Posted by: Lisa Hill | September 13, 2021

Book Giveaway: The Dogs, by John Hughes

Here’s another giveaway offer from new publishing venture Upswell Press.

You will remember my post about the Mildura LitFest, in which I shared the news that readers can subscribe to this year’s list of three books and thus also get a new novel by John Hughes, whose name you may remember from my post about The Garden of Sorrows. He was also shortlisted in the 2020 Miles Franklin Lit Award for his novel No One, see the review at the Sydney Review of Books and Kim’s review at Reading Matters. (I have No One (published by UWAP when Terri-Anne White was there) on the TBR, but I haven’t read it yet.) His new novel The Dogs is scheduled for publication by Upswell on September 20th.

About the book:

Michael Shamanov grapples with the idea of his mother’s life and her desire to finish it. Perhaps it’s her life he has been running away from and not his own.

“The story of a life is a secret as life itself. A life that can be explained is no life at all.” — Elias Canetti

Is it possible to write about the living without thinking of them as already dead?

Michael Shamanov is a man running away from life’s responsibilities. His marriage is over, he barely sees his son and he hasn’t seen his mother since banishing her to a nursing home two years earlier. A successful screen writer, Michael’s encounter with his mother’s nurse leads him to discover that the greatest story he’s never heard may lie with his dying mother. And perhaps it’s her life he’s been running away from and not his own. Is the past ever finished? Should we respect another’s silence? And if so, is it ever possible to understand and put to rest the strange idea of family that travels through the flesh?

From the Miles Franklin shortlisted author of No One comes a haunting gem of family secrets and impossible decisions.

About the author:

John Hughes is based in Sydney. He has published six books, all acclaimed and highly awarded, including the National Biography Award and Premier’s Book Awards. His previous novels, The Remnants and Asylum were critically acclaimed, and in 2019, No One was shortlisted in the Miles Franklin Award 2020.

Praise for The Dogs:

“John Hughes’ writing is intelligent, delicate and otherworldly, his narrator bumbling, contrary and oddly endearing. A novel in which the past and the present twine, and the vastness of history crystalises in one man’s troubled here and now. 

Michael Shamanov, son of war survivors, inheritor of nameless devastation, drily humorous admitter of his own failings, is presented with a last-chance opportunity to find love and mercy as they must exist in his world – imperfectly.

A stealth manoeuvre of the emotions. Beautifully restrained, deeply moving”
Peggy Frew


Interested? Please add your name to the comments below, and I’ll draw the winners at the end of next week.  All entries from readers with an Australian postcode for delivery will be eligible but it is a condition of entry that if you are the winner, you must contact me with a postal address by the deadline that will be specified in the blog post that announces the winner. (I’ll redraw if this deadline isn’t met). Your postal address will be forwarded to the publisher who will then send you the book.

Good luck everybody!


  1. This sounds interesting. I’ll pop my name down for a chance. I enjoy books about complicated family relationships.


    • Good luck, Pam:)
      I’ve just finished reading No One, which was Hughes’ novel that was nominated for the MF, and it’s an amazing book. I’m aiming to get started on the review today.


  2. I’ll be in it. Classy jacket. I wish the publisher luck with her brave new venture.


  3. I have a copy of this already but just wanted to say thanks for linking to my review of No One, it was such an intriguing book to read and when I purchased it the bookseller was thrilled I’d chosen it because it was one of his favourite books!


  4. Yes please!


    • Good luck to you too, Jennifer:)


  5. Ted Witham


  6. Count me in, please Lisa, for one of my Aussie friends.


  7. Me too Lisa. You have piqued my interest.


  8. Hi Lisa, I read No One, last year and enjoyed it. Therefore, please put my name in for the draw. Thank you.


  9. Hope I’m not too late! Would love a copy of this one as enjoyed his first one.


    • No, not too late, I keep my giveaways open for at least a week. Good luck!


      • Phew!

        Liked by 1 person

  10. […] you missed out this time, there’s still a current giveaway for John Hughes new novel The Dogs, and #StayTuned I have another one from Upswell Publishing coming up after […]


  11. Liz Dorrington .
    I would love to win a copy of this book as there are elements of this book that I really resonate with on a personal level.


    • Good luck, Liz, I’ll be drawing this one soon.


  12. Would be thrilled to read THE DOGS by John Hughes


  13. I am intrigued


  14. Good luck Kelly and Christine, you’re included in the draw:)


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