Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Barbary Dogs” as Want to Read:
The Barbary Dogs
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Barbary Dogs (Max Bravo #2)

2.42  ·  Rating Details ·  53 Ratings  ·  18 Reviews
Opera singer extraordinaire Max Bravo is back in this sequel to THE DOG PARK CLUB that explores 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
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published November 8th 2011 by Minotaur Books
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Barbary Dogs, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Barbary Dogs

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Mar 03, 2013 Carol rated it really liked it
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
Feb 10, 2012 Helaine rated it it was ok
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
Jan 14, 2012 Donna rated it liked it
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 :)
Feb 14, 2012 Mary rated it did not like it
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.
Jan 01, 2017 Julie rated it did not like it
I was duped by the title and cover into thinking this was a mystery and dogs were a part of the story. Really, the main character, Max Bravo, has a pet Pug, who is mentioned often but isn't part of the plot. The storyline was meh and I could tell how it would end about midway through. I actually finished the book because I kept thinking that somehow Max Bravo would do something that would make me care about the character, but nope, he never changed from being a self-centered, lazy, overly dramat ...more
Alison C
Mar 04, 2015 Alison C rated it did not like it
The Barbary Dogs is the second Max Bravo mystery by Cynthia Robinson, set in San Francisco and featuring the B grade but usually working operatic baritone Max Bravo. Since we last saw Max in The Dog Park Club, he has taken on the missing Amy Carter's pug Dixie, and has tried to remain hopeful that Amy will just re-appear one day, perhaps after having suffered a bout of amnesia, one that's lasted two years and counting. When his sometime friend and failed writer Frank Kelly jumps off the Golden G ...more
Aug 07, 2012 Kristi rated it liked it
Shelves: fun, san-francisco
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
Dec 03, 2012 Amanda rated it it was ok
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
Dec 23, 2012 Roberta rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
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 is the weirdest book I've ever read, the only thing I found amusing was the description of the pug, Dixie eating her food. Other than that it was total babble on the author's part. I will never read another book by her. The only thing I'm thankful for is I didn't spend a cent on it, it was a free Advanced Uncorrected Proof.
Mar 27, 2012 Katherine rated it liked it
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.
Jan 05, 2012 Linda rated it did not like it
Shelves: freedom, never-finish
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.
Apr 28, 2016 ReadaBook rated it liked it
The main character is a grouchy guy, and he's surrounded by other off-beat friends and acquaintances. Definitely not a cozy mystery. Lots of atmosphere; the series needs to pick up a bit more on events from one book to the next. But overall, an enjoyable read.
Pat Fahrenthold
Jun 14, 2012 Pat Fahrenthold rated it it was ok
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.
Eva rated it liked it
May 12, 2014
Sue Wargo
Sue Wargo rated it liked it
Aug 16, 2012
Ginny Tata-Phillips
Ginny Tata-Phillips rated it really liked it
Feb 15, 2012
Barbara rated it really liked it
Dec 11, 2012
Jamie rated it really liked it
Dec 30, 2013
Andrea rated it did not like it
Apr 27, 2012
Norma Gaddy
Norma Gaddy rated it did not like it
Apr 01, 2016
Susan rated it liked it
Jul 18, 2012
Amy Lerner
Amy Lerner rated it liked it
Jul 24, 2012
Samantha rated it liked it
Mar 20, 2013
Brigid rated it it was ok
Feb 06, 2012
Deb rated it liked it
Dec 06, 2013
Mike rated it liked it
Aug 29, 2015
Dee rated it it was ok
Feb 25, 2012
Jun 01, 2013 Kimberly rated it it was ok
notas good as the first one, just too strange.
Patricia Reed
Patricia Reed rated it really liked it
Jun 13, 2014
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
"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...

Other Books in the Series

Max Bravo (2 books)
  • The Dog Park Club

Share This Book