An international bestseller—“an elegant, charming, and heartwarming fable...one part Zelig, one part Siddhartha, and one part Rin Tin Tin” (Vogue)—about an extraordinary fox terrier who helps his Jewish family escape from Nazi Germany, 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?
“Heartwarming...charming...for history buffs and dog lovers alike” (Publishers Weekly), 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 “triumphant novel” (The Missourian) will make you stand up and cheer.
Sirius, a fox terrier owned by a Jewish family living in 1930s Berlin, is no ordinary pooch. In Crown's heartwarming debut novel, this little dog escapes Nazi Germany, becomes a golden age Hollywood star, a circus performer, and an informant spying on the f hrer himself. The result of a zoologist breeding program to make a hyperintelligent dog, Sirius is born in a Germany in upheaval. He's adopted by the Liliencron family and shares in their trials as they escape persecution in the quickly radicalizing Nazi state. Luckily, Mrs. Liliencron just happens to know famous Hollywood heartthrob Peter Lorre, and the Liliencrons escape with their children to California. There, Mr. Liliencron takes up a job as chauffeur for a Hollywood big shot. Little Sirius, ever the curious pup, wanders onto a film set and finds himself with an acting career as the majestic dog actor Hercules. From there, he becomes the headliner for Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus, but through a mix-up and ever more unbelievable circumstances, he is sent back to Berlin. There, Sirius finds himself with a high-ranking Nazi owner, rising through the ranks until he's right next to the head of the Third Reich. Crown's novel is a fluffy alternate history tale filled to the brim with historical figures and unbelievable coincidences. Simply written and charming, this is a light read for history buffs and dog lovers alike.