The Plague Dogs

By Richard Adams,

Book cover of The Plague Dogs

Book description

Two dogs, Snitter and Rowf, escape from a research laboratory in the Lake District where it is wrongly supposed they have been purposely infected with a deadly virus and now pose a dangerous threat to the human population. As the authorities give chase, the two friends make their way through…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked The Plague Dogs as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Richard Adams himself signed my copy of this book when he visited New Zealand long ago. If he hadn’t looked deep into my eyes at the time and promised me it had a happy ending I might never have made it to the end, so harrowing was the story. But I finished it and he was right. The story questions the ethics of human exploitation of animals. To me, Plague Dogs was his greatest work, far more important than Watership Down, and certainly no children’s book. Adams is a true master at presenting the animal's point of view. This…

Richard Adams wrote The Plague Dogs in the 1970s, which plops it into “historical” for me. Set in England, it’s the story of two dogs—Rowf, a mutt, and Snitter, a fox terrier—who escape an animal testing facility. They are believed (incorrectly) to carry the Bubonic Plague and, thus, are the subjects of a frantic and vicious search. I couldn’t help but see the story through the eyes of my childhood friend, Sniffer, a mutt like Rowf, and my mother’s dog, Peter Pup, a rat terrier. The Tod, a red fox who helps the plague dogs escape, reminded me of the…

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