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Book Reviews
February 9, 2009 posted by Nikki

When Dogs Cry – Markus Zusak

She saw me and I could see the smile overcome her lips.
My pulse quickened.
It burned in my throat, as slowly, I reached into my pocket, pulled out the tiger shell and placed it gently onto the jacket where all the money was strewn.
I place it there, and the sun hit it, and just as I was about to turn around and make my way back through the crowd, the music stopped.
In the middle of the song, it was cut short.
The world was silent and I turned again to look up at a girl who stood completely still above me.

According to his family, Cameron Wolfe is a bit of a lonely bastard. He’s never had a girlfriend, never even been touched by a girl, in fact. But he thinks about it all the time. He watches on as his older brother, Rube, brings home girl after girl only to use them up and throw them away. Cameron reckons Rube needs to learn a thing or two about how to treat women, but what would he know? He’s never had a single date in his life.

The thing about Cam is, he really is a bit of a lonely bastard. Apart from the no-girl thing, Cam doesn’t have too many friends either. In fact, his friend count is down around the zero mark (unless you count his family members and the fluffy Pomeranian pooch next door). I never really did understand why he’s such a loner, though. Sure, he’s pensive and severely introverted, but not in a bad way, and certainly not so much that I can’t imagine no one liking him. He may not be the sharpest tool in the shed but he seems to have the human compassion thing down pat. He’s a gentle, poetic kid that is just underestimated by everyone around him.

Then he finds Octavia – or rather Rube finds Octavia, has his way with her and discards her like all the rest. Octavia is beautiful, smart, and seems to be a really deep kind of gal. And when Cam finds out that Octavia actually has the hots for him, he nearly doesn’t believe it. Why would someone that went out with Rube be interested in him? Cam and Rube are nothing alike, so it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to Cam. But then he realises – Rube and Octavia aren’t really anything alike, either, and that’s when he sees a little but of Octavia Ash in himself. Their romance is touching in an unconventional kind of way.

Cameron Wolfe is a simple kid whose unique way of looking at the world will warm your heart from the inside out. He’s fiercely loyal, and smart where it really counts. He understands that family is one of the most important things a boy could have, even with all their faults.
When Dogs Cry isn’t one of those teen romance novels that focus on beating hearts and sweaty palms. It goes deeper than that and focuses on why people are attracted to each other in the first place. It’s raw in an enigmatic kind of way and I found it simply impossible to put down.

Markus Zusak proves yet again, that he is a literary mastermind; When Dogs Cry is a force to be reckoned with.

Rating:: ★★★★★

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2 Comments

  • Excellent novel, yet again, from M Zusak. Entitled “Getting the Girl” in the usa (“when dogs cry” is the perfect title, though i like the other cover better). I love the imperfection of the characters. The hero is not a beautifully sculpted young man of quick wit hiding a dark past, but a shy struggling young man fighting to become. The girl is not a perfect female, but has a great smile with straight teeth that crowds on the sides. Incredibly honest story of the many facets of love–for self, for family, for others.

  • I love all his books but I would love to see him writing a book regarding Ruben Wolfe’s feelings and thoughts. I bet the book would be hilarious, judging from his comments about everyone in his family, his girlfiends, the dog and the neighbour. Come on Markus, please write a book on Ruben.

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