Lives of the Monster Dogs Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Lives of the Monster Dogs

Highly evolved canines suddenly appear in Manhattan in the year 2008. They walk on two legs and speak English and German, they are stylish, kitschy, and en vogue dressed in 19th century Prussian fashions, and New Yorkers can't seem to get enough of them. They are constantly on talk shows, in the papers, and on the news. College student Cleo Pira writes a flattering article on them and is commissioned to be their official press contact. She meets Ludwig Von Sacher a Malamute “monster dog” who is chronicling the tragic history of the dogs and their creator Augustus Rank. More than 120 years earlier Rank, a disturbed youth, one-time murderer and brilliant surgical student, envisioned an army of warrior canines fighting along side the Imperial Prussian army. Rank is hired by Wilhelm before his ascent as Kaiser to the German throne to create these fighting dogs.
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Exiled in the late 1800's when the work fails to meet deadline after deadline, Rank ships the dogs and scientists to Canada where they establish a town in the remote north called Rankstadt. For decades, even after Rank's suicide, the work progresses at a slow but steady rate. In 1968 the first of many dogs is completed, able to walk upright and outfitted with prosthetic hands. The initial efforts fail but a mutt named Mops Hacker sired by the first prototype survives in secret. He leads the dogs to rebel against their creators/masters. Mops in turn is slain by Lydia a beautiful Samoyed when she is outraged by his savagery. Every man, woman, and child in Rankstadt was slaughtered and the city laid to waste before a ten-year journey through the wilderness of Canada to get to New York.

A dog named Klaue proposes a lasting memorial to the dogs and gift to New York in the form of a Bavarian fairy tale style castle built in the heart of Manhattan where the dogs would reside. Work is started on Neuhundstein but alarmingly the dogs begin to show signs of reverting back to their natural canine state. Cleo in acting as a liaison between Ludwig, Lydia, and Klaue becomes enmeshed in the troubled past, chaotic present, and uncertain future of the dogs. Ludwig hallucinates that Cleo is Maria Rank, Augustus' mother and writes letters telling her of his love for her. Cleo betrays his trust and helps to have the despondent Ludwig confined to his apartment, as he is now suicidal over his deteriorating condition. Nearing completion the castle is having it's grand opening but the fate of the race of monster dogs is bleak. The celebration spirals out of control and the castle suffers a devastating fire and explosion. Cleo and Lydia flee for their lives as the end legacy of the dogs nears.
The review of this Book prepared by David Fletcher

Chapter Analysis of Lives of the Monster Dogs

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Descript. of chases or violence 20%planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 20%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 30%Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places 30% Tone of book    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   science fiction story Lifeform altered?    -   Yes Kind of alteration:    -   Scientifically turned into another lifeform Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Animal Story    -   Yes Kind of animal    -   dog

Main Character

Identity:    -   Female Profession/status:    -   journalist Age:    -   20's-30's


Earth setting:    -   near future (later in 21st century) Takes place on Earth?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   very explicit references to deaths and torture scientific jargon? (SF only)    -   some scientific explanation How much dialogue?    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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Kirsten Bakis Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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