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Book Review: Journey to Virginland: Epistle 1 by Armen Melikian

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Journey to Virginland tells the tales of Dog. As Dog moves about The Republic of Virginland which is in Dreamland, he makes observations about the people. These observations involve a great deal of reflection and introspection on the culture, philosophy, and politics of the people. As Dog makes his irreverent observations, he also makes a great deal of sense. While some people (well, actually many people) might be offended by his irreverence — especially in regards to religion — I found much of what Dog ponders to be true. And it greatly reflects on the hypocrisy we see, yet choose to ignore, in our own world. This is especially true in how women are both regarded and treated in different cultures. Or perhaps this is what stood out most to me as a woman.

While Dog is living his dream, various historical events are mused over and his thoughts are shared with us. Once again, so many truths are revealed, especially in regards to the hypocrisy allowed by people in regards to religion and politics. As Dog is on a journey of self-discovery, his actions do not always make him popular with others, yet he remains fairly true to himself. His behavior might not always be appropriate, but in the end his self-reflections are pretty accurate. Above all, he admits he is just a dog.

I enjoyed having the opportunity to read a novel that is completely different than anything that I have ever read before. Full of satire and dry wit, I appreciated the author’s creation of Dog. Occasionally, I would find myself getting lost in the meaning behind what was being portrayed, and I would either have to put the book down for the night, or go back and reread a section. Journey to Virginland is definitely not meant to be read when one is tired! On the other hand, when not tired, I found the novel to be very fast paced, and I would find myself having difficulty finding a stopping place when I had to put the book down. I highly recommend this novel to readers who like thought-provoking, humorous fiction, and that are easily offended religious fanatics.

Journey to Virginland: Epistle 1
Armen Melikian
Two Harbors Press (2011)
ISBN 9781935097518

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