they can muster, then you know that Carroll is an author worthy of your attention (All three provided memorable blurbs in the back cover of this book's paperback edition.). Truly, without question, Carroll is both a memorable writer and a fine literary stylist. However, at least not in "Outside the Dog Museum", should he be regarded as a writer of fantasy. Instead, I concur with another reviewer who noted that this novel is truly a philosophical novel draped in moments of magical realism. Carroll's usage of magical realism may not be as beguiling as those from the likes of Borges and Garcia Marquez for example, but nonetheless, he manages to do a fine job of it in this novel.

Caroll's fine prose is written in a breezy, almost conversational, style, that works well in his depictions of the protagonist, Pritzker Prize-winning architect Harry Radcliffe, and his intense personal and romantic relationship with both of his mistresses, Claire and Fanny, who know each other well. After winning his award - and recovering from a recent divorce through the aid of a bizarre mental therapist - Radcliffe is offered a commission by the Sultan of Saru - a fictitious Gulf State emirate - to be a dog museum in honor of the sultan's late father, the previous ruler of the emirate. What follows is a series of fascinating, and occasionally confusing, adventures and misadventures for Harry Radcliffe set in both the emirate and Vienna, Austria - where the museum is ultimately built. Not only must he contend with his complex personal relationships with both of his mistresses and his therapist, Harry is unexpectedly confronted with a fundamentalist Islamic rebellion against the Sultan of Saru within his emirate. Until the very end Carroll does a fine literary juggling act, but his less than memorable conclusion is the main reason why his fine novel isn't earning my highest praise.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Extraordinary writing July 13 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Amazing how this author handles his story... or stories?... there are so many of them. The main impression this novel left in me is the vivacity of its writing. It gives off tremendous energy and I just wonder how you can achieve that in a WRITTEN medium. It's like looking beyond the pages at the reality of the author's mind. Everything's for real, and funny how such a "real" book can contain so many supernatural elements. All in all, I'm amazed by the abilities of Jonathan Carroll.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Halfway through. Sept. 15 2013
By Anna - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A philosophical journey regarding what is important in life. An architectural wonder of words and ideas. Buy it. Buy it today.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
another interesting and surreal novel from Carroll May 31 2009
By audrey - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Harry Radcliffe lives a complicated life. He's a brilliant architect (if he does say so himself) who's recently recovered from a nervous breakdown. He has two mistresses and a demanding shaman, and now he's being corralled into designing the sultan of Saru's dog museum. Could things get more complicated? Oh yes they can, and do, under the skillful pen of Jonathan Carroll, American magical realist and author of fascinating, intricate novels about ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances.

If you are familiar with Carroll, Outside the Dog Museum will be as good as you've come to expect from this fine author; if you are not familiar with Carroll, do your mind a favor and expand it a bit!

Also, check out the author's web site for short stories, plays, etc.: [...]
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Carroll does it again Feb. 23 2005
By Brian Hawkinson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Carroll continually amazes me in his writing style. He writes in a way that is both casual and literal, allowing the reader to fully submerge themselves into the story. His dialogue reads as a movie or play and not as a book, creating an image that is fully alive within your mind (such as leaving the tedious details out that many writers feel are necessary, such as a question and answer, where Carroll would state the question and imply an answer by continuing on with the story).

I think it is because of this that I still gave this book a four star. The book is great, until you begin to get to the end and wonder where it was going. It had a fluid storyline that developed and intrigued the reader, but then it turns into something that didn't have a connection (or, at the most, a very loose connection) to what was written before it. But, all in all, a story was told and ideas were perceived, not to mention the smooth and enjoyable fluidity of his words, which creates a book worth reading.

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