The Dogs of Venice – Book Review

Book Rating: ★★★★☆   (4 / 5 stars)
Audio Book Performance: ★★★★★  (5 / 5 Stars)

Venice: the City of Love, and where Paul goes after his husband ends their five-year relationship in an attempt to free himself of the chains laid down by constant companionship. But as a fascination with a dog takes hold of Paul, he sets out on a journey throughout the magical city to find himself…and learn it’s okay to be lonely. 

An enchanting tale that transports you to Venice, you’ll wrap yourself in this short story and explore not just the streets of this enchanting city, but also the messages it holds. People can’t be trusted, dogs aren’t always care free, and sometimes love ends. In the end, all you’ll have is yourself. While it takes Paul awhile to learn these, convinced that the streets of Venice will transform him, the central message is there, looming in the shadows, just like a broken heart.

This story drew me in more than others, primarily due to the memories I have of Venice from my trip in 2016. My first trip abroad, going to Italy left a mark, and I could easily visualize everything Paul explored, and the total amore he found in the city. Venice has a way of whisking people into its embrace. You get lost in its street. Like Paul, I went to Venice to learn more about myself (although with a companion), and I came out with a better understanding of myself. 

The poetic nature of this story, as well as the unclear end with few resolutions, might not be for everyone. Paul doesn’t come out a changed man, or with a new lover. Instead, he comes to the conclusion: it’s okay to be sad, it’s okay to be alone, and it’s okay to trust yourself before anyone else. It’s bittersweet, emotional…and might make you want a dog as well! 

If you want a quick listen, I recommend checking out The Dogs of Venice on audible. On top of being a heartwarming story, Neil Patrick Harris is a fantastic narrator. Definitely worth the time and the listen!

What’s it about?

A heartbroken Paul takes a solo trip to Venice while his ex-husband moves out of their joint place back home. While on the trip Paul looks for a connection and meaning.

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