The Dog Doesn’t Die

Book reviews & random thoughts

Does the Dog Die? A Brief Review of Handling Sin, by Michael Malone

I want Mingo Sheffield to be a character in every book I read from here on out. I seriously loved him by the end of this book, even though I started off finding him annoying. Handling Sin is 671 pages long, but just about every page contained a laugh or a moment of joy, so it is definitely worth putting in the time to read it.

Mingo was not the protagonist, by the way. Raleigh Hayes, one of Mingo’s few friends, is. And Raleigh’s elderly father, who is in poor health on top of it all, runs off from the hospital with a young woman, leaving Raleigh with a long list of tasks he must complete if he ever wants to see any of his inheritance. Motivated more by concern for his evidently crazy father, Raleigh sets off on this mission, reluctantly taking Mingo along, and thereby stars in one of the most delightful books I have ever read.

The journey is wild. Raleigh has to deal with criminals of many different sorts, pregnant women and babies, stubborn people, eager people, gullible and naive people, angry people, the KKK, and his own crazy family. This includes Gates, his half brother and an adept liar, as well as his well-traveled aunt, Victoria Anna. Here are a couple of representative quotes:

Victoria sighed. “I stepped on a plate of deviled eggs last time I was here.”

“Oh, gollee, what a happy morning!” Mingo threw his arm back around Raleigh. “Look at everybody’s new clothes! Look at those daffodils!”

This is a funny, intricately plotted, happy, ramble of a book, and as long as it was, I was sad to see it end. I give it a very strong recommendation.

As for animals, there are some references to a few unpleasantries, including some farm animal butcherings, and a few funny moments. So I will say the book is MOSTLY SAFE for animal lovers. Enjoy!


January 18, 2011 - Posted by | Book Reviews, death of a parent, families, humor, travel |

1 Comment »

  1. Anyone named Mingo is all right in my book!

    Comment by Cult of Truth | January 19, 2011 | Reply

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