The Dog Doesn’t Die

Book reviews & random thoughts

Does the Dog Die? Brief Reviews of Two Books

With all the personal drama of the past few weeks, I’ve accumulated quite a backlog. So today I’ll review two books that have little animal involvement and are both Mostly Safe for animal lovers. I don’t have a lot to say about these two books because I wasn’t wild about either of them, though I found the first mildly entertaining.

Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris is a comic novel set in a struggling Chicago advertising agency. The narration is in first person plural, which is a device that Ferris pulls off nicely but isn’t worth repeating. It sort of works and sort of doesn’t. Since most of the action takes place at the office, there are very few animals. However, there is one reference to a character not taking his mother’s cats when he moves his mother out of her apartment. Another character worries about what happened to them, and we never find out. I’m projecting here, but my experience is that neighbors in apartment buildings don’t just let yowling cats suffer without calling maintenance or building management. So I imagine the fictitious cats were soon rescued by a more responsible party, though what happens after that would be unclear. Another character has cats and talks to them briefly, but that’s it.

The Dream of Scipio, by Iain Pears, got great reviews but wasn’t quite what I expected. Three stories that take place in the same part of France at different times in history are woven together, but they weren’t all equally good. It mostly fell flat to me, although there were sections that were excellent. In any case, there is a reference to one character tormenting cats and dogs as a child, as if this is a standard childhood activity. No, it is not. And there are many references to horses and donkeys as beasts of burden, including a brief scene in which a donkey in peril is saved.

I have another book on my pile that has lots of animals, while the book I am reading has none thus far. I will review both of them in several days.

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May 24, 2008 - Posted by | Book Reviews, pets | , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

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