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The Dust of 100 Dogs Paperback – January 13, 2009

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Flux; First Edition edition (January 13, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0738714267
  • ISBN-13: 978-0738714264
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.2 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #149,285 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up—Pirates, reincarnation, dogs, teenage angst, a romance that spans the centuries, magic, treasure—all are wrapped up inside a fun Goth cover that belies the very adult story within. Emer Morrisey, the youthful scourge of the South Seas in the 17th century, has lived through 100 lifetimes as a dog, and now shares the body of 20th-century teen Saffron Adams. Along with fantasies about torturing and murdering most everyone around her, Saffron's sole ambition is to escape her pathetic family and find the treasure she knows lies buried somewhere in Jamaica. The book is not for the faint of heart or stomach, with painful scenes of animal and human abuse, attempted rape, battles, and murder. Particularly difficult is the character of Fred Livingston, the reincarnation of the French captain who killed Emer's lover, and who is quite obviously crazy. His very disturbed mental state is shown through his truly evil actions toward his dog and the voices that taunt him day and night. There will be teens who find Emer/Saffron's story much to their taste, but this is definitely not a book for a wide audience.—Mara Alpert, Los Angeles Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Saffron Adams is a typical teenager, longing to escape her dreadful family and upbringing into a sunnier future. What sets her apart, however, is that she actually has the means to such a future via the buried treasure she left on an island 300 years prior. As Emer Morrisey, she was the scourge of the Caribbean but was then cursed to live the life of 100 dogs. Interludes explore what she learned during her dog lives until she is reborn, memories intact, as a present-day girl. The dual stories of Emer and Saffron progress in parallel, but as the pirate tale gains momentum, the modern strand meanders; readers will likely flash through Saffron’s teenage doldrums to return to Emer’s vainglorious exploits. But don’t mistake this for a romanticized romp on the high seas; the sex is occasionally graphic and disturbing, and the violence is particularly gruesome. Readers will be frustrated by a few plot holes and contrivances, but for the most part this is an undeniably original book that overreaches, yes, but only as a byproduct of its ambition. Grades 10-12. --Ian Chipman

More About the Author

*To PRE-ORDER a SIGNED copy of Amy's October release GLORY O'BRIEN'S HISTORY OF THE FUTURE, visit Fast shipping, friendly people!*

A.S. King is the author of the highly acclaimed REALITY BOY, LA Times Book Prize winner ASK THE PASSENGERS, 2012 ALA Top Ten Book for Young Adults EVERYBODY SEES THE ANTS, and 2011 Michael L. Printz Honor Book PLEASE IGNORE VERA DIETZ. She is also the author of the ALA Best Books for Young Adults DUST OF 100 DOGS as well as a collection of award-winning short stories for adults, MONICA NEVER SHUTS UP.

After a decade living self-sufficiently and teaching literacy to adults in Ireland, she now lives deep in the Pennsylvania woods with her husband and children. Look for Amy's piece in DEAR BULLY and in anthologies BREAK THESE RULES, LOSING IT, and INITIATION, coming 8/14. (And brace yourself for 2014's novel, GLORY O'BRIEN'S HISTORY OF THE FUTURE.) Find more at

Customer Reviews

Interesting books and should be read by adults.
So much story happens throughout the book, with many plot threads interwoven in both past and present times.
K. Kincy
I don't want to give anything away, so I will just say "read it".
Ellz Readz

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Steph on January 14, 2009
Format: Paperback
The Dust of 100 Dogs isn't really a young adult novel. I'm not quite sure what age group it belongs to, actually. It's for the most part narrated by a teenager, sure, but said teenager is only a teenager on a technicality. She's been alive for over 300 years, first as a human named Emer, then as 100 dogs, then as Emer's second-coming, Saffron. Emer surpassed her adolescent years, but she never really grew and appreciated her adulthood. Saffron is still a teenager when the story takes place. Still, all her years as a dog gave her a keen insight on human nature. Really, there's no easy answer where this book is concerned, and hopefully--as Leila Roy said--it will be one more step in blurring the line between YA and adult.

