The Gaze of Dogs

Fiction - Adventure
275 Pages
Reviewed on 02/03/2019
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Author Biography

Leon Saunders' writing career began with the publication of Shadow People, a photo/essay on Sydney's 'Skid Row'. He followed this with a long career as a television scriptwriter on shows such as Home and Away, Carson's Law, Flying Doctors, A Country Practice and the top rating mini-series Cyclone Tracy. He has won four Australian Writers Guild 'Awgie' awards, a 'Penguin' from the Television Society of Australia and a Media Peace Award from the United Nations Association. He scripted the feature-length documentary, With Prejudice, on the infamous 'Hilton bombing' trial.

In 1995 he won the 'Suspended Sentence' award through the James Joyce Foundation, earning him an eight-weeks residency at Trinity College, Dublin.

Trapper, the winning entry for the 'Sentence' award, was the catalyst for his shift from script writing to the prose fiction form. The Gaze of Dogs is his first novel.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

The Gaze of Dogs is a work of adventurous mystery fiction penned by author Leon Saunders. The central mystery lies in main character Ned Sheridan, who remembers nothing about his life before being delivered to a hostel in St Andrew’s by a mysterious man. But when Ned is suddenly haunted by strange images of burning dogs, the investigation into his past is sparked into life. The dogs lead him to a mining field almost 2000 miles away from home, where a ragtag collection of seemingly ‘unwanted’ people toil hard in the ground for their slice of life. Here, a tragi-comedy unfolds amongst these colourful characters as Ned attempts to rediscover who he is.

I was absolutely fascinated by this little piece of Australian culture which I had no idea existed. The different types of people who come together at the Anakie sapphire mines are well drawn and differentiated, and you can tell that the author takes great care to explain them and bring them to life. The beauty of Australia and the elements themselves also make a huge contribution to the story, and author Leon Saunders has a real talent for describing this vast and wonderful landscape. The plot regarding Ned’s identity was interesting, but it was more important, at least for me as a reader, to see him integrating with his current world than learning about what came before. There’s also a great deal of pathos in the humour, which suited the rough and ready character types. Overall, The Gaze of Dogs is a fun and fascinating read.

Nana Anna

Really enjoyed this book. Landscapes, buildings and characters all quite vivid. The plot was unusual.