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Uncle Boris in the Yukon: and Other Shaggy Dog Stories
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Uncle Boris in the Yukon: and Other Shaggy Dog Stories

3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  196 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
With the candor and wit that he's known for, Daniel Pinkwater shares heartfelt and often peculiar reflections on the dogs (and other assorted creatures) that have shaped his life and family traditions. Pinkwater begins with the tale of his colorful Uncle Boris, who sets off on a trek from Warsaw to the Yukon in search of gold. Along the way he strikes up a curious friendsh ...more
Paperback, 220 pages
Published October 14th 2002 by Mariner Books (first published 2001)
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(showing 1-30)
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Melissa McShane
This book was recommended to me by Jessica Day George as we were talking about dogs, specifically Pippin, my favorite wind-up toy. I said I owned it but had never read it (this applies to about a third of the books I own) and she *insisted* that I read it IMMEDIATELY because I was clearly in need of something fun after finishing three intense books in three days.

She was totally right. I was in tears the whole time, because Pinkwater does this thing where he's just going along, telling a story, a
Jane G Meyer
Oct 22, 2007 Jane G Meyer rated it liked it
Recommends it for: dog lovers
I just finished this memoir, which, well, I'm not sure exactly what I thought it would be like, but it turned out to be a collection of memoirs of the author's dogs... Because I love dogs, and especially arctic dogs, I enjoyed the tales, some of them bringing back so many memories of our beloved Zeke in Colorado. Anyway, if you are a dog-happy person, and love a good story, then this is great before-bed reading. Light and fun...
Feb 22, 2008 Randall rated it really liked it
Shelves: pinkwater
Great book, shaggy dogs included. My favorite bit: "C. had lived in a teepee and had partaken of many herbs and natural substances, and I am not obliged to accept her opinions."
Mar 15, 2011 Miles rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
If you've ever loved a dog, or if you've ever been unable to love a dog, or if you've ever loved Daniel Pinkwater, read this. Rereading this book of shaggy dog stories makes me laugh sometimes until I cry. I can't say that about many books. We learn about Pinkwater's Polish Jewish gangster ancestors, who specialized in "removals." We learn about his Husky. We learn about the last journey of the Hoboken ferry. We watch Pinkwater make joy out of what seems like a somewhat miserable childhood. We ...more
Pinkwater, author of children's books and a commentator on NPR's All Things Considered, delivers a witty rumination on his experiences with dogs. Uncle Boris, one of the many colorful and dysfunctional adults of Pinkwater's childhood, gave his parents a Pekingese named Bobby shortly before the author's birth. Uncle Boris made a living selling fake purebreds and assured Pinkwater's father that "a dog lik dis is all deh rage in deh best parts of Brooklyn." Bobby's sole redeeming feature was that h ...more
Nov 21, 2016 Peter rated it liked it
Shelves: essays, read-in-2016
I've enjoyed Daniel Pinkwater's commentaries on NPR over the years so I was looking forward to reading this short book on his experiences with dogs. Unfortunately, it turns out that I can take only so much of his style at a time. After a quick burst of reading about half the book in a single sitting, it then took months to finish it, reading just a few pages at a time. I'm not sure what happened, perhaps it just became a bit tiresome reading the same type of mildly humorous story about the same ...more
Aug 31, 2010 Jim rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. I have heard Daniel Pinkwater on NPR for years as a commentator, and I have seen his children's books at bookstores before, but this is my first foray into his adult work.

Gently told with a wry sense of humor, Mr. Pinkwater tells a family story of a love for dogs. It begins with Uncle Boris and allows us to walk through the author's own life with canine companions. I laughed more and more genuinely with this book than I have for quite a long time as a reader. I recog
Gypsy Lady
Having enjoyed Daniel Pinkwater's commentary on PNR, it was fun to read this book.

Page 79
"I had come to a certain understanding through my study of Zen Buddhism, and observation, particularly in connection with my activity as an artist. What I understood was this: it's possible for an educated person to deny the evidence of his own eyes and think he's seeing something else based on whatever prejudices he's been taught. We know what we're doing at all times -- and at almost all times, we obscure
Oct 16, 2012 Katrina rated it it was ok
First 100 pages are very entertaining, a sort of autobiography of Pinkwater's childhood. The second half of the book goes in too much detail about every single dog he ever had. "Got this dog, then it died, then I got this other dog, then that one died, then I got another dog...." And so on and so forth. Plus he starts doing dialog for his dogs.... which is so ridiculous. As a dog owner and trainer, his obsession gets a little out of hand, which is great, but as a reader and even a dog lover, it ...more
Aug 10, 2010 Cindy rated it really liked it
I like Pinkwater. He's got this quirky sense of humor that makes me smile. Really, I think he's a little crazy, but now that I've read this book and a little about his childhood, I understand why so many of his characters are kids with a weird family. Write what you know, right?

