Dog Stories rounds up a pack of vivid and colorful stories about man's best friend by a wide range of great writers, from Mark Twain and Anton Chekhov to Patricia Highsmith and Jonathan Lethem. Read more...
Dog Stories rounds up a pack of vivid and colorful stories about man's best friend by a wide range of great writers, from Mark Twain and Anton Chekhov to Patricia Highsmith and Jonathan Lethem. The richly drawn and unforgettable canines gathered here include Rudyard Kipling's heroically faithful "Garm," Bret Harte's irrepressible scoundrel of a "Yellow Dog," and the aggressively affectionate three-legged pit bull Ava, who lives in an apartment building for dogs in Jonathan Lethem's "Ava's Apartment." Here are stories that touchingly illuminate the dog's role in the emotional lives of humans, such as Tobias Wolff's "Her Dog," in which a widower shares his grief for his wife with her grieving pet. Here, too, are humorous glimpses of the canine point of view, from O. Henry's tale of a dissatisfied lapdog's escape to P. G. Wodehouse's cheerfully naive watchdog who simply wants everybody to get along. These writers and others--Ray Bradbury, Doris Lessing, Thomas McGuane, Rick Bass, James Salter, and Penelope Lively among them--offer imaginative, lyrical, and empathetic portraits of humanity's most devoted companion.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2010-12-20
- Reviewer: Staff
This motley, lovable collection is as varied as the dogs depicted within, from the savage hunters and woeful mutts of Doris Lessing and Anton Chekhov, to Lydia Millet's pampered poodle and Brad Watson's sage seeing eye dog. Tesdell's impressive choices range from traditional tales of loyal, devoted dogs by Kipling, Twain, and others, to Madison Smartt Bell's story of a man gradually becoming a canine. These entries wisely steer clear of sentimentality, nevertheless portraying their subjects with heroism and scrappiness. The ultimate opacity of a dog's mind provokes imaginative writers like Chekhov, Wodehouse, and O. Henry to project themselves into their pets. Most of these dog narrators manage prose that is beautiful, elegant, and painfully accurate about the failings of their human owners. Jonathan Lethem, James Thurber, Tobias Wolff, Penelope Lively, and many other literary luminaries make appearances here. As Ray Bradbury writes, and as this anthology wonderfully proves, dogs "collect and deliver the time and texture of worlds" in their fur. (Oct. 5)