The Dog Doesn’t Die

Book reviews & random thoughts

Does the Dog Die? A Brief Review of Lost and Found, by Carolyn Parkhurst

For reasons having to do with a project that stuck me in the thick of very bad rush hour traffic, I dusted off this audiobook, which was given to me a few years ago. I occasionally work on projects that plunge me into traffic hell for several days at a time, and I may turn to audiobooks in the future instead of stewing about the traffic. Lost and Found was perfect, because it had multiple narrators and therefore had an episodic feel to it. Blair Brown was great as a narrator, though there was one moment where I thought “a real teenager would say it differently.” But Brown had to read 10 hours of this stuff, mentally occupy a number of male and female characters, adopt several accents and a range of ages, and otherwise patiently do a number of things that I simply can’t. This is one of the many reasons she’s a famous actress and I am not.

So, the story: Lost and Found is an Amazing Race-like TV show in which teams of two travel the world collecting objects and doing various tasks in the style of reality TV shows. It’s a little more interesting than the Amazing Race itself, and the production people are a lot more manipulative. We get to know several teams: Laura and Cassie, a mother and daughter with some big issues; Justin and Abigail, a “reformed” gay man and lesbian who are supposedly now straight; Juliet and Dallas, former child actors; and Carl and Jeff, brothers from New England. Carl is a bit too good to be true, and aside from Abigail, who was another all-positive character, I loved and hated everyone else at various points. So Parkhurst wrote strong, multi-dimensional characters. There was one huge implausible action on Laura’s part — not the glaringly obvious implausibility, but another one — that made me think Parkhurst was asking too much of her readers. We can only suspend belief to a certain point, and even science fiction has internal rules. And it did disturb me for a long time. I kept expecting Laura to correct her mistake. But otherwise, it was a pleasant diversion and not a bad way to spend several hours in traffic. I will recommend it as an audiobook, and it’s probably a decent beach book as well.

As for animals, the contestants haul around caged parrots that are swapped out by parrot wranglers so that they come to no harm. That’s not quite realistic, either, but I’ll give Parkhurst a pass since the birds come to no harm. I am declaring this book SAFE for animal lovers.


September 9, 2010 - Posted by | audiobook, beach book, birds, Book Reviews, families, reality TV, travel, Uncategorized | ,


  1. Ooh, yes. Smart move on the author’s part. Birds must be safe!

    Comment by Terri | September 10, 2010 | Reply

  2. Lol, I knew you’d appreciate that. In fact, I was initially apprehensive about how Parkhurst would handle the parrots, which are shown all over the CD box. But she was very sensitive to the fact that birds are sentient beings that need to be handled with care.

    Comment by esheley | September 10, 2010 | Reply

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