Book Review: The Isle of Dogs

Jeremy Shepherd gave up an exciting and lucrative career as a successful magazine editor for a quiet life living with his aging parents, working as a civil servant. Inexplicably, Jeremy continued to turn down offers of advancement, choosing instead to devote his time and energies to pursuing dogging, his one real interest. Dogging is the slang term used throughout the English countryside for engaging in or watching semi-public sex acts typically staged in parking lots.

Using the internet to stay connected with his circle of regulars and meet new participants, Jeremy builds a secret life based upon dogging. Naturally, it is a challenge trying to stay one step ahead of the police, especially with the preponderance of surveillance cameras located in every car park and public gathering spot. With a special insiders report by the press, Jeremy’s circle of participants begins paying a steep price for their indiscretions. Yet the media and police are not the biggest threat as Jeremy soon discovers and soon, he will pay dearly for his choices.

Voyeurism and exhibitionism tempered with surveillance and intolerance lend an almost George Orwellian feel to this rather unusual read. Those with delicate sensibilities will find the sexual content offensive. The first third of the book becomes repetitive as Jeremy’s ongoing exploits are detailed but readers who stay with it will be rewarded with an interesting story of personal crisis.

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