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Nose Down, Eyes Up

3.40  ·  Rating details ·  1,013 ratings  ·  192 reviews
At forty-seven, Gil is the world’s oldest twenty-two-year-old man, living in relative contentment with his four dogs, including the alpha, Jimmy. When he stumbles upon Jimmy delivering lectures on canine manipulative techniques to the rest of the dogs in the neighborhood, Gil’s not particularly surprised, and his eyes light up with dollar signs. But their money-making vent ...more
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published December 30th 2008 by Villard (first published 2008)
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Average rating 3.40  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,013 ratings  ·  192 reviews

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Claire M.
Mar 06, 2009 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Erik Tanouye
Bought this new at the Madison Square Garden Borders when they were going out of business.
Lori Whitwam
Jan 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: popular-fiction
If you can suspend your disbelief and accept that Gil can hear dogs talking, you'll enjoy this book.

One day, he hears his dog, Jimmy, giving a class to his three other dogs and dogs from the neighborhood about how to get their people to do what they want, including a session on "edible or inedible."

Jimmy soon discovers, to his horror, that he's not Gil's biological son, and asks to be introduced to his birth mother and siblings, who unfortunately live with Gil's ex-wife and her new husband. (An
Oct 26, 2010 rated it liked it
When Gil stumbles upon his alpha dachshund Jimmy lecturing the neighborhood dogs on canine manipulation techniques, his life is profoundly changed. That is, if you consider Gil's first instinct to exploit his newfound knowledge by starting a pet blog to kick-off the sale of silk-screened T-shirts a profound revelation. The only redeeming quality about 47-year-old, bitterly divorced, layabout Gil is that he understands his dogs far better than the women in his life. If not for the laugh-out-loud ...more
Apr 13, 2009 rated it it was ok
This book had higher reviews on amazon than it should have! It started off extremely amusing when Jimmy began talking to the neighborhood dogs. There was so much potential for canine chaos. But instead, this book became much more about Gil, when it gives the impression that it's going to be just about dogs. Also, the "voices" of the dogs weren't very creative. While I agree that little dogs like Dink probably DO say "I love you I love you I love you," it made her, Fruity and Cheney extremely one ...more
Patricia Ponder
Nov 26, 2017 rated it did not like it
Markoe's female characters, from girlfriends to ex-wives to mothers -- are self-absorbed, annoying, and awful. There are no exceptions, beyond the possible love interest alluded to for the next book. I would be surprised if that one didn't start out with the male protagonist already enumerating her flaws. Since I don't plan to read more of Markoe's books, I will mericifully never know.
Jan 22, 2009 rated it liked it
Fun ideas about what dogs may really be thinking. A fast read probably best saved for vacation.
Feb 03, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Gil was the most infuriating characters that I've ever read about, I love dogs and that is why I find myself picking up a book with dogs in the cover, and then when you read that the main character one day stumbles into his dog delivering lectures to the other dogs of the neighborhood I just figured this was going to be a light silly read, but no no no, this story had no point what so ever, it was just a 47 year old acting like a horny 16 year old!


This dude was the worst! The wor
Jan 26, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: driving-travel
I added this book to my to-read list eons ago and finally got an audio version to listen to as I drove to and from work assignments. I don't remember what originally attracted me to it, probably that one of the major characters was a dog. So, in essence this is a coming of age story, of an adult - figuring out what it means to love, how to negotiate relationships, and how to be an adult, and a little bit of karmic retribution thrown in for fun, along with something of a dog's view of the same. F ...more
This book did make me laugh sometimes. However, upon finishing it, my main thought was that I couldn’t believe an adult female wrote this. The protagonist was such a “typical” brainless adolescent male stuck in a 47-year-old body. I did NOT find that to be the least bit humorous. A man who heedlessly jumps from relationship to relationship and can only think of females in terms of sex. Yeah, not funny... All too common in this world.

I did appreciate the dogs’ thoughts and opinions. However, rea
Ms. Markoe firmly and successfully places a dog's behavior and attitudes within the context of a hugely funny story. Family and relationship dynamics play well. We pity Gil at times, but I think most of all, we identify. Conversations with canines come off as some of the best.
"Beer-thirty," indeed.
Aug 05, 2019 rated it it was ok
I can’t say much because it could lead to spoilers. The main character was the epitome of every bad boyfriend you’ve ever read about. I had to peek at the end to see if he seemed any more likable or I wouldn’t have finished it. Ended up seeing something about the dog that made me keep reading, instead.
Apr 08, 2018 rated it it was ok
Too much crude language
Jane Carlson
Jul 04, 2018 rated it it was ok
The only interesting dialogue were the talking dogs
Aug 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fun summer read!

