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The Dog Says How

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  507 Ratings  ·  113 Reviews
Captivating stories of growing up, traveling the world, and relying on the strangeness of others bring Kling fans to their feet and a fresh audience to its knees--bowled over by laughter.
ebook, 224 pages
Published July 1st 2009 by Borealis Books (first published 2007)
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Community Reviews

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Aug 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A delightful collection of autobiographical short stories about both Minnesota and abroad. A mix of tragedy, comedy, and adventure.
Oct 07, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you've ever heard that sing-song Scandinavian lilt so well known in the upper midwest, you'll hear it in Kevin Kling's writing. You'll identify with his endearing and scathingly honest accounts of the culture and the people that make Minnesota so beloved. From the first time I heard him on Minnesota Public Radio and in his narration at the historical A/V presentation at the Mill City Museum in Minneapolis, I knew I liked him. Kling's writing is the type that comes across as conversation with ...more
May 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was fortunate to have been able to attend a play by Kevin Kling while in Seattle recently. It was wonderfully funny, and I was immensely pleased to discover someone else who will admit to getting into a front-loading dryer when a child and have his/her brother watch them go around and around until it was the brother's turn. I am still out-numbered, however. I now have heard of three guys, and me, the lone girl, to have done it. But I know there are others out there. They just won't admit it. T ...more
Feb 25, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
I love *listening* to Kevin Kling, but I'm just not sure his stories hold up as well when written. Without the benefit of Kling's distinctive, warm delivery, the stories' homespun wisdom feels a bit forced and within easy spitting distance of trite cliche. I suspect if I'd taken this in as a book on tape, I might have felt quite a bit differently. I wish I could say I enjoyed this more.
Dec 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed this book. For me, this book had a personal side as well since I went to college with Kevin and was able to connect his childhood life with the person I knew via the short stories in this book. His droll wit most definitely comes through. A delight!
Jul 07, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So funny and fresh. He needs an editor next time to tighten it up.
Becky DeVito
Feb 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I went to the National Storytelling Festival a few years back with my mum and Kevin was a featured storyteller there. These stories are no joke but the way he is able to portray them in such good humor is simply amazing. I couldn't put it down and was laughing till I cried in parts. Excellent portrayal of when life hands you lemons.
Dec 26, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: you!
I saw at the bookstore that Kevin Kling wrote a book, so I asked for it for Christmas. Santa got it for me, and I finished it in a day's time.

Kling's known especially for his storytelling on NPR, but his stories mean more to me because he does his work at Minnesota Public Radio. Kling's stories have to be heard to appreciate their full value. He speaks frantically and with a pace that makes it sound like he's telling you all this at a bar.

The autobiographical essays are full of meaning, and Klin
Mar 04, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book after reading a big article on Kevin Kling in the Mpls. Star Tribune. (Kling is a local storyteller/actor/performer/writer who also tells his stories on National Public Radio, and is a fortunate survivor of a horrific motorcycle accident.) I could connect with so many details, having grown up in Minnesota myself, and having an older brother around Kling's age (early 50's). And my grandparents lived in Osseo, MN (one of the areas Kling lived in/near) when it was still rural.

I la
Jan 07, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kevin Kling is a regional author/artist/performer probably best known outside of Minnesota for his essays for NPR's "All Things Considered." His more-Minnesotan-than-Fargo accent is hard to miss even for those of us who live here, but his writing is as true and universal as any you are likely to come across.

The tone of these essays ranges from gentle humor to aching sadness.

The line from the essay that provides the title for the book is what Kling's computer "voiceware" understood his dog to sa
Tess Mertens-Johnson
Today I left my laptop at home and realized it when I got to work, my brakes squealed and my husband was irritating me.
I got to work, popped in the CD and laughed all day. Kevin Kling if a MN native as I am, but you would not need to be from MN to laugh until you cry.
He writes of growing up, coming of age and makes fun of everything.
He explains the sound of the transmission in the family car “like a piano and a plumber falling down the stairs.” His describes grandmother’s nose whistling sounding
Feb 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After hearing Kevin Kling at the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival, I just HAD to buy his CD. I listened to the unabridged book on CD and it felt like I was back at the festival, under the tent, hearing Kling tell his stories.
Kevin Kling tells autobiographical tales of his growing up years in Minnesota, his adventures, and of living with a disability. In a way, he's like a young Garrison Keillor on hyperdrive. Keillor's deep voice lulls you into complacent relaxed listening, Kling's voice will en
I loved this book and there are some parts of the book that will make you laugh,cry, and that are serious and will make you rally think about life. One of my girlfriends doesn't like the word disabled it makes her really angry and in the last story of Kevin's book he defines disability so, I hope that Amy will appreciate the word disability more and not get angry when she sees the word or some calls her disabled. I highly recommend Kevin's book to people with and without disabilities it makes a ...more
Jun 19, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I saw this book on our library's Book Sizzle e-letter and grabbed it for a quick read. I was not expecting it to be so laugh out loud funny, and at he same time showing such vunerability. Like a few other memoirs/personal essays I've read lately, the authors are my contemporaries and that in and of itself speaks to me, the humor of growing up in the 70's is so easy and tacky that it's impossible to not poke fun at, I mean we're talking a time when burnt orange and avocado green were 'in',and sim ...more
Mar 01, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kling is such a charming storyteller. When he was interviewed for Almanac (Twin Cities public tv) he said that tells his stories for 15 years or so and then he writes them down. I love to hear him tell stories, and I feel fortunate that I know his voice well enough to "hear" him in my head as I'm reading these stories. If you read this book along with Holiday Inn, you'll find some repetition--he retells the story from a slightly different point or uses part of one story as a transition to anothe ...more
Mar 17, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's long training runs time again and so I'm off on a quest to find funny nonfiction audiobooks to make the miles go faster.

