Why So Sirius?


Dogsbody, by Diana Wynne Jones – In this engaging story, Sirius, the hot-tempered immortal lord of the Dog Star, is convicted of a crime he didn’t commit. As punishment, he’s forced to take the form of a dog on Earth, and charged with seeking out an object of great power known as a zoi. In England, he’s adopted as a puppy by a girl named Kathleen, the daughter of an Irish criminal. As her father is in jail, she lives with her uncle and aunt. The uncle is well-meaning but doesn’t pay much attention to things, while the aunt is nasty and hates the Irish. What’s particularly interesting is that Sirius retains some of his memories of his time as a luminary, and more come back as he grows older; but is limited by having the brain and body of a dog. How he sees the world in his new form and attempts to search for the zoi without arousing the suspicions of Kathleen’s family makes for some good storytelling. The Sun, the Moon, and the Earth all come into the story as characters in their own right; and Sirius also ends up running with the Wild Hunt in order to obtain the zoi. Definitely a recommended read for anyone who likes Jones’s writing.

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