Light and fluffy for most of it, and excellent tension building. The characters are wonderful! Perfect for people who love dogs.
Dec 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
For everyone who swears their dog knows exactly what they are saying and wishes they could talk to them!
Diana Gard
May 13, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Couldn't get through this - I found it disrespectful and snide with no heart and irritating attitudes about women.
Cute, fun, easy, and sweet little read.
Janice Workman
Oct 05, 2016 rated it it was ok
I didn't identify with any of the characters - not even the dogs! I loved "Turning in Circles", so thought this would be great - but grew tired of the repetitive language, plot and such.
Nose Down, Eyes Up follows the rather hilarious episodes of Gil and his four loyal dogs Cheney, Dink, Fruity, and the alpha, Jimmy. At first, life is pretty good, but when Gil stumbles across Jimmy lecturing other dogs in the nieghborhood on ways to manipulate their humans, things take a turn for the worse. Gil tries to exploit Jimmy and his advice in order to fill his selfish needs; he ruins his relationship with his current girlfriend; and somewhere along the way, Jimmy finds out that not only ...more
Mar 26, 2016 rated it liked it
In his 40s, Gil is a typical single male still trying to live as though in his 20s. His current residence in California belongs to his employer. Gil is in construction. Thanks to his girlfriend, Sara, Gil owns 3 rescued dogs: Dink, Fruity & Cheney. He also has Jimmy, a dog Gil raised from a pup.
Gil begins to hear the dogs talking, particularly Jimmy with whom he's the closest. This is when Jimmy discovers he is adopted and demands to meet his actual family who just happens to live with Gil's ex
Jun 23, 2010 rated it it was ok
I picked this up to read because I enjoyed "The Art of Racing in the Rain" so much. This was not as good but still fairly entertaining. The story involves a handyman, Gil who has four dogs with who he engages in conversations. I got the feeling the conversations were perceived rather than vocalized. Gil is able to read his dogs feelings by their expressions and his intuition. His alpha dog, Jimmy, is pretty wise to human behavior and is teaching the other dogs tricks to get their way , hence, no ...more
Well, this is a rather cute read... but not quite as cute as Markoe’s other book featuring talking dogs, Walking in Circles Before Lying Down. I suppose there are only so many bits of knowledge that you can pass on as realistic and interesting when originating from a dog’s. Although, honestly, it the narrator’s character spoils the book a bit for me. He isn't very sympathetic... and that is also true to some extent for the main dog, Jimmy. I don't know... I really had some high hopes for this bo ...more
Apr 25, 2010 rated it liked it
Wow! This book is so not what I was expecting, but I am still enjoying it. It is a good, easy read; I am still not sure if I liked this book. The book is actually about Gil (A self-confessed 21-year-old trapped in a 42-year-olds body)and how he goes about screwing up his life. He talks to his dog to get advice since his dogs truly are his only creatures left on earth that can actually tolerate him.

I loved the interraction between Gil and his dogs. The author really does hit the nail on the head
Dec 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
Gil is a man who would hardly be called a saint in anyone's book but the road to hell is paved with good intentions right?

This bachelor owner of 4 dogs is aloof when it comes to women but dedicated to his dogs, so much that he can here them talk. But when Gil let's Jimmy (his main pooch) talk him into reuniting him with his birth mother doggy (who is owned by Gil's ex-wife, Eden, Gil's life is on a course for disaster. He ditches is real girlfriend, is roped into getting involved with his ex and
Jan 04, 2010 rated it liked it
Most of the reviews here have mentioned that Gil, the main human character, is kind of an ass. And he is. I can deal with flawed characters if they are believable. Gil is believable, and he at least realizes that he is a jerk, especially where the women in his life are concerned. So while I would never want to hang out with (or god forbid, date) a guy like Gil, I didn't mind spending the duration of this otherwise charming book with him, and of course, his dogs.

Markoe is a skilled observer, espe
Nov 05, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
No spoilers.

I loved this book. Okay, not quite enough to give it five stars, but it was just plain fun. The main human character, a handyman/housesitter, is forced from his home when the owners come back for an extended stay. The main dog character is a motivational speaker who teaches his dog-friends how to manipulate their human owners. But he mistakenly thinks he is part human. When he finds out that the main human character is not his father, he goes on a quest to find his birth family which
Jan 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing
We met Merrill Markoe when she visited the Tattered Cover Bookstore in Denver. You can listen to her talk about "Nose Down, Eyes Up" here:

About this podcast:
Merrill Markoe, the Emmy Award-winning writer and creator of Stupid Pet Tricks, reads from and discusses "Nose Down, Eyes Up," her second fun-loving doggie novel, following "Walking in Circles Before Lying Down." In this hilarious new story, Markoe offers uncanny insight into the bonds between hounds a
Louise Chambers
Sep 08, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: humor, dog-fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 14, 2010 rated it liked it
This was a good book about a guy named Gil, he had 4 dogs. One day he came upon them having a meeting and he could here them all talk. It was about how to get you to let them sleep in your bed, and where to pee and why do they pick up there poop. This was a little strange to me, but the story was very good and it kept me reading. I loved the dog Dink, she was so cute and did not know the difference between in and out so she never knew where to go to the bathroom. It was funny some of the things ...more
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