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The Barbary Dogs (Max Bravo #2)

2.44 of 5 stars 2.44  ·  rating details  ·  45 ratings  ·  14 reviews
Opera singer extraordinaire Max Bravois back in this sequel to THE DOG PARK CLUB thatexplores both mysterious disappearances and misleading appearances.

Max Bravo is ready for some rest and relaxation. But when an old friend takes a leap off the Golden Gate Bridge, Max realizes that rest and relaxation simply aren't in the cards. The jumper, Frank Kelly, was a failed writer
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published November 8th 2011 by Minotaur Books
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This was another random pick up from the library. I walked by the table where it sat, and the cover with the dogs caught my eye. Underneath the title, it says "a mystery." Sold. Well, this book was much different than I thought it would be. The mystery itself is hard to pinpoint. I suppose it is the mystery of what drove Frank to jump off of the Golden Gate bridge. It's more of a book about Max, his life in San Francisco with his pug Dixie, and some events set in motion after Frank's jump. I fou ...more
Looking at other ratings, I seem to be in the minority in really liking this book. I loved the basic story, although it was often lost as the author led Max on various ramblings into the past. Max was an entertaining character and an excellent narrator. He is not, on the surface, a very likeable character, but by the end of the book I was completely captivated by his over-the-top diva personality. I thought the author's vocabulary and writing style were exceptional. I love a writer who can ventu ...more
My rating is based principally on the ending--it was mentioned as a possibility a couple of times in the story, so really no surprise. At times I loved the writing in this story--the similes and metaphors painted wonderful pictures. However, some times the descriptive writing just went on and on as if the author was fixated on "show, don't tell." And as a consequence, the plot got lost in the description. I often asked what was the point of certain pages. And just to top it off, it was never app ...more
When you find the main character of a book annoying, you should put it down and walk away, but I didn't. And I never did figure out why the book was entitled The Barbary Dogs. There was only one dog in it, and that dog did not figure in the plot. Max Bravo the aging bisexual baritone opera singer was not likeable. For me, anyway.
A dark comedy set in San Francisco. Challenging for today's reader as the author stretches one to assimilate new not oft-used words in her prose. It's a genre unto itself, and comical as well as enlightenbing in the reading. I'd like to read her first book....BTW, the dogs on the cover are highly misleading :)
So disappointing. Starts off well enough - Max Bravo is a middle-aged bisexual pug-owning opera singer living in San Francisco. He's also occasionally visited, without warning, by his gypsy grandmother who has been dead for some years. And she's not the only dead character. When the story begins Max's ex-friend leaps to his death from the Golden Gate Bridge and leaves a note naming Max as the executor of his estate, such as it is.

This should have been a slightly, quirky and entertaining story b
I gave up on this one. A lot of that may have to do with the fact that I have the flu, but I just couldn't get into it. I found the writing a distraction, and that's almost always the kiss of death with me. It sounds like it was written by a teenager with a thesaurus who is trying to pad a writing assignment with flowery descriptions in order to meet the required word count. Surprisingly despite the glut of adjectives, I never could get a good picture of the main character in my head---that driv ...more
Totally ditto Kristi's review. I picked this book up at the library based on the cover picture and the mystery sticker on the spine. So I was very disappointed to find that the book was misrepresented. Based on that, I was tempted to give it one star for false advertising, however, I didn't really dislike everything about it. I loved Max's gypsy grandmother, for example.

So, be warned, the book barely has a dog in it and it is barely a mystery.
This book took a while to get into. The protagonist, a flamboyant opera singer living in San Francisco with his pug, grew on me -- as did the ghost of his gypsy grandmother who visits him periodically.
There's another ghost, too, and something of a mystery. I'm glad I stuck with it.
I realized this morning that I have read three other books and started two more while trying to read this one. Obviously it is not keeping my attention, and there are too many wonderful books waiting to try to get through any more of this one.
Pat Fahrenthold
I had a hard time deciding what this book was supposed to be - mystery, ghost story, horror, GLBT fiction, what? Also, there is only one "Barbary Dog" in the book.
The story hadn't grabbed me by page 70, so I gave up.
notas good as the first one, just too strange.
May 23, 2012 Patty added it
Interesting but a little strange.
Jeanie marked it as to-read
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"Cynthia Robinson lives in San Francisco, where she works as a part-time advertising shill, and a full-time raconteur. Cynthia has an MFA in creative writing from University of San Francisco, where she also taught fiction writing. She was nominated for the Best New American Voices award 2007 and Best of the Web, Humor 2008." (

Librarian Note: There is more tha
More about Cynthia Robinson...
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