I love the dog stories too. Really, there are a lot of fun stories in here. Some get a lot of play, like the one at the beginning about his Uncle Boris, the Polish gangster turned Yukon prospector. But the brief little p
Sandy D.
I thought this was a children's book when I snagged it at the library booksale (Pinkwater writes some funny stuff for grade school kids), but it's a memoir about the dogs Pinkwater grew up with and then had as an adult. He and his wife actually wrote a puppy training guide. Interesting stuff, although I found the beginning (the parts with Uncle Boris, actually) a little slow. Good to read if you're interested in wolves, Malamutes, or Akitas.
Jan 24, 2012 John rated it it was amazing
Great collection of remembrances from Daniel Manus Pinkwater about growing up with and loving animals, most particularly dogs (excluding boston terriers). The more one reads about Pinkwater's life, the less bizarre his fiction seems and the more I appreciate him as a writer and a person. I'm not a person who own dogs or pets generally but I earned a greater appreciation for them. Very funny, very sad, very human.
Deborah Darsie
Jul 15, 2012 Deborah Darsie rated it liked it
Shelves: read-nf, read-dog
Daniel Pinkwater's voice and speaking style was strong in my head as I (finally) got around to reading this.

I found I enjoyed it more in smaller nuggets - a couple chapters at a time. The wry tone in the later chapters reminded me of his conversations with Scott Simon on NPR. I bought this book because of the chat they had when it was first published.

Everyone has had (or has known!) a dog which exhibited at least one of the traits his own dogs had.
Chi Dubinski
Apr 03, 2012 Chi Dubinski rated it really liked it
Pinkwater tells the stories of all the dogs in his life, from Bobby, the Pekinese given to his parents just before young Daniel’s birth, to Juno, an Alaskan malamute Pinkwater bought because he was enthralled by the sight of two sled dogs in Manhattan. Along the way there were Stan, the Irish Setter, Bootsie, the terrier, Arnold, the puppy, and not to be forgotten-- Pedro the parrot. Pinkwater is a children’s book author and commentator on NPR, and always makes me laugh.
Aug 30, 2013 Tim rated it really liked it
Pinkwater's book on life with dogs was confusing in the beginning in his description of his Uncle Boris (who seemed one of his fictional characters), but it settled into a series of touching and funny portraits of the author's dogs (and his wife, a dog whisperer) that allows me to never have a dog of my own.
Jan 30, 2015 Alyson rated it really liked it
A bizarre beginning, but I enjoyed it. See for more details!
Mar 19, 2008 Melissa rated it liked it
Recommends it for: animal lovers
Shelves: thenakedtruth
Funny stories about the dogs that Pinkwater and his wife have owned.
Heather Renfroe
Mar 30, 2009 Heather Renfroe rated it liked it
I learned new things about the mannerisms of arctic breeds, but got a little annoyed with the reoccuring Yiddish dialect.
Logophile (Heather)
I've just realized that over the years I've blogged about some books that I haven't marked over here.
This is a fun book, and sweet. Dog lovers should enjoy it.
Gary   Allen
Sep 24, 2015 Gary Allen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A delightful book... and I'm not even a dog owner.
Jan 03, 2015 Terri rated it really liked it
Delightful. I relate to his observations of husky behavior and enjoyed his tales very much. brought to mind good memories of our past dogs ... 3 of the smiling husky variety
Nov 26, 2009 Jane rated it really liked it
A very funny memoir. Pinkwater's not kidding about the shaggy dogs.
Robin Filipczak
Feb 09, 2015 Robin Filipczak rated it liked it
Shelves: aloud, animals
Beautifully written stories about all the dogs Pinkwater has loved throughout his life. Dog lovers will adore this book.
Oct 13, 2010 Az rated it really liked it
Shelves: animals
This is a book that I have always loved and will always go back to.
Mar 19, 2009 Merry rated it really liked it
This is a fun book, especially if you are dog person. I laughed and cried while reading this book.
Jacob Proffitt
Aug 23, 2012 Jacob Proffitt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a fun, short, entertaining diversion.
May 14, 2008 Lynne rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Dog lovers especially
Recommended to Lynne by: Found at the library.
A lot of fun - as much as people as it is about dog.
Lots of humor (it's always funny when the dogs are smarter than the people).
Jan 27, 2009 tib rated it really liked it
I would have enjoyed this one even more if I'd heard it read out loud. It would be perfect for a long car trip
Jan 23, 2013 Martha rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: dog owners and everyone else
Hilarious. I love Daniel Pinkwater even more now than I did before.
Betty Kaye
Feb 27, 2015 Betty Kaye rated it it was ok
Not what I had hoped.
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Daniel Manus Pinkwater is an author of mostly children's books and is an occasional commentator on National Public Radio. He attended Bard College. Well-known books include Lizard Music, The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death, Fat Men from Space, Borgel, and the picture book The Big Orange Splot. Pinkwater has also illustrated many of his books in the past, although for more recent works that ...more
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