The Plague Dogs Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Plague Dogs

Rowf and Snitter are two dogs who escape from a government testing facility where they endured horrible treatment. Rowf and Snitter are two stray dogs who are captured and taken into ARSE (Animal Research, Scientific and Experimental) where various experiments are performed on them. Rowf is a large black mutt who is cynical and suspicious of people, having only ever been abused by them. Snitter is a fox terrier who loves people, but he bears the results of experimental brain surgeries the researchers perform on him. Through a series of operations, Snitter's conscious and subconscious minds have been fused, resulting in dreamlike and nightmarish hallucinations arising without warning in his waking life. The dogs escape the facility early in the story and survive on their own with the help of a fox known as the Tod. The Tod gives them advice on how to kill wild and farm animals to survive. The dogs reward him with a share of the kill, but their relationship is strained, especially the fox's friendship with Rowf. Rowf thinks the fox is a suspicious freeloader. This tension and the dog's careless desperation for food eventually drives away the fox who is eventually killed in a hunt. When the dogs kill a farmer's sheep, the local media is made aware of the roving killers. An opportunistic seizes the chance to gain attention by writing a sensationalist piece about how these escapees from ARSE carry a horrible disease like the bubonic plague. The army is eventually rallied to kill the dogs. Snitter's original owner learns that his dog is still alive and implores the newspaper writer who wrote the story to retract his article. The writer repents and Rowf and Snitter are taken in by Snitter's old master.
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Best part of story, including ending: Richard Adams' books always have a mysterious quality. Snitter's visions are eerie and fascinating in that way.

Best scene in story: I enjoyed the scenes in the research facility. The operations that are performed and the other animals present are both sad an memorable.

Opinion about the main character: Rowf's cynicism is dark and causes the pair problems. Snitter is an uplifting contrast to the other dog.

The review of this Book prepared by Andrew Black a Level 5 American Goldfinch scholar

Two dogs, Rowf and Snitter, escape from a research lab into the wild mountain ranges of England. Somehow they must learn to survive and get along with each other in spite of personality differences: Rowf is violent and has no trust in humans, while Snitter is friendly and always looking for a good master.
When they begin stealing sheep, the local farmers try to have them taken back by the research station, but the lab staff isn't anxious to admit that they have had a breach. When Digby Driver, a young reporter, discovers that they lab was also working on Bubonic Plague, things escalate to a full-scale hunt.
The review of this Book prepared by Vande Velde

Chapter Analysis of The Plague Dogs

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   very sensitive (sigh)    -   thoughtful Time/era of story    -   1980's-1999    -   1960's-1970's Animal story    -   Yes Kind of animal:    -   dog Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Age 11-14    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Animal talks/thinks aloud?    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   3 () Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   England/UK Misc setting    -   scientific labs

Writing Style

Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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