(0)
 
Ask Bob
by Peter Gethers

Overview -

A wise, witty, sometimes heartbreaking love story about a pet doctor who discovers that the best relationships are often the most surprising

Dr. Robert Heller is one of New York City's leading veterinarians, and his "Ask Dr. Bob" advice column is hugely popular among pet-lovers.  Read more...


 
Hardcover
  • Retail Price: $25.00
  • $19.25
    (Save 23%)

Add to Cart + Add to Wishlist

In Stock. Usually ships within 24 hours.

FREE Shipping for Club Members
Not a member? Join Today!
 
 
New & Used Marketplace 55 copies from $2.99
 
Download

This item is available only to U.S. billing addresses.
 
 
 
 

More About Ask Bob by Peter Gethers
 
 
 
Overview

A wise, witty, sometimes heartbreaking love story about a pet doctor who discovers that the best relationships are often the most surprising

Dr. Robert Heller is one of New York City's leading veterinarians, and his "Ask Dr. Bob" advice column is hugely popular among pet-lovers. Yet Dr. Bob understands animals a lot better than people, and he definitely could use some advice of his own--especially when it comes to his family. His father is angry and controlling, his mother is nearly invisible, and his brother seems bent on destroying not just his own life but the lives of everyone around him. As for Bob's wife, Anna, she is all but perfect, assuming one can ignore her own colorful but deeply dysfunctional clan. And then, just when Bob thinks he's figured out what it takes to thrive in the human world as comfortably as he does among cats, dogs, and hamsters, tragedy strikes. How can he go on living when he is suddenly, soul-killingly alone?

In previous books, Peter Gethers has written charming true tales about what a man can learn from a beloved cat. Now he ventures into new territory with a funny, touching novel about a pet doctor who finds out what it means to be human, and what a family must do to truly become a family. Full of unforgettable characters, "Ask Bob" will remind everyone that sometimes we need a lot more than love to make the world go around--but that love is an awfully good place to start.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780805093315
  • ISBN-10: 0805093311
  • Publisher: Henry Holt & Company
  • Publish Date: August 2013
  • Page Count: 320


Related Categories

Books > Fiction > Literary

 
BookPage Reviews

Love, life and pets

Writer, producer, Random House Studio publisher and creative powerhouse Peter Gethers is best known to readers as the author of three memoirs about life with his cat Norton. His new novel, Ask Bob, delves into the complicated romantic life of a New York City veterinarian.

Tell us about your pets.

I was always a dog person. But when I got Norton—a gift from a girlfriend—I instantly became a cat nut. Now I have two Scottish Fold cats: an 11-year-old (whose ears didn’t fold) named Harper—a girl—and a 1-year-old boy named Mitch, a total devil. Truth be told, I love all animals, and the menagerie that Dr. Bob has is my fantasy.

What made you decide to carry over the pet theme from the Norton books to your fiction?

This novel didn’t start out with a pet theme. I wanted to write about someone who had what he thought was a perfect relationship, only to have it yanked away. I then wanted to write about his new relationship—and about the difficulty of competing with “the ghost of perfection,” a phrase once said to me by Roman Polanski.

As I began writing, it occurred to me that by making Bob a vet, I could deal a bit further with the complexities of human relationships, [as opposed to] a simple human-to-pet relationship. Things that come easily are not usually satisfying—nor do they last.

You also write thrillers under the pseudonym Russell Andrews, and you’ve worked in TV and theater, most recently with the off-Broadway hit Old Jews Telling Jokes. How does writing a novel differ from a play or screenplay?

TV is about dialogue. Film is about structure. Novel writing is about a lot more. Writing a good play is at least as hard as writing a novel, although it’s a very different skill set. It requires a huge amount of discipline. I can say this because I don’t consider Old Jews Telling Jokes a play—it’s really a revue. I like it, and I’m not putting down how hard it was to do—but it was a lot like writing a sitcom. It’s not exactly August: Osage County.

Do your processes differ when you pen different types of books?

Yes. Not so much the thought process, but the voice. Writing the thrillers helped me a lot. They are very plot driven—which my first two novels were definitely not—and as a result, Ask Bob is a much more satisfying novel. Plots are hard. I often say, somewhat snidely, that all too often, when critics use the term “literary” writer, they’re referring to someone who doesn’t know how to tell a story.

Which of your books would you most like to see adapted to a different medium?

I’d love to see my last three thrillers—Aphrodite, Midas and Hades—done either as films or as a TV series (they all have the same character and I’m convinced he’d be a great TV character). My deep, dark fantasy is to do a one-man show using the three cat books. I’m a good talker, and I’d love to try that. I’ll never have the nerve to do it, however, especially now that I know how hard it is to get a play going and make any money.

What’s next for you?

I have a lot of stuff going on. We’re shooting our first TV series for Random House Studio. It’s based on The New Midwestern Table by Amy Thielen, and airs in September on the Food Network.

Away from Random House, I’m working with Stephen Sondheim and Wynton Marsalis on a seven-show performance at City Center. I’m also working with my writing and producing partner, Dan Okrent, because Old Jews is opening in Chicago in October and in London in March 2014.

Finally, I have another book to write for Holt. Tentative title: Into the Fire: The Search for the Meaning of Food, Wine and Life.

Sometime soon I hope to get some sleep.

ALSO IN BOOKPAGE: Read our review of Ask Bob.

 
BAM Customer Reviews

DISCUSSION