The relationship between the nature of the beast and the nature of man is certainly not new to the world of literature. From the ancient mythology of Rome's founding brothers Romulus and Remus, to the adventures of Mowgli in Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book
and the keen animal perspective in Jack London's classics The Call of the Wild
and White Fang
, both positive and negative aspects of human nature have been called into question with fascinating imagination.
In her most recent novel, Dog Boy
, Eva Hornung rekindles our curiosity with the subject and tells the story of Romochka, a four-year-old boy who is abandoned by both his mother and uncle in the wake of great economic upheaval in Russia in the late 1990's. She effectively grabs the reader's attention with the opening scene in which Romochka sits quietly on the bed and stares at the front...
Beyond the Book
I was fascinated to learn that Eva Hornung's novel Dog Boy
was inspired by the real-life story of Ivan Mishukov, a four-year-old boy who decided to run away from his mother and her alcoholic boyfriend in 1996 in Moscow, and ended up living with a pack of wild dogs for approximately two years before he was rescued. In the book Savage Girls and Wild Boys: A History of Feral Children
, author Michael Newton describes:
"Dogs are abandoned with mournful regularity, and quickly turn feral, rummaging through bins for scraps, running around the streets in packs in order to survive. Out on the streets, Ivan began to...