I've read various novels featuring different types of detectives from the professional types to the amateur types from the classic Sherlock Holmes andI've read various novels featuring different types of detectives from the professional types to the amateur types from the classic Sherlock Holmes and A. Augustine Dupin to the hardcore city dwellers (Philip Marlowe and Easy Rawlins) to the anomalies (a hippie detective--Doc Sportello from Pynchon's *Inherent Vice*--and an autistic child--Christopher Boone in Hadon's *The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time*) among many others. What all of these detectives have on common (other than the fact that they are detectives) is that they are human. Never before have I read about a detective dog until this book, and I found it fun. Of course, Chet (the dog) isn't the only detective in the book. He's partnered with his owner, Bernie, which gives him the opportunity to work as a detective canine because every dog could use a translator. But even though it is Bernie who helps the readers unravel the mystery of the missing girl, it is Chet who discovers where she is and what happened to her even though he cannot explain his discoveries. If I had to compare Bernie and Chet's relationship to another pair in a detective novel, I would say Bernie is the more pugnacious and less calculating version of Holmes and Bret is the more impulsive version of Watson. They rely on each other to get their guy, and Chet is the one who narrates the novel. Although unlike Watson who observes Holmes in the series, Chett is more easily distracted by other things to tell a full background on his onwer. Overall, the novel was a quick and exciting read, and I look forward to reading the next books in the Chet and Bernie Mysteries. ...more
I am torn between wishing that I had read this a month or two ago and feeling relieved that I didn't. I had written a paper on Steinbeck's The GrapesI am torn between wishing that I had read this a month or two ago and feeling relieved that I didn't. I had written a paper on Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath and a lot of the ideas I happened to conjure up were confirmed in this memoir of his, but I'm also glad I decided to wait until after classes were over to read this book while I'm not distracted. Yes, I'm very glad. As much as I wanted to just keep truckin' along, I had to put the book down and give some of his questions some thought. Questions? Yes. Writing this memoir helped him decide what he really learned about America after his journey. Asking questions to yourself not only makes you look like a nut, but it does help formulate answers. But the answers aren't what really is important anyway. Each question he asks gradually builds onto more questions that allows the reader to think about his own experiences through the states.
And now you're thinking: "Wait. I have to think while I'm reading this book? I'm just curious about his opinions of the states. I'm outta here!" No don't go just yet. Sure I make it sound like you're taking a philosophy class on Socrates when you read this book, and in a way Steinbeck is philosophical and thoughtful like Socrates, but if you don't care for that mumbo jumbo, don't let that discourage you from reading Steinbeck's memoir. There are plenty of other things to enjoy including his sense of humor and the situations he comes across. If you don't appreciate his ramblings, I'll admit you will feel like a few chapters are a chore to read, but don't let that stop you. It's well worth reading to the end if at least to hear how he makes it back home....more