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Dogwalker

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3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  552 ratings  ·  79 reviews
Tender and satiric, hilarious and humane, Dogwalker plunks readers down in a land of misfits and the circumstantially strange–where one young man buys drugs from a dealer who locks his customers in a closet, while another lands a cat-faced circus freak for a roommate, and yet another must choose between his pregnant wife and the ten-pound slug he’s convinced will bring him ...more
ebook, 0 pages
Published January 22nd 2002 by Vintage (first published August 14th 2001)
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(showing 1-30 of 864)
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Noah
Just reread this - really liked it. I ended up reading the whole thing in a day; I think the stories are best when together as a whole piece. I'd like to spend some more time thinking about the narrator...not sure what it is that I like so much about it, but there's something, beneath all the weirdness, that's really yearning and tender. There's a certain amoral quality to the narrator - though maybe that's not right, but there's a certain removed observance of things that anyone else would have ...more
Lisa
I hate dogs, just felt the need to say that after finishing this book. My main issue with Dogwalker is that the narrator is the same damn person in every story, always behaving in an apathetic, reaction-less way regardless of what's happening around him. Like the author wanted all the perks of writing in third person but while technically still having his "character" do the narration. He conveys only facts and almost no feelings, a perfect stoic, but I'm still supposed to feel something...appare ...more
Brad
This is the one book I would recommend to someone who wants to know what I like about books.
This is a collection of stories that have pieces of normal life splashed with aspects of the bizarre, the exceptionally unlikely, and the completely impossible. Throughout it, the narrative is clever and crisp, never full of itself.
What if you had sex with your dog and the puppies were sort of half human? For instance. Fun, funny, and odd.
Darin
One of my all-time favorites. I reread it often and have given it to friends as gifts. Arthur Bradford is brilliant.
Scott Neumyer
I've read this collection countless times. It's actually probably my favorite short story collection of all time.
Lindsay
The short stories in this collection are so weird and surreal that I couldn't help but fall completely in love with them. Most, but not all, involve dogs in some way, whether deformed, half human, talking, or whatnot. A lot of the stories don't seem to have any obvious point, but the detail, dialogue, and quirky plots more than make up for that fact. Some of my favorite stories include "Mollusks," about a man who finds a giant slug and thinks it will bring him great fortune, "The House of Alan M ...more
Alan
why is it a lot of the books recommended to me are about dogs, my least favourite animal? (I'm a cat man).

quirky, funny - I lol-ed a couple of times at the sheer unexpectedness of it (the woman in the iron lung for example) - daft. A lot of dogs, maimed or mutated, but not big snarly ones. Most of the characters are similar - stoners who drift around. A lot of marijuana about, nothing wrong with that, but in the end too slight for me, despite some of the characters being rather nasty. Bill McQui
...more
Becky
Weird and bizarre are terms that keep popping up in other's reviews of this book. Yes the stories are quirky but I didn't find any of them disturbing as others had. I guess a story about a man who has sexual relations with his dog written by another author WOULD be disturbing but written by Arthur Bradford I didn't take the story seriously. One reviewer mentioned the narrator is the same reactionless voice and speculated whether the narrator throughout the collection of stories is supposed to be ...more
Ivy Pruss
Sep 16, 2007 Ivy Pruss rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Written in unpretentious prose that sometimes verges on childishness, Dogwalker captures a hidden universe in the imagination that is at once delightful and tragic. The stories themselves range from the real to the fantastic, but all are powered by a true-to-life depiction of the human heart and the attempts that people make to connect with others despite past failed attempts. Arthur Bradford's imagination is expansive and completely unique. If your idea of a good book is one that stretches your ...more
Daniel  Dubay
If this was just the first 100 pages then I would have given the book a 4. I wish that I never read the story about how half dog, half human family. Other than that, very easy read. It took me all of 45 minutes.
George Ilsley
About a 3.5. Every story has a first person narrator and they tend to suffer from the symptoms of UFPN syndrome: the undisclosed first person narrator. Who is this "I" and is he different from the last "I' with a three-legged dog.

Actually, to be fair, Bradford escapes the worst of the syndrome by giving us unusual characters who are slightly weird. (The last two stories, which each features talking dogs, feels like they belong to another collection). I did crave, however, an alternative to the f
...more
Lee
This one goes firmly in that category of beach reads for those who don't go to the beach, or books you can read when you're too tired to read but don't feel like watching television, or books to read if you haven't read anything for a while and need to be reminded as an adult what it was like to read (in the best possible way) when you were young. Fans of Etgar Keret might love this book, too. Also, fans of fables. Also, fans of people with cat faces, and fans of stories where people become anim ...more
John
In the unacknowledged parts of my brain where I wonder if a man with long arms was run over by a train and it cut off his legs would he be able to get about ok because his arms were extra long, and what would happen if a dog could have a human baby what would that be like and what would happen next; in those thoughts lie this book. It is strange and funny and absurd and surreal, but it also left me feeling quite warm as if everything has its place and it will eventually find it - probably by the ...more
Judy Vasseur
Jun 08, 2008 Judy Vasseur rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of surrealism, magic realism, slacker culture
Recommended to Judy by: Jim


The narrator plays the role of straight man to friends and acquaintances who act like lunatics and to phenomena that stretch the fabric of reality.