Now, how do I begin this? I agree with both other reviews I've read. This is a peculiar book and it stands out from whatever else you were or have been reading. I'd say it takes awhile to grow on you, too. Because it's such an unorthodox approach to the YA I'm used to--which as I've said before, this is most assuredly not, but I didn't know that--I didn't know how to react to it at first. I thought it was exceptional, whatever it was, but how do I review this? So, if you plan to read it, get that notion out of your head. It only limits this book's potential. Once it dawned to me this is genre-bending, it escalated from exceptional to superb. Aside from its own literary merit, this book's got that genre-bending thing going for it. That's awesome, y'all.

This book has three recurring storylines: Emer's youth in Ireland, her travails in the name of true love, and her coming to be a pirate; Saffron's voyage to Jamaica to unearth the treasure she buried there three centuries prior; and Fred Livingstone's life in Jamaica.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Jackson Pearce on April 25, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Length: 2:24 Mins
My first book comes out August 25, 2009! Check it out: As You Wish
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sara J. Henry on March 23, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was hooked from the book's description: "In the late 17th century, famed pirate Emer Morrisey was on the cusp of escaping pirate life with her one true love and unfathomable riches when she was slain and cursed with the dust of 100 dogs, dooming her to one hundred lives as a dog before returning to a human body--with her memories intact. Now she's a contemporary American teenager, and all she needs is a shovel and a ride to Jamaica."

Generally I'm leery of books that switch back and forth between viewpoints, let alone centuries - because usually I like one of the stories much more than the other, and am impatient to get back to the other POV. But A.S. King has pulled it off. This book is mesmerizing whether you're reading about young Saffron in the present day, or Emer as a 6-year-old in Ireland (an exceptionally vivid chapter you won't soon forget), or later when she falls into the pirate life.

And sprinkled throughout are "Dog Facts," moving little vignettes of the lives of some of the 100 dogs. (Painlessly imparting some history lessons along the way.)

If I were nitpicking, I would have preferred a little less of the eccentric, mind-apparently-melting Fred Livingston, and perhaps a compassionate resolution to Saffron's mother's life, especially after the moving tale she told of her life as a young child. But those are minor points.

This book is classified Young Adult(14+), an age I haven't seen for quite a while. Loved it. Can't tell you the last time I've found a book this satisfying. Didn't put it down until I finished, reading long into the night.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Robin Brande on March 10, 2009
Format: Paperback
I just finished reading this book about five minutes ago, and I have to tell somebody: IT'S INCREDIBLE! So imaginative, so clever and exciting and fun and absorbing--I had to put aside my own work for the past two days so I could just keep reading and reading. And then by the end I wished it weren't over!

This is a masterfully-told tale of a modern girl too smart for herself and everyone around her, and of the brave, resourceful young woman she once was in a past life. If that alone doesn't grab you, the fact that we learn proper dog care and training throughout the book--from the dogs' point of view--should be the clincher.

Hate to say more because it might give away too much, but rest assured that this is a fantastic read, and one that you'll be recommending to everyone you can think of. Ahh, such a satisfying book!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. Lamba on November 30, 2009
Format: Paperback
Pirates -- scurvy foul creatures with a greed for gold and a thirst for blood. An innocent girl born into war-torn Ireland, who views the world with caution, who finally finds love, and who then has everything violently ripped away. A teen in Pennsylvania, biding her time, and hiding her secret. And a curse. Oh, and some dog care tips. If this all sounds like an unusual combination, you are dead on, and this is what makes the young adult novel The Dust of 100 Dogs (Flux) by A.S. King a fresh and original hit.

King's main character Saffron, is a brilliant teen born into a needy family that see's Saffron's brilliance as the ticket to a bright future. But what they don't know is that Saffron is actually the soul of Emer, an Irish girl who had turned to pirating many centuries ago, and who was cursed to embody the souls of 100 dogs before she finally found herself human again. Along with teen angst, Saffron must tamp down the savage instincts of her pirating past, and wait just a bit longer until she is 18 and has the money and the freedom to pursue the treasure buried on a Caribbean isle long ago.

The author does an amazing job of grabbing the reader by the throat, and pulling you through this epic adventure. As we travel with Emer's soul through her past lives, there is heartbreak and triumph, blood and gore, history and humor. Because of some disturbing scenes, I would restrict this read to older teens and adults. It's a fantastic novel, but there is a rape and one seriously disturbed villain, so be advised.

That said, I now say grab this book and read it. Share it with others. Channel your inner pirate. Yo-ho!
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