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When Dogs Cry

Author:  Markus Zusak

Cameron Wolfe is hungry. He's sick of being the filthy, torn, half-smiling, half-scowling underdog. He's finally met a girl. He's got words in his spirit. And now he's out to prove that there's nothing more beautiful than an underdog who's willing to stand up.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (2 votes)


Jun 06,2014

I think it's fair to say that When Dogs Cry shouldn't really be compared to The Book Thief, but it's pretty inevitable that there are going to be some comparisons, no matter how subconscious. I'm a bit of a latecomer to the brilliance of Marcus Zusak - I only read The Book Thief earlier this year - but I desperately want to get ahold of every book he's ever written because, from what I've read so for, his writing has this absolutely gorgeous heart to it which is really quite unique.

When Dogs Cry is the third book in the Wolfe Brothers trilogy, a fact that I didn't realised when I first picked it up and started reading. Although there is a sense of finality in the last few chapters that made it feel a bit 'end-of-trilogy'-y, for the most part it read like a one-off, and as much as I'd love to read the first two books (Underdog and Fighting Ruben Wolfe) it's not really necessary. 

As far as books go, When Dogs Cry is definitely on the short side - I don't think it even reaches 200 pages - but there's a still a fair bit to it. That's not to say that the book feels rushed. The pacing and character development is fantastic in this novel, with a real sense of trueness about the characters. Even though there was the odd character who I might have liked to know more about, such as Cam's parents (who I got a bit of an impression from that they featured more heavily in the earlier books) there was a wonderful depth and reality to the characters in the novel. I could not complain about the development of Cameron Wolfe, the protagonist and narrator, however. He is flawed, genuine and beautifully caring, and he isn't presented as being anything other than who he is, if that makes sense. His heart shone through the novel, making him utterly lovable, and able to form a wonderful connection with the reader. Cam is probably one of the rawest, most real narrators I've encountered this year.

There's a romantic element to the story which I thought was handled excellently, however it was the relationships between Cam and his brothers which really stood out. His tentative bond with his eldest brother Steve was complex and uncertain, and gloriously unclichéed. The bond between Rube and Cam, however, was the real highlight of the novel, and there was just something really lovely about the unconditional closeness between the two boys. Their relationship wasn't entirely perfect of 'sunshine-and-daisies', but I thoroughly loved how their relationship grew and matured as the story progressed.

As much as I wanted to steer clear from comparing this novel to The Book Thief, I did find a few moments that echoed the same spirit that made The Book Thief so astounding. One the whole, When Dogs Cry did lack the extra spark that would have made it a five star book, but there really wasn't much I could find to complain about.

When Dogs Cry is a raw, honest and heartwarming novel that I wholeheartedly recommend. I am officially on the Marcus Zusak bandwagon.

May 27,2011

This book is pretty good. Funny and a bit emotional. Its about a boy, Cameron Wolfe who is sick of being the underdog of his brothers, until he meets a girl and changes most of his life. 

May 19,2011

This is a great book. Really emotional, but with some funny bits. It's about a boy who lives in the scruffy side of the city. He thought he would always be in the shadow of his brothers, until he meets a girl and his life is turned the other way around.


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