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Nops Trials
 
by
Donald McCaig
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Nops Trials

4.06 of 5 stars 4.06  ·  rating details  ·  383 ratings  ·  52 reviews
Here is the story of a family and two remarkable individuals -- Lewis Burkholder, a farmer in Virginia, and his young Border Collie, Nop. When the dog is stolen, Nop embarks on an ordeal of peril and hardship that he survives only through courage and love. The same qualities in Lewis enable him to search relentlessly for his sheep dog -- a search that takes him far from ho ...more
Hardcover, 328 pages
Published March 7th 1984 by Random House Value Publishing (first published 1984)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 598)
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Candy
I loved Nop! You'll love him, too!
Smokinjbc
Aug 29, 2007 Smokinjbc rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Required Reading for Border Collie Owners and pet lovers
I originally read this book soon after acquiring my first border collie. The book is about a young, tremendously talented sheepdog named Nop and his gruff owner, Lewis. When Nop isn't making a big impression on the trial field, he is Lewis' right hand dog when it comes to his sheep. On Christmas morning, Nop disappears and the book is about Lewis's quest to find his dog.

The book is fast moving and gut-wrenching, with beautiful descriptions of the work of these sheepdogs. Even the uninitated she
...more
Mallory Heart Reviews

A warm, endearing, close-to-life story of the lives of a Shenandoah Valley farmer, his wife, adult daughter, and especially hardworking Border Collies, Nop and Stink Dog. The latter once came too close to the livestock and was "stove-up," rendering it unfit for running and herding. But the two dogs unite in relating their interjected portions of this tale, against the author's narrative backdrop.

It's easy to understand how this book became an immediate classic, for its endearing story and valua
...more
Mary Jane
This is a neat dog story. Nop is a border collie who is a working sheep dog and trial champion. He gets separated from his home/farm and the book tells of his adventures and his owner's search for him. The characters are interesting - both human and canine. Though it's not a gripping read, the pages keep turning. The last few chapters it gets to be "I HAVE to find out what happens!".

The writing wasn't amazing, but not terrible, either. I'd recommend the book to anyone who likes dogs.
Lis Carey
Nop is a young border collie, happily living the border collie life on a Virginia farm with livestock farmer Lewis Burkholder. On Christmas Day, Nop and a neighbor's dog are let out to play, and don't come back. They've been stolen, and Nop's life has undergone an alarming and disorienting change.

In alternating sections, we follow Nop's struggles to survive in a life much harsher than he has known till now, and Lewis Burkholder's search for his missing dog.

There's dog drama here, and the dogs ar
...more
Emily
My aunt gave me this book many years ago when I was in middle school. I don't think she actually read it since (in my opinion) this book is highly inappropriate for children. It is full of foul language, animal abuse, and there are 3 sexual encounters (2 human and one between dogs- none are very graphic but still mature).

I'm honestly not sure why this book is such a treasure to so many people. I almost never stop reading a book once I've started, but this one was painful to finish. The story did
...more
Sandra Platt
Sadly, I didn't like this book. I know it's about a dog, but there's terribe violence and I couldn't get very far. I get enough of that in my work.
Rochelle
A must-read for any dog lover. And the best part is, there is a sequel!
Michelle
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Michelle
Essentially, this story is to dogs what Black Beauty is to horses. The over-riding theme is that animal suffer much at the hands of humans. It would be unfair to say that it is JUST a Black Beauty copy but it's difficult to not see the parallel.

