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Nop's Trials

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  583 Ratings  ·  86 Reviews
When the sheep dog, Nop, is stolen from Lewis Burkholder's farm and sold to a ruthless dog handler, Lewis struggles to recover his dog.
Title: Nop's Trials
Author: McCraig, Donald
Publisher: Globe Pequot Pr
Publication Date: 2007/07/01
Number of Pages: 328
Binding Type: PAPERBACK
Library of Congress: bl2007025371
Paperback, 336 pages
Published July 1st 2007 by The Lyons Press (first published 1984)
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Aղցela W.
I read this book for a challenge. This was not the type of book that I normally read. On Christmas Day, Virginia livestock farmer Lewis Burkholder and Nop, his black-and-white border collie, go out to feed the sheep. But the holiday is shattered when Nop fails to return home. Lewis did everything he could to find him he refused to believe that his dog was gone. Nop went through a lot of abuse it was sad as a dog owner I would hate to have my pet go through the things that he went through. With t ...more
Aug 29, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Required Reading for Border Collie Owners and pet lovers
I originally read this book soon after acquiring my first border collie. The book is about a young, tremendously talented sheepdog named Nop and his gruff owner, Lewis. When Nop isn't making a big impression on the trial field, he is Lewis' right hand dog when it comes to his sheep. On Christmas morning, Nop disappears and the book is about Lewis's quest to find his dog.

The book is fast moving and gut-wrenching, with beautiful descriptions of the work of these sheepdogs. Even the uninitated she
Space Out With Sci Fi in June The Haunted Reading Room

A warm, endearing, close-to-life story of the lives of a Shenandoah Valley farmer, his wife, adult daughter, and especially hardworking Border Collies, Nop and Stink Dog. The latter once came too close to the livestock and was "stove-up," rendering it unfit for running and herding. But the two dogs unite in relating their interjected portions of this tale, against the author's narrative backdrop.

It's easy to understand how this book became an immediate classic, for its endearing story and valua
May 18, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved Nop! You'll love him, too!
Christie Bane
Sep 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's rare to find any person who has a great understanding of people and a great understanding of dogs. It is even more rare for that person to also be a great writer. But Donald McCaig can do it all -- "get" people and dogs, and tell a damn good story, so good I wanted to immediately go out and read everything he's ever written. This book is about Nop, a young border collie who belongs to Lewis Burkeholder. Lewis is a humble Virginia farmer, soft-spoken, man-of-few-words, guy who does the right ...more
Mary Jane
This is a neat dog story. Nop is a border collie who is a working sheep dog and trial champion. He gets separated from his home/farm and the book tells of his adventures and his owner's search for him. The characters are interesting - both human and canine. Though it's not a gripping read, the pages keep turning. The last few chapters it gets to be "I HAVE to find out what happens!".

The writing wasn't amazing, but not terrible, either. I'd recommend the book to anyone who likes dogs.
Jan 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: animals, fiction
A must-read for any dog lover. And the best part is, there is a sequel!
Sandra Platt
Mar 14, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Sadly, I didn't like this book. I know it's about a dog, but there's terribe violence and I couldn't get very far. I get enough of that in my work.
Dawn Dorsey
Aug 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nop is a working stock dog, a border collie, and this is his story. He is happiest doing the work for which he was bred and trained, and loves his master, Lewis, almost as much as his work. Together they have won several competitions, and together they manage the sheep and cattle on the farm.

On Christmas morning, after feeding the stock, Nop and a visiting puppy go out to stretch their legs, and that's when his trouble starts. A pair of local thugs steal them, and Nop must fight a huge. Norwegi
Carolyn Vandine west
Great books, I read Nop’s hope first not knowing there was another book first.
However that being said I was glad I did, Nop did have lots of trials not the ones I thought they would be.
Since I read the second book first I knew he would persevere but I was so sad at what he went through. Glad it is fiction, I am a huge dog lover and it would be heartbreaking to know it was real. That being said, watch for animal abuse it happens right under our noses.
I volunteer for our local humane Society and
Jane Guyton
Jun 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am not a dog owner (though I do like sheepdog trials) and I loved this book. I wanted to read a book about a part of the country I don't know well, about people living lives very different from my life on a topic about which I know next to nothing. So I bought this book and thoroughly enjoyed it. The story is totally engaging, the characters very well drawn and the writing is lovely. I particularly liked the way the dogs refer to each other as "Thou," although I don't want this comment to make ...more
Feb 14, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not sure why I added Nop's Trials to my Kindle, because I tend to be really picky about the books I read, and it's very much outside my usual/preferred genres. I'm glad I read it, though. It was something different, and McCaig has a laudable understanding of canines. Nop's Trials is a sweet story of one dog's resilience in the face of hard times and one owner's perseverance in getting his dog back. Some readers might be put off by the animal cruelty displayed throughout the novel, but I thou ...more
Feb 13, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sioux-city
I love dogs. I thought by the cover, the book would be similar to a James Herriot book (which I really like!).......but that was not so! The author did a heck of a job of telling this story.....but there is so much graphic violence against animals/dogs in the story.....that it made it a very tough read. All that violence is what prevents me from giving it any more stars, but it probably is what makes the story so compelling? Yikes.
Jeanetta Cooper
May 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love a good dog story and this one about a border collie named Nop WON my heart. I fought when he fought, I trialed when he trialed. Only those that have had a border knows the love and devotion these dogs give and the dedication they have. Had a good cry at the end because I really miss my Meg!
May 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am a sucker for a good dog story, especially about a border collie. Loved this book for all the characters, even the curmudgeonly owner. Although I did want to shake him sometimes, he loved his dog!
Paula McDonald
Jul 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I learned a lot! Great dog; great story; but heartbreaking the seamy side of the dog world. Had no idea. Wonderful tale for older kids who can handle the tough stuff and for adults who love dogs and a good thriller. The fact that it's a little old fashioned added to the charm.
Russell Cornwell
A Favorite!

