Even the Dogs, By Jon McGregor

A hard-edged but human portrayal of drug addiction
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The Independent Culture

Jon McGregor's excellent novel is an unsparing but humane portrayal of drug addiction and urban desolation.

The narrative revolves around the discovery of a dead man in a dilapidated flat; as the body is taken away, those who knew him reflect on their own troubled lives – imagine Faulkner's As I Lay Dying by way of Irvine Welsh. The prose is lean and spare, but McGregor often breaks into a supple lyricism. In one memorable passage, he describes how heroin is transported from Afghan poppy fields to British sink estates: "This strange journey through shacks and labs and mountain passes ... glued in under wigs and false beards and fake pregnant bellies...the cargo gathering weight and bloody narrative".