Teaching the Dog to Read

by Jonathan Carroll
Release date: November 2014
Type: other fiction
Genres: mainstream, magical realism

A novella.

Since the appearance of his first novel, The Land of Laughs, in 1980, Jonathan Carroll has been one of the most compelling, consistently versatile storytellers in modern imaginative literature. His extraordinary new novella, Teaching the Dog to Read, is quintessential Carroll: surprising, funny, and filled with unexpected moments and astonishing revelations.

The story opens when mid-level office drone Tony Areal receives an extravagant gift: the Lichtenberg wristwatch he has always coveted. Shortly afterward, he receives an even grander gift: the luxurious — and expensive — Porsche Cayman that has always been the car of his dreams. Accompanying the car is the mysterious Alice, who knows more about Tony’s dreams and desires than Tony himself. This encounter opens the door to a rich and unexpected universe: the world behind the world.

Teaching the Dog to Read is set at the intersection of the mundane and the miraculous, a place where reality itself shifts and shimmers with disconcerting suddenness. It begins in the realm of recognizable things and ends in a hospital room where a bizarre — and invisible — reunion takes place. Along the way, it offers both grand entertainment and a visionary meditation on the complex connections between our dreaming and waking selves. The result is a master class in the art of narrative and a permanent addition to Jonathan Carroll’s remarkable body of work.

(updated 2017-01-15)

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