I did have two issues--one of the characters could best be described as "chaotic evil." Some of his actions make no sense. I get that people often do things against their own self-interest but this man's actions are downright random and you're expected t
...more
Brittany
I really gave this book a shot. James Herriot liked it, so how bad could it be? Pretty bad, in my opinion. I have trouble with any book where the author attributes verbal speech to animals (and let's not even mention the sin of allowing hunting dogs to giggle). It has to be done with just the right touch (for example Watership Down). To be fair, I only was able to stick with this book for two chapters, before I got sick of the dogs talking to each other, and using "thou" rather than "you." It c ...more
Ruthie
This book is very well-written and shows a true understanding of how Border Collies function. But the happy ending could not make up for the traumatic experience which constituted the rest of the book. Shudder. Cannot in good conscience recommend.
Joe
This a beautiful book that will appeal not only to dog lovers but to general readers. While always well written, the plot of the novel sometimes falls into the standard lost-hero-dog narrative, as Nop endures one hardship and brutality after the other while waiting to be reunited with his owner. But the chapters that describe the work that men and dogs do together on a farm, and during a sheepdog trial, are simply remarkable. McCaig's descriptions of family and married life are also spot on. A g ...more
Ms Sun
is a good read, though starts out real s-l-o-w ... one has to really persevere if expects to complete the tale. author got many facts totally incorrect, which, to me, detracts a lot from the tale/ storyline ... at completion, one gathers that he wrote it when obviously dint know about how folks treat one another when living in the sticks nor much about dogs. (the edition that i perused, did not have the dogs talking to each other using "thou" ... so, don't know how folks got that impression) ... ...more
Stephen
Wow, this is exciting, a canine Perils of Pauline. If you like dog stories you don't set this one down until it's finished. I think I lent my copy to someone who never gave it back, 'cause otherwise I would have read it for a third time at some point in the last couple of years. Instead, I forgot all about it. Rem to self: make a new shelf for animal stories
Joan
Wonderful book many emotional ups and downs.
Samantha
I'm a dog person so it was no surprise to me that I loved this book. I've always had a particular fondness of border collies as well, though I've never owned one. This story is about Nop and his owner, Lewis. The story centers around Nop's life after one fateful Christmas morning when he is stolen and Lewis' quest to get his dog and friend back. It's a touching story that reflects on the cruelty of humans, and the loyalty of dogs too well.
S.J.
Perhaps the best I've read as far as getting into the mind of a dog and keeping it real. As someone who can spend hours watching sheepdog trials, I loved this book for the insight it gave on training and the relationship between the dogs and their handlers. Lewis' and Nop's mutual friendship embodied the best of the contract we have with the dogs that chose to share our lives, and suspense kept me tense until the end.
Doug Graham
This book is pretty much strictly for dog lovers. The writing style seems choppy at times and the transitions from plot point to plot point seem like someone had their finger on the fast forward button on the dvr. There are several very, very disturbing parts of the book involving animal cruelty that might give you nightmares, so be forewarned But in spite of all that, I cried at the end. Happy tears. Silly me.
Scottie
I read this long ago and totally enjoyed it. It led me to another book by McCaig; Nop's Hope which was also enjoyable. Then I sort of forgot about McCaig until a friend recommended Rhett Butler's People. What a surprise that the same author penned these three and many more books! I may go for his "Eminent Dogs, Dangerous Men: Searching through Scotland for a Border Collie" in the future.
Leslie Lamb
I don't consider myself a dog lover, but this story is about a dog named Nop. Poor Nop was kidnapped from his farm home, and had a hard life to follow. Fights with other dogs, abuse from humans, lack of food. His bones were sticking out toward the end of the story. If anyone deserves a happy ending it's Nop. He's loyal and true. Will he ever find his original owner named Lewis?
Ruth
Heart breaking and heart warming, this story covers many, many emotions. This author LOVES dogs!
(I read this many years ago and shared it with my father, who at the time was in his late 70s. I had seen my dad read many, many newspapers and magazines but I think this was the first time I witnessed him reading a book he could not put down!)
Jodi
I would rate the story at least three stars, but the style of writing bothered me. It was almost uneducated, probably done on purpose, and thoughts of the characters switched back and forth from one paragraph to the next so it was hard to know who's thoughts were who's!
If you love dogs you will probably enjoy it.
Frances Kelly
An imaginative and enchanting tribute to the unflagging loyalty of the dog and the strength of the bond between the canine and the human who loves him. Wrenchingly sad in places, but ultimately triumphant. Everyone who has ever loved a dog (or wanted one) should read this book. Superb writing.
Rosalie
This a way to sad book for me. I gave it to my son as a teenager before I read it. He said it was one of the sadder books he had read and for whatever reason I went a head and read it. It was good, but it was a little to sad for me.
Bonnie
This book was not what I expected, so I was repeatedly shocked and read most of it in one evening. Bad things happen to Nop and other dogs. I needed a few tissues, but it's well written, a good read about a very good dog.
Susan
Fast-reading, wonderful dog story about a border collie named Nop. Painful to read at times because of human cruelty, but it's balanced by human kindness. Will read more of his books...there are quite a few.
Helen Southall
Very interesting book about the relationship of a man and his dog. Most interesting part of the book was the description of the competition for sheep herding dogs called trials.
Jojo's
Oct 23, 2008 Jojo's rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: dog lovers
my goodness- talk about taking a walk outside. starte the book on a Thursday evening- read 25 pages before bed. Finished Saturday. GREAT book! GREAT Husband!
Kathy Kaylor
I can identify with dogs thinking but I'm certain that sheep have a lot less on their minds in real life than they do in this book
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Do you thinik that lewis searched for nops as good as he could have 1 1 Feb 15, 2012 11:05AM  
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Donald McCaig is the award-winning author of Jacob’s Ladder designated “the best civil war novel ever written” by The Virginia Quarterly. People magazine raved “Think Gone With the Wind, think Cold Mountain.” It won the Michael Sharra Award for Civil War Fiction and the Library of Virginia Award for Fiction.
More about Donald McCaig...
Rhett Butler's People Jacob's Ladder: A Story of Virginia During the War Ruth's Journey: The Story of Mammy from Gone with the Wind Nop's Hope Eminent Dogs, Dangerous Men: Searching through Scotland for a Border Collie

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