Melvin Burgess Lady: My Life as a Bitch

ISBN 13: 9780862647704

Lady: My Life as a Bitch

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9780862647704: Lady: My Life as a Bitch
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A flirtatious, confident and rebellious teenager is transformed into an understandably confused and frightened dog by a tramp with magical powers. Sandra has a lot of growing up to do, quickly, to survive as a scrounging stray in a competitive and rough dog`s world. She must do the clearest thinking of her life to work out whether she wants to recover her humanity, and if so, how to do it. This is doubly difficult as the brain she must think with is reduced to the scattered consciousness of a dog and the reality of the situation poses enormous problems as she finds herself experiencing all the physical aspects of being a dog, including running with a pack and going on heat.

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Review:

Controversial and award-winning British author Melvin Burgess (Smack, Bloodtide, etc.) is in fine form in his brilliant, satirical novel about a hedonistic teenage girl who is turned into a dog by a mysteriously magical town drunk. Sandra (a.k.a. Lady) is dismayed at first, but quickly discovers the pure joys of unfettered freedom to do whatever she wants and have sex with whomever she pleases--a seemingly perfect scenario for a devil-may-care young woman who would "have shagged [Wayne] up against the wall for a bag of jelly beans a month ago."

Hooking up with a couple other humans-turned-dogs, Lady roams the streets and, well, does what doggies do: "One thing about dogs--they know how to greet someone. It's not so much scratch and sniff as sniff and lick--as soon as you see someone, you just gotta know what they taste like!" Her new life is not without inner turmoil, however. Part of her longs to return to her human life, annoying family, standardized school testing, boy-of-the-day "romances," and all. Living as a dog helps her study what it means to live as a human--with the responsibilities, silly inhibitions, stress, and worry that mark that species--but also the flip side: the security and love of her family.

Ultimately the decisions Sandra/Lady makes may be shocking, but Burgess's voice is undeniably, ruthlessly authentic. Readers in search of a traditionally moralistic diatribe against the reckless promiscuity of today's youth will need to look elsewhere. But those seeking a funny, sensual, and honest exploration of real teenage life and a much more intense and complex study of humanity will revel in the author's expertly crafted allegory. As Burgess himself says, "even someone who doesn't know what an allegory is will recognize that Lady is not a piece of advice, or a suggestion on how to govern your life; it's simply a way of trying to make people think about the ways in which we define work and play." Highly recommended. (Ages 14 and older) --Emilie Coulter

About the Author:

Melvin Burgess has had jobs as diverse as bricklaying and silk-screen printing. An Enterprise Allowance Scheme gave him the chance to develop his writing, and his books for young people are now highly regarded. Melvin won the 1997 Guardian Award and the Carnegie Medal for his powerful novel, JUNK. He lives in Manchester.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9781783443031: Lady: My Lady as a Bitch

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  1783443030 ISBN 13:  9781783443031
Publisher: Andersen Press, 2015
Softcover

9780060540333: Lady: My Life as a Bitch

Harper..., 2003
Softcover

9780141310282: Lady: My Life as a Bitch (Puffin Teenage Books)

Puffin, 2003
Softcover

9780805071481: Lady: My Life as a Bitch

Henry ..., 2002
Hardcover

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