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Sirius  By  cover art

Sirius

By: Olaf Stapledon
Narrated by: Nigel Carrington
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Publisher's summary

Sirius is Thomas Trelone's great experiment - a huge, handsome dog with the brain and intelligence of a human being. Raised and educated in Trelone's own family alongside Plaxy, his youngest daughter, Sirius is a truly remarkable and gifted creature. His relationship with the Trelones, particularly with Plaxy, is deep and close, and his inquiring mind ranges across the spectrum of human knowledge and experience. But Sirius isn't human and the conflicts and inner turmoil that torture him cannot be resolved.

©1944 Olaf Stapledon (P)2012 Audible Ltd

What listeners say about Sirius

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    4 out of 5 stars

For animal lovers, seekers, and psychologists

This book is going to stick with me for a while. I literally just finished it about 30 seconds ago and I don't think I'm ready to talk about it intelligently, but here are some bullet points to flesh out later. Maybe I'll just leave them here as reader questions for others. My gut reaction says that this is a damn, fine book and I would recommend it to anyone.

• It makes obvious references to Adam and his Creator in the same way Frankenstein does, which invites the comparison. How are the two books alike/different?

• Sirius talks a lot about the Spirit and search both scientific and mystical sources for truth. Eventually he forms some kind of in-between truth (much like he is an in-between creature) of the Spirit. What did I make of that as a reader? How does it relate to wordless song/singing, as featured in key moments of the story?

• This book wasn't always gripping as a story. It never felt unfocused, to me, but the style of it seemed less concerned with events and more concerned with a kind of seeking for truth. Will I agree with this assessment later? Does this focus/structure somehow make it harder to read?

• War looms over this tale. It seems crucial to me in some way, but I can't quite put a finger on it other than to say that it forces the characters to separate at times. But how does war affect the story's themes? What other big abstracts come into play (e.g. Religion, Love, the Wild) as forces that drive us?

• There is both sadness and strangeness in this story. Where and how did it break my heart? Where and how did it make me feel uncomfortable?

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2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Unusual, yet compelling.

Intriguing story about a scientific and experimental dog which was bred to have extreme human-like thinking capabilities. The experiment exceeds expectations and the dog, named Sirius, has also achieved human personality traits. One might say, in fact, he is a missing link between dog and human, while he is still in dog form. The narrator did a fine job, and brought much of his gift to the story. I found myself liking Sirius, and he became my friend much as he was to some of the other characters in this book.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Advanced canine intelligence

Olaf Stapeldon’s Sirius is a mid-20th century sci-fi with a theme that in the late 20th century would be referred to as ‘uplift.’ A scientist experiments with increasing the intelligence of dogs with the hope of breeding super sheep herders. One particular dog exceeds expectations and achieves near human intelligence, although speech is difficult and the lack of ‘hands’ is a serious impediment. The tale relates Sirius’ adventures and his unique involvement with a woman that he was raised with.

Stapeldon displays a keen assessment of the physical limitations that would accompany a human equivalent intelligence among canines, particularly focusing on communications as well as limited dexterity due to lack of ‘hands’ or more precisely, fingers for manipulation. While there are scientific interests and a sheepherder would appreciates the expanded capabilities, there is much societal and religious objections that must be endured.

The narration is quite good with decent character distinction. Pacing is brisk.

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Thought provoking

It was an incredible journey of love and isolation that is as relevant today as it was when it was written.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Frankenstonian-esque ideas

Fun story with lots of frankenstonian ideas they way his monster should have been handled or maybe similar to godzilla…. What long lasting ideas this story covers

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

this has long been one of my FAVORITE books!

I have loved this book since I first read it over 50 years ago. It took me a bit to get used to the narration because I was so used to hearing it in my own mental voice. But I love it and have since listened to it here on Audible several times.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Favorite book by author

Out of all his famous books, this touches on his themes in the most relatable, concrete way.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Canine copy of Frankenstein

I normally enjoy Olaf Stapleton's books, but this is a Canine version of the Frankenstein book, cleverly crafted for "modern" (WW2) timez.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Words at the surface,

While there is what could be said, words at the surface, that wouldn't be able to justify or perhaps a note on a state of 'a' nature and just how it'll never really mean the same to everyone despite the same viewpoint being expressed.

I would genuinely think that it would be wise to understand ones reaction to the story as the point, and of ones self ..... that is if one cares to know.

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

amazingly boring

it struggles to tell a tale about humans outside of a human perspective but the problem is that it waxes philosophical the whole time it scroungers together a love story at the end and even then it's just a really really boring interpretation of one

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