Dogs in the Cathedral by David Megenhardt

dogs coverNelson Munroe carries a shipment he should have never agreed to take.  Swinging between paranoia and desperation he convinces himself that completing the delivery circuit will provide redemption and the possibility of a new start for his stalled life.  How could he know what awaits him once he hits his destination?   A pack of dogs acting as guides to his deconstruction, a man burrowed in a hole who gives him a chance of escape, a destitute and luckless rock duo, a captain of an ore barge who might give him his last, best chance for a purposeful life, a faded beauty, a queen of the dispossessed, who gives him shelter, and his lost connection who takes a dim and murderous view of his ineptitude.

Cactus Jack has stumbled back into town, looking to put down roots, to find a sense of permanence and the healing of old wounds, after decades of following his enormous appetites and passions.  He buys an abandoned house in the rotted core of the city and soon a family of runaways, outcasts and his one enduring love form around his grandiose and cockeyed vision.  Nothing will stand in the way of Jack’s last great act, not his battered knees and broken-down body, not his poverty, or his own history of abandonment and failure.

So go the two narratives in this whipsaw of a novel that careens between prophecy and slapstick, trivia and philosophy, absurdity and social commentary, between sex and violence, jokes and meditations, song and a flawed psychological evaluation.   Dogs in the Cathedral  covers the ground of the epic within in a city on the verge of collapse or rebirth.