I have read way too many books lately where (gulp) the dog dies. I hate it. I especially hate it when I have no idea that it’s coming. I know it’s my personal trigger, not shared by everyone, but it bothers me enough that I decided to put together a list, just in case anyone else out there wants to avoid being blindsided.
This list is not exhaustive, obviously. I haven’t read every book (though I’m giving it a red hot go). I also haven’t included books where the dog famously dies (e.g., Old Yeller, Where The Red Fern Grows, those “classics”). This is specifically a list of books where the dog dies and you might not see it coming. I’ll update this list of books to avoid as I encounter more.
I’ve also included books with instances of cruelty towards dogs or dog injuries, even if they don’t necessarily die, because I find those just as difficult (so I’m assuming others do, too). Where I’ve published a review, I’ve linked to it, if you’re looking for a bit more context about what happens.
Oh, and I’ve included a few photos of Fyodor Dogstoyevsky too, just to remind you in this misery parade that there are happy, beloved dogs out there living their best lives.
Books To Avoid Where The Dog Dies
American Gods by Neil Gaiman
Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
The Days Of Abandonment by Elena Ferrante
Death In Her Hands by Ottessa Moshfegh
How To Sell A Haunted House by Grady Hendrix
The Little Friend by Donna Tartt
The Maidens by Alex Michaelides
My Absolute Darling by Gabriel Tallent
My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
Perfume by Patrick Suskind
The Southern Book Club’s Guide To Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix
The Winners by Fredrik Backman