The figurative language of Andre Alexis…

Reading time: Less than 1 minute

I like to share interesting pieces of figurative language I encounter in my reading. I write today about a simile and a metaphor from Andre Alexis….

I’ve always been more of a cat person than a dog one. I grew up with cats and I appreciate their intelligence and their aloof attitude. I also like that they don’t smell, as dogs so often do.

Nevertheless, I read the book with the intimidating title, Fifteen Dogs by Andre Alexis (pictured above) on the recommendation of a friend.  The novel was the winner of the 2015 Scotiabank Giller Prize and the 2015 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. And if you haven’t heard the plot, it focuses on 15 dogs, held at a veterinary clinic in Toronto, who are suddenly given human consciousness and language.

While I was happy to read the book — I like to know what’s popular with readers — I can’t say it appealed to me very much.  I found the personality of the dogs less interesting than human personalities and I found the story of the gods bestowing human consciousness to be a bit twee. Nevertheless, Andre Alexis has some writing skill. Here are two pieces of the figurative language he used that appealed to me:

  • It was dark, though the moon fell out of its pocket of clouds from time to time.
  • There was always some child — breath smelling of sugar and summer berries — draped around his neck like a kerchief or a monkey.
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