Sirius (Hardcover)

A Novel About the Little Dog Who Almost Changed History

By Jonathan Crown

Scribner, 9781501144998, 256pp.

Publication Date: October 4, 2016

Other Editions of This Title:
Digital Audiobook (10/3/2016)
Paperback, French (1/21/2016)
Paperback (9/12/2017)
Hardcover, Large Print (4/19/2017)

List Price: 25.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


A highly original, tragicomic novel as seen through Sirius, an extraordinary dog who helps his Jewish family escape from Germany to California, becomes a Hollywood star, and ultimately contributes to Hitler’s downfall.

Levi, a fox terrier, lives with his family in a grand townhouse in Berlin. Each day he enjoys a walk through the neighborhood, where people greet him by name. But the year is 1938, and Berlin is no longer safe for Levi or the Liliencrons, his Jewish owners. They rename him Sirius, after the constellation, to protect him.

One night, Nazi troops storm the city and begin to search houses. Sirius alerts the family, and they manage to flee to California. In his new home, Carl Liliencron becomes a chauffeur and Sirius befriends everyone from Humphrey Bogart and Cary Grant to Rita Hayworth and Jack Warner. He is renamed Hercules and becomes a canine movie star. Little does Sirius know that he’ll soon have to perform his most difficult acting role yet, when through a series of exceptional events as World War II unfolds, he winds up at the right hand of Hitler himself. Can Sirius help the German resistance, derail the Führer, and reunite with his family? Or is the cost of peace too high?

With charisma, heart, and delightfully spry prose, Sirius is an enchanting fairy tale about love and humanity and a roving exploration of a momentous historical moment. Like My Dog Skip and The Artist, this feel-good novel will make you stand up and cheer.

About the Author

Jonathan Crown was born in Berlin in 1953, where he currently lives with his dachshund, Kelly. Sirius is his first novel.

Praise For Sirius: A Novel About the Little Dog Who Almost Changed History

"Sirius is a little fictional engine that can, a novel that allows fantasy immense space to roam in the darkest corners of history. Through hope and love and the powers of the imagination, Sirius shows us how to overcome, even transmogrify, the grim realities of the past. Jonathan Crown is a wonderful writer, and I hope readers flock to this novel.”--Jay Parini, author of The Last Station and The Passages of H.M.

Sirius is a tour de force. It reads like Saul Steinberg having an REM dream that’s later transcribed by Quentin Tarantino, after drinking a bottle of champagne. (Short form: amazing.)”—Ann Beattie

“A unique view of historical events as experienced by a remarkable little dog and the family he belongs to. Sirius does for Fox Terriers what Lassie did for Collies. I just loved it.”—Susan Wilson, New York Times bestselling author of One Good Dog

"Like a canine Forrest Gump, our hero brushes with history and rises to improbable heights, proving once and for all that mankind's greatest ally is most often his four-legged friend. Fresh, fast-paced and brimming with charm, Sirius is a delight from its first page to its very last.—Steven Rowley, author of Lily and the Octopus

"Heartwarming...charming...for history buffs and dog lovers alike."--Publishers Weekly

"A fable about family, the timeless connection between human and dog, and the nature of identity.Crown offers a waggish tale in which an amiable fox terrier lives out a Forrest Gump adventure."--Kirkus Reviews

"A lovely novel....The success of his light approach to serious subject matter owes much to Sirius...but it's clear that beneath the comic veneer, a grave imperative drives his storytelling"--The Independent (UK)

"Unique and unforgettable ... a genuinely sweet and uplifting novel."--Catholic Herald

"Crown’s charming tale is an odyssey in the vein of Black Beauty and Lassie, and will no doubt find plenty of fans among animal lovers."--Booklist

"An elegant, charming, and heartwarming fable—a preternaturally kind and wise dog is lost, found, and lost again...Take one part Zelig, one part Siddhartha, and one part Rin Tin Tin; render with the elan and jeu d’esprit of Saint-Exupéry; add Nazis, and you get the gist of this exuberant and elegant story."--Vogue

"Channels the playful and ironic spirit of Kurt Vonnegut....Written with compassion and humor, and peppered with fantasy and the absurd details of history, Sirius is a triumphant novel about a small terrier who (nearly) saves the world."--The Missourian

"A Forrest Gump-level mishmash of history and fiction.... Sentimental without being maudlin...Sirius is a peculiar romp for the ages.”--Manhattan Book Review

"Sirius maintains his aplomb and essential dogginess whether dealing with Hollywood starlets, bloodthirsty lions, or the most evil regime of the 20th century. This quick-paced, entertaining first novel will appeal to dog lovers and fans of light historical fiction."--Library Journal

"Simply written yet deeply complex...this story, and Sirius, will haunt you long after you’ve closed the book."--Historical Novels Society

"A beautiful fairy tale for adults, effortlessly simple and complex at the same time. It will stay with you."—Spencer Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of Dog On It