A successful artist shoots a dog harassing his cows and descends into madness in this dark novel by the Tony Award–winning author of Sticks and Bones.
In classic works such as Hurlyburly and Streamers, David Rabe’s depictions of violence and the dark side of the human psyche have won him widespread acclaim. In Recital of the Dog, a painter who has left urban chaos for the country soon finds his hopes of tranquility shattered by a marauding intruder—a dog that torments his small herd of cows. Desperate to restore order to his world, the man shoots the dog, unwittingly unleashing a nightmare on himself. This is a tale of creation and destruction, crime and punishment, rife with insight and black comedy.
Praise for Recital of the Dog
“So primal, so dark and redeeming it should be considered taboo, and is therefore irresistible. . . . An extraordinary, powerful piece of literature.” —Thomas Moore, author of Care of the Soul
“David Rabe has crafted an intense, strange and frightening nightmare. . . . There is violence and intensity and vividness that a reader feels as though inhabiting the mind of a madman.” —The Denver Post
“Playwright Rabe’s first novel is a powerful, shocking portrait of a disintegrating psyche . . . fairly crackles with a dark, disturbing, often dazzling energy.” —Library Journal
“A gifted prose writer of original vision . . . In both voice and structure, Recital of the Dog owes much both to Albert Camus and James M. Cain. . . . Rabe’s beautiful, tight, fluent prose renders the fragility of reality with enormous power and grace.” —San Francisco Chronicle