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The Dogs of March (Darby Chronicles #1)

3.53  ·  Rating Details ·  344 Ratings  ·  44 Reviews
The first novel in Hebert’s acclaimed Darby Chronicles
Kindle Edition, 269 pages
Published September 2nd 2014 by UPNE (first published 1979)
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Apr 29, 2014 Mark rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Few novels so thoroughly explore how poverty shapes a person's mind, relationships, and life than Ernest Hebert's The Dogs of March. Exquisitely poetic language is veined throughout the book, and what's more, it repeatedly delivers deep insights into human nature. On self-righteous arrogance: she "felt a pleasing, malicious urge to 'improve' [the family], chloroform them and spirit them off to a clinic in Denmark to be cleansed, trimmed, dressed, manicured, pedicured, mentally honed to fulfill w ...more
Sep 22, 2014 Gavin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first volume of the "Darby Series" by Ernest Hebert was well written, descriptive and lyrical in some places. Even though the book was written some time ago, readers of a certain age and inclination will be warmed by the events and described and characters brought to life by the authors obvious love and respect for his people. I don't say this with any condescension, Ernest Heberts celebration and affection for the fading numbers of the working class is well known. By his own description, "H ...more
Íris Santos
Dec 26, 2014 Íris Santos rated it liked it
Fiquei surpreendida com este livro. Fico normalmente surpreendida pela positiva quando compro um livro a custo zero e descubro que este livro deveria ser vendido pelo menos por cinco ou seis euros.
É um bom estudo sobre a psicologia de quem passou pela vida tendo pouco ou quase nada. Examina a mente de forma imparcial, as lutas e dificuldades de quem não consegue vingar na vida por falta de intelecto, não de inteligência da alma humana.

O livro relata a história de Howard e Elenore, cinquentões (m
May 31, 2016 Arielle rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-finish
Nope nope nope
Mar 09, 2013 Christian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I read this in my senior year in high school and loved it! The second time around was even better. Ernest Hebert is to New Hampshire as what William Faulkner was to Yoknapatawpha County. His characters come alive and he can humanize the worst of the worst, the down and out and bring out the best in them.

The story follows Howard Elman who loses his job, his relationship to his son because he went off to college and Elman didn't, loses his land, can't pay his bills and struggles to make it as an
Mar 17, 2008 Deborah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: self-important city councilmen in small towns and elitists in general
Read this one a long time ago, but the memories of the character's junk of a front yard in rural New England are still vivid. His string of bad luck begins right in the first pages when he looses his finger in a textile machine in a factory, and then it just goes downhill. His lower class background as he fights against the upper class establishment is symbolized by the dogs of March who run in packs to chase the winter-weakened deer. A real look at poverty and how folk gang up to kick a man whe ...more
Great story about small town New Hampshire and class conflict. The main character, Howard Elman is full of reasons to judge him yet thanks to Ernest Hebert's compassion, I can only sympathize with him. As someone who lives in a town that still holds town meeting, I especially enjoyed the truthful description of this ritual.
Jan 13, 2015 Natalie rated it really liked it
There is beauty here that goes beyond what respect alone could never see or hear.

Some of the dialogue, settings, situations are spot-on perfect .
Dec 15, 2015 Valerie rated it it was amazing
This is a memorable book. Mostly, we see the world of Darby, NH through the eyes of Howard Elman. Despite having no education, Howard's deep thinking brings the reader from losing his job at a textile mill to having peace of mind and working to improve himself in many ways at the end of the story. In between he must battle personal and actual demons. Excellent writing describes the people and town of Darby in lyrical and emotional prose that, at times, will leave the reader as breathless as the ...more
Apr 08, 2012 Bob rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I generally enjoyed the book, although it took me about 100 pages to begin to get into it. Howard Elman, the main character, can be summed up by Hebert's description: "[a]ll his life he had misunderstood the phrase 'bull in a china shop' to be a compliment." As the reader progresses through the book, she is left with the feeling that Howard is hurtling toward a specific fate. Fortunately, a few twists and turns prevent the book from ending with what might have easily been a pat conclusion.
Claire Osgood
May 22, 2015 Claire Osgood rated it really liked it
Tale reflecting the change that has come over the working man

The novel has interesting insights throughout. It is well written, and the happenings between the main characters are real and gritty. It tells the story of the downfall of the opportunities for the man (or woman) who used to be destined to work at an often repetitive job to support his family. The problems that these often less educated people encounter when trying to become employed after losing a job with which they have been comfor
Peter J Strauss
Dec 21, 2014 Peter J Strauss rated it it was amazing
Exquisite writing, bringing a town and its inhabitants vividly alive.

