Mad Dog > Reviews

By Jenivieve DeVries, The Bookshelf’s “Off The Shelf”

bookshelfAward-winning author Kelly Watt’s first novel, Mad Dog, opens with a quote from Milton’s Paradise Lost on the nature of good and evil: “O goodness infinite, goodness immense!/That all this good of evil shall produce,/ And evil turn to good.” These lines have particular poetic resonance in a time when newscasters’ talk of a changed world and the turbulent events of recent weeks (both the terrorist attacks and the bombing of Afghanistan) have made Canadians contemplate the complex moral issues surrounding the nature of good and evil. At the heart of Watt’s startling new novel is a look at fanaticism that dangerously blurs good and evil for the perceived fulfillment of a prophesy.

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By John Guise, The Hamilton Spectator

Picture 3In the quiet southern Ontario town of Cedar Hollow, something weird is happening among the farms and apple orchards. Cats are being found dead, a young boy is missing, a hitchhiker appears and a family is preparing for the end of the world. That’s the plot of Mad Dog, Kelly Watt’s first novel. Watt has created a story that grabs the reader through the main character-a fourteen-year-old girl.

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By Roxanne Ward, The Globe & Mail, Canada

the-globe-and-mailFrom the beginning of Kelly Watt’ s gripping but deeply unsettling first novel, Mad Dog, one gets the feeling that beneath the idyllic rural setting there is an ugliness to 14-year-old Sheryl-Anne MacRae’s world.

It is the summer of 1964 in Southern Ontario; Sheryl spends languorous days exploring fields and idly climbing trees. But her psyche seems to haunt her. she is tortured by her nightmares – horrible scenes of ritual sex and death. She feels strangely “nervous nights and Sun days,” and with the nervousness come “the voices, the pictures, the sight.”

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