What a beautiful story. I rate very few novels 5 stars but this book earned it. Once started I had a hard time putting it down. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Jun 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the greatest dog stories ever.
Gwen Menz
Jan 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book had me absolutely sobbing - heart-wrenching
Ken Luchterhand
Oct 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good story. I liked the interaction between man and dog.
Apr 30, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Poignant! The trials of a kidnapped dog and the people who love him and never give up their search for Nop.
Lis Carey
Aug 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dogs, fiction
Nop is a young border collie, happily living the border collie life on a Virginia farm with livestock farmer Lewis Burkholder. On Christmas Day, Nop and a neighbor's dog are let out to play, and don't come back. They've been stolen, and Nop's life has undergone an alarming and disorienting change.

In alternating sections, we follow Nop's struggles to survive in a life much harsher than he has known till now, and Lewis Burkholder's search for his missing dog.

There's dog drama here, and the dogs ar
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 01, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: animals, dogs, fiction
Essentially, this story is to dogs what Black Beauty is to horses. The over-riding theme is that animal suffer much at the hands of humans. It would be unfair to say that it is JUST a Black Beauty copy but it's difficult to not see the parallel.

I did have two issues--one of the characters could best be described as "chaotic evil." Some of his actions make no sense. I get that people often do things against their own self-interest but this man's actions are downright random and you're expected t
Apr 02, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
My aunt gave me this book many years ago when I was in middle school. I don't think she actually read it since (in my opinion) this book is highly inappropriate for children. It is full of foul language, animal abuse, and there are 3 sexual encounters (2 human and one between dogs- none are very graphic but still mature).

I'm honestly not sure why this book is such a treasure to so many people. I almost never stop reading a book once I've started, but this one was painful to finish. The story did
Mar 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
These are lovely but hard to read (your heart will go out to the dog and your disgust will go out to the dognappers). I have always wanted to have a border collie but these books convinced me that these fabulous incredibly smart dogs (Trust me, smarter than you!) are not for folks who don't have things for them to do every day. If not, you'll see as I did, 10 little children rounded up at the local park and "guarded" by 2 border collies. Who could blame the dogs? The children had wandered from t ...more
Nov 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dogs, fiction
This a beautiful book that will appeal not only to dog lovers but to general readers. While always well written, the plot of the novel sometimes falls into the standard lost-hero-dog narrative, as Nop endures one hardship and brutality after the other while waiting to be reunited with his owner. But the chapters that describe the work that men and dogs do together on a farm, and during a sheepdog trial, are simply remarkable. McCaig's descriptions of family and married life are also spot on. A g ...more
Nov 09, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I really gave this book a shot. James Herriot liked it, so how bad could it be? Pretty bad, in my opinion. I have trouble with any book where the author attributes verbal speech to animals (and let's not even mention the sin of allowing hunting dogs to giggle). It has to be done with just the right touch (for example Watership Down). To be fair, I only was able to stick with this book for two chapters, before I got sick of the dogs talking to each other, and using "thou" rather than "you." It c ...more
Ms Sun
Jan 05, 2011 rated it liked it
is a good read, though starts out real s-l-o-w ... one has to really persevere if expects to complete the tale. author got many facts totally incorrect, which, to me, detracts a lot from the tale/ storyline ... at completion, one gathers that he wrote it when obviously dint know about how folks treat one another when living in the sticks nor much about dogs. (the edition that i perused, did not have the dogs talking to each other using "thou" ... so, don't know how folks got that impression) ... ...more
Christine Hilbrand
A very good book.
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Do you thinik that lewis searched for nops as good as he could have 1 1 Feb 15, 2012 11:05AM  
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Donald McCaig is the award-winning author of Jacob’s Ladder designated “the best civil war novel ever written” by The Virginia Quarterly. People magazine raved “Think Gone With the Wind, think Cold Mountain.” It won the Michael Sharra Award for Civil War Fiction and the Library of Virginia Award for Fiction.
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