This is a classic. All the beauty, humor and pathos of a world most have never experienced brought startlingly to life. The work of a great artist. Can't wait to read the other books of the Chronicles. Can't believe I haven't discovered this author until now.
Apr 13, 2011 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I read this a long time ago (it wasn't even in my Goodreads "read" shelf). I'm going to see the author, Ernest Hebert, interviewed this weekend and thought it would more worthwhile if I skimmed it again.
I'm not skimming, I don't remember any of it and it is excellent. Small town life in rural New Hampshire. That's where I live. Great!
Mar 20, 2007 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Not sure.
Very descriptive tale that paints a realistic picture of lower-class/lower-middle-class life in the rural cranies of New Englad. I can't remember much about it but it was pretty good. Check it totally out.
Dec 19, 2014 Pamela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"What we have here is a failure to communicate." That about sums up the frustration and anger of the characters in this book--both the rich and the poor. I do not mean this in a dismissive or trivial way--this failure of communication is at the heart of the poverty most of the characters of this book suffer through.

This reminds me of a new setting (New Hampshire) for Erskin Caldwell and Flannery O'Connor--in a good way. It is a brilliant, moving, compelling, sensitive book, and one I am so very
Nov 18, 2012 Nicole rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I checked this book out from the library in June- and finished it 5 months later! The library will hate me but it was worth it.
Will Buckley
Sep 17, 2012 Will Buckley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
one of my favorite books. there is some languege in it but i feel as though the book would sound fake without it.
Feb 03, 2015 Lauren rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The writing is so descriptive and creative the entire book sort of feels like an endless free-form poem. I love the author's ability to manipulate language...I don't like the author's attempt to tell a story. Like toast without butter, there was a sense of potential but it was dry from start to finish. A few quirky sections fooled me into thinking the novel was surely about to pick up if I could just get through the next chapter. It's dark and sad and lonely in this fictional world...and all in ...more
May 12, 2014 Kevin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
the ending sucked
Stephen Payne
Jun 15, 2016 Stephen Payne rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite New England novels. Hebert has a remarkably discerning and unfiltered eye for both the toughness and frailties of New Hampshire's lower-end survivors. In capturing their endless struggles, we are sympathetic, repulsed, and admiring, all at the same time. Hebert is a master storyteller and without him our knowledge and understanding of the undercrust of rural society would be sorely lacking. His Darby series is a terrific collection of unforgettable stories that I highly recomm ...more
Sue Eckel
Jan 02, 2015 Sue Eckel rated it really liked it
Interesting read

Great character development! The plot has enough twists to keep you interested in reading this book and the portrayal of under-employed and working class New Englanders in a small town in the 1950s is remarkably well done.
Jessica H
Feb 25, 2015 Jessica H rated it it was ok
I finished this book because it has gotten some great reviews so I kept waiting for it to pick up. I just never got into it. The writing wasn't bad. I never connected with any of the characters and the pace was too slow for me.
Nov 11, 2015 Janet rated it liked it
Very mixed feelings about this one -- wanted to love it, and occasionally did. The imagery was powerful. But I'm not sure if I want "more" of this. I'll let it percolate for a while before trying another.
Jan 22, 2015 Lynn rated it liked it
I am really not sure how I feel about The Dogs of March. It was difficult to get into the story at first. At times I didn't know whose voice I was hearing. Sometimes there were three narrators in three paragraphs without warning. That being said, I did get to know the characters. I cared about them. I was in their homes, at their meetings, in their cars. Perhaps I like this more than I thought?
Jane K. Gardner
Jan 08, 2015 Jane K. Gardner rated it it was ok
Unusual for sure

This is a thought-provoking novel that took awhile to understand where the storyline was headed.
Once into it,I enjoyed the beautiful writing.
Dixie Burns
Jan 09, 2015 Dixie Burns rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a sleeper! It's like an old movie; you know it could be better with current technology but it's just such a good read, you can't stop. I really enjoyed this book!
Dec 29, 2014 Jenn-Marie rated it really liked it
This book gave me a lot insight in to how a lack of education and a low socio-ecominic status can affect ones opportunities, their way of life, and the way that they are able to think and express ideas. Highly recommended.
Cindy Ballard
Dec 23, 2014 Cindy Ballard rated it it was amazing
A pleasure to read

This book was one of the best I've read in months -- the characters nicely fleshed out, interesting and complex. I recommend it highly.
Clarissa Saigeon
Feb 15, 2015 Clarissa Saigeon rated it liked it
very poetic story, but hard to get through at times. I sensed that while Howard suffered from poverty and a poor education, he also had PTSD clouding him.
Feb 09, 2015 jem rated it really liked it

Twenty w my way back now and again and again for your time with you guys doing anything today and
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“Female creatures owned the world, Howard thought. The earth itself was female. The shop was female. The females knew everything of beauty and desolation—he” 0 likes
“But then, why smile? He could not understand why some people smiled when they weren’t pleased, or how they’d learned such a smile, or what it was for.” 0 likes
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