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Sleeping With Dogs

333 pages6 hours


Sleeping with Dogs: A tale of madness, by East London author Marc Schroeder is raw and compelling, an unflinching account of a man who seems to have it all – by capitalist standards – and yet who yearns for peace. In letting go of the trappings of a “successful” modern life, he ultimately finds the contentment he was searching for.

South African readers will enjoy former financial analyst and current Nepalese trekker Schroeder’s reflection of town and country, in slang and in description. His journey takes him from an idyllic childhood in East London, attending Selborne College, to the wild student days of Rhodes University in Grahamstown. From seeking dealers on his way home from work to coughing up blood in Joburg, from cycling through France to trekking in the stunning mountain vistas of Nepal, Schroeder takes his readers along with wit and style.

Schroeder holds nothing back, candidly lifting the veil on the stints in rehab, the impact on his work as a financial advisor at one of East London’s well known institutions, of wrecked relationships and of an increasing distance – perceived and real – from close friends and family. His dogs are his only anchor in a life falling apart.

It is only in abandoning everything the world tells him to hold dear that Schroeder ultimately finds a way to slip away from the tentacles of addiction that have grasped him since varsity days. This is an unflinching, dead honest account of addiction and hedonism, mostly hidden from friends who thought Schroeder was a just little left field.

Sleeping with Dogs is a read that will linger in your mind long after the final page. This is not only a good story, but it is an intelligent, thought provoking glimpse into what makes someone who seems to have it all, throw it away to pursue happiness. Schroeder has said “Yes” to making his own life organising treks in Nepal and the Kashmir, going back time and again to the places where he found peace.

This is a tale of both loss and redemption; of living a half-life, of nearly dying, and of carving a new life far off the beaten track. In his madness, Schroeder found his sanity. As a debut novel, Sleeping with Dogs is a fine piece of literature and is highly recommended.

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