This is the first I came upon. I only picked it up because it had the markings of a hilarious listen. And I was not disappointed. I thoroughly enjoyed it, though I didn't get a chance to load it on to my ipod. I listened to it in the car and found myself chuckling along.

It's a compliation of essays written by Kling that testify to the everydayness of everyone's life. He r
On the surface these are simple stories imbued with Kling's sense of story telling—but they are more than easy tales. Kevin Kling was born without a thumb or wrist on one arm and then a horrific motorcycle accident leaves him with a right arm that is paralyzed—leaving him without the use of his arms for any fine motor activity. His short pieces go back and forth between stories taking place before the accident and those after the accident.

While there is much to laugh at, there are stories fille
Jul 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was fortunate enough to come across the 3-CD audio version of Mr. Kling's book, "The Dog Says 'How'" at my local library last week, and it's been my companion on the commute to and from work. It was funny, quirky, a bit "eeeewy" (I'm a "girl" and some of the "boy" stuff was, well, "eeeeew!" ;-) )...and lovely, poignant and genuine. Plus listening to the author read it, with all his nuances and inflections, was absolutely the best way to enjoy each essay. I highly recommend it!
Aug 12, 2010 rated it really liked it
I received this book as a gift from my daughter who lives in the Twin Cities. Lots of things about the book were appealing including an extension off local things about Minneasota which is offered by Garrison Keillor also. I am glad I had time to read it. Kevin combines comic and poignant. It shows insight about the human condition and life in community with others. Kevin has things to say. Short book with short chapters. An easy read.
Apr 30, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

I think he is mesmerizing to listen to. In print it has a different feel. I still found this book poignant (particularly the last chapter) and hilarious to the point of tears here and there. But I have to say that I was a little disappointed over-all. Sometimes hard to hang on to the thread ...and to empathize because the circumstances are so unexpected or crazy. After a while the amusement of it can wear a little thin...predictable.
I first heard of this book after hearing the author interviewed on "On Being" on Minnesota Public Radio. Maybe it's because I grew up in ND and now live in Minnesota, but I found this book hilarious. So many things were clever and downright realistic in regards to the life up here. It was poignant and thought-provoking at the same time, coming from a very interesting man who has a unique perspective on life. I am so glad that I took the time to read this book.
I adore listening to Kevin Kling on NPR/MPR, but I was disappointed at how poorly these essays translated to the page. Kling is an oral story-teller, and I wanted to hear these essays rathe than read them. On paper, the short pieces lack awareness of language and structure that is pervasive in good contemporary creative nonfiction. I must say, though, that this book is an easy, fast read, and might make a good gift for your funny Uncle Milt.
Stan Paulsen
Aug 31, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: youth and adults
A very funny, yet serious and thought provoking book. I recommend reading this after you've seen Kevin Kling telling his own stories so you can picture him while you read. I saw Kevin at the Timpanogos story telling festival in August of 08. What a fabulously funny and extremely talented story teller!
Very quick read, cute short stories. Like David Sedaris, it seems like the author has really lived a lot in a few years. I preferred the stories of him as a child - slightly less introspective and more amusing. I felt like some of the stories stopped short - I needed more character development, or more of an explanation. But overall I liked it.
Jul 13, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Like the Prairie Home Companion except: not funny, and not well-written. Other than that, a treat!!!

I honestly think this guy's stuff sounds better spoken than written. His stories aren't that wild, his conclusions aren't that poignant, and overall I'm left unengaged. But it is a good introduction to the first person storytelling movement which seems to be cropping up all over the place.
Oct 03, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I saw Kevin Kling speak at an event and he was very engaging. If you are interested in the book, definitely listen to the audiobook as he reads it and is very entertaining (if nothing else, you can hear a true Minnesota accent!). The story about the marching band, the parade and the horses was my favorite.
Sep 11, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Goodreads review:
In this wonderfully original collection of autobiographical stories, popular storyteller and NPR commentator Kevin Kling deftly weaves pitch-perfect scenes of childhood antics and adulthood absurdities with themes of overcoming tragedy, forging lifelong friendships, and living with disabilities in a complex world.
Jul 14, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Delightful if you've had the pleasure of hearing Kling speak and I highly recommend that you arrange to hear him if you haven't. He spoke the entire book out loud in my mind as I read. Quirky and endearing.
Some of the chapters are taken from his monologues, but, happily, there are some new stories in the book.
Signed, One of Kling's biggest fans.
Feb 11, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After a terrifying motorcycle accident, Kling learns to use a voice activated computer which interprets his dog's bark as "How"...Kevin is wonderfully wise and funny storyteller. I was laughing and then suddenly feeling like I was going to cry. I loved this book which is really quite spiritually rewarding.
Bryce Holt
Unless 'abject apathy' was the goal, I did not get out of this what I was supposed to. Kling can be funny, no doubt, but the memorable one liners sprinkled in here and there are not worth the deserts you have to cross between them. By the ratings this book has largely received from other reviewers, I am alone in this negative sentiment...but you've got to take a stand sometimes, you know?
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Kevin Kling is a well-known playwright and storyteller, and his commentaries can be heard on NPR’s All Things Considered. His plays and adaptations have been performed around the world. He lives in Minneapolis.

From the author's website.
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“We were talking about my dad, remembering him as vividly as possible as possible because we knew we weren’t going to get any knew memories. We were holding on to the old ones as tightly as we could.” 1 likes
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