But it all seems possible somehow. You might find a ten pound slug in the glove compartment of an abandoned vehicle. Heck, if a baby in India can be born with 2 perfectly distinct faces maybe a man can impregnate a dog and get a tiny man offspring that sings beautifully and matures quickly. Who knows what is possible in nature?? It's exciting. Keep y
...more
Leanne Sarubbi
Great, great, great, great great! I want to crawl into it. I want more!
Amanda Davidson
Arthur Bradford is hellof funny. A touch of Brautigan in tone, with regards to lightness and oddness. This lightness becomes a container for all manner of stuff; it (the tone) adds helium to the normal and takes the heavy out of the "strange". I think what I am trying to say is that part of why I enjoyed the stories is that they made me question what was normal and not, instead of just adding "weird" elements in there, which can be really annoying. Good for reading out loud as fucked up bedtime ...more
Will Byrnes
It consists of short stories, some of which are entertaining, all of which involve a dog in some way or other. Others just make me scratch my head and shrug. Overall it is an interesting collection by a writer who seems very young. There is humor aplenty, and absurdity, perhaps a bit too much. The narrator is the same character throughout. I am ambivalent about this one. The extremity is sometimes very entertaining, but it also seems quite pointless at moments.
Allan MacDonell
Due to some fault within myself, I was predisposed to not enjoy Dogwalker. Maybe whimsy in grown men seems embarrassing to me. For whatever reason, Arthur Bradford was forced to win over my skepticism, and it happened. I was pleased to meet him through his stories; these deceptively light narratives beguiled my intellect with their discipline and tightness. My emotional life, however, remained mostly untouched. Emotional life may be overrated.
Ann
I read this book six years ago. The story "Catface" and the one called, simply, "Dogs," about a tiny singing muskrat-esque lovechild, still resonate with me.

Comparisons to Tom Waits and David Lynch are apt, but Bradford's stories bring Barry Yourgrau and Stefanie Freele to mind, too. If you have a secret inner freak, and we all have one at least, you'll appreciate how Bradford harnesses his and gets them to play nice on paper.
Sally
Feb 25, 2008 Sally rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who doesn't think they like fantasy/unrealistic writing
This was simple and fun and didn't try to use complex academic writing, feel the need to adhere to reality, or submit to the belief that a novel should at least [this many] pages. I found myself laughing incredulously and then bursting out with exclamations about the plot. "He turned into ___!!" (won't spoil it for the rest of you.)

I'll lend it if you wanted to read it, but not let it go forever.
James
I think I first read this book about ten years ago and I keep picking it up and re-reading it every once in a while. All of the stories in here take place in their own little weird universe. When I was a kid I really loved that Nickelodeon show "The Adventures of Pete and Pete" and this book gives me the same warm fuzzy feeling that I got watching that show. It's really funny and cool.
Sarah
A collection of short stories filled with strange, unexpected happenings on the fringes of society and the bizarre bonds that form between misfit humans and animals. Includes ingested glow worms, bodiless legs, Catface, The Texas School for the Blind, a ten-pound slug stolen from a junk yard, and of course dogs: three-legged, no-legged, finned, eyeless, dog-humans, human-dogs, talking dogs, etc.
Hugh
I hope Arthur writes a sequel about cats. He would need to change the title, though: "Catwalker" doesn't make much sense. On the other hand, neither did "Die Hard 2: Die Harder", and that did pretty well. Maybe he should just call it "Dogwalker 2: More Dogwalker", but then some people might be angry when they read it and discover that it is about cats, not dogs.
Fusako
この短編集のどれをとっても、とりとめのない話なんだけど、なぜか惹かれる。なんだろ、この感じは。
Dogsが特によかった。同じようなことを昔々まじめに書いたのが、「南総里見八犬伝」で、ふざけて書くとこんなになる、みたいな。どっちもエンターテイメントだけど。

たとえば、久しぶりに遠方の友人に会ったとする。枕を並べて語り合おうということになって、やがてお互い近況を話しつくして、もう寝ようとしても頭が冴えて眠れない。じゃあなんか話してよ、作り話でいいからさ――それで始まったのがこれらの話。
悪意のない、おもしろうて、やがて哀しき、ヨタ話。
ますます頭が冴えて眠れない。友人がそれらを語りつくしたころには、夜がしらじらと明けている。

おもしろかったよ、アーサーくん。
...more
Patty
One of the books that I got from the Dorkapalooza '09 book exchange. At first I didn't like it much. The writing reminded me a little of Charles Portis. But as I continued to read, it got weirder and weirder and I liked it more and more. I had dreams about some of the stories. The creepiness really did creep in. Thanks to whoever gave this to me!
Roderick
Thoroughly weird, but really very enjoyable cycle of loosely related stories. Sometimes (OK, most of the time) it feels like he's being weird on purpose, but these are still fun. Detected some vague Christian allegory here and there, with hints at the 12 apostles and Moses in the bullrushes. Not quite sure what to do with that.
Roisin
I met Arthur Bradford recently because I intern at a reading series he took part in. His piece was incredible and I bought his book and finished it that night. Great read. I really admire the way his words flow and the fact that he takes things past the limit in such a way that it's believable. I have no complains.
Scott
Another modern-day Candide. Bradford's narrators are such pushovers that it's hilarious to watch them let the story wrap them up. My favorite story is "Bill McQuill," which I think is about the bizarre crossings we experience in life, and how the people we meet as a result somehow end up shaping us. Alls the best.
Matthieu
the reviews on the book got me really hyped up about it which is why I usually don't read them cause they give me false hope. But in the end some of stories were good a couple were really amazing. Great, very quick read that doesn't disappoint.
Oh and if you like animals that probably helps a bit too.
Sue Russell
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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