A Book for Christmas

Sleeping with Dogs is ‘the record of one man’s passionate affection for the dog, rooted in his early childhood and lasting undiminished into his dotage’.

These were for the most part dogs discarded and left to fate – tied to the railings of Kensington Gardens, found with a broken leg in the wilds of Turkey, adopted from an animal rescue home, passed on by the vet – but there was also a whippet of noble pedigree and three generations of a family of crossbreeds in which the whippet strain was strong. They were not pets, but indulged friends and companions, with all of whom he shared his bed, and who richly rewarded him with loyalty and love.

It is not a sentimental or determinedly anthropomorphic book – the dogs remain steadfastly dogs. It is observant and records the canine society of dog and dog as much as the relationship of man and dog. It is, at the same time, a deeply touching account of the lives and very different characters of seventeen dogs over eighty years or so, ranging from Jack Russell to Alsatian through half-boxer, half-pointer and half-karabaş, to purest indecipherable mongrel.

Brian Sewell, the author of this book, is a most remarkable human being. ‘Addicted to art, he has been the art critic of the Evening Standard since 1984, the sad end of a once promising career, the Orwell, Hawthornden and other prizes scant consolation to a man who once enjoyed life as a scholar gypsy.’

Those who love dogs cannot afford to be without this memorable gem of a book about the love of a man for his loyal and affectionate dogs, without whom he would find it much too hard and laborious to tolerate the trials and discomfort of old age.

Order your copy now and enjoy the delights of reading this moving tribute to the canine world which we take for granted.

Quartet Books has also published his two volumes of memoir – Outsider in 2011, and Outsider II in 2012 –to both critical and popular acclaim.

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