I marked this book as "read" because I did, after all, read it while I was writing it.
Of all the challenges I've set for myself as an author, writingI marked this book as "read" because I did, after all, read it while I was writing it.
Of all the challenges I've set for myself as an author, writing from a dog's point of view is probably the most difficult. I am often criticized for using simple, plain descriptions, as if a dog would write something like "To thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, thou canst not then be false to any man." (That's from William Shakespeare. He's more famous than I am.)
So okay, A Dog's Way Home is written from the simple, innocent, joyous and honest viewpoint of a dog. The dog's name is Bella--this is told from the perspective of a female dog, which if not unique is certainly a rarity. At any rate, due to BDL (Breed Discriminatory Legislation) Bella is labeled a pit bull and forced to leave Denver, CO.
Notice I said "labeled." That's how the statue is written--if three ACOs (Animal Control Officers) say "yep, that's a pit," then by the law it's a pit bull. In theory they could say this about a poodle, and that's that. The animals get chipped and if they're ever picked up again, the dogs are euthanized.
That's why the dog on the cover of the book is only part pit bull.
Bella is taken hundreds of miles away and doesn't understand why. She needs to be with her person. When the opportunity presents itself, she escapes and starts heading home, a multi-year journey through the Rocky Mountain wilderness.
It's an adventure story, but because we're living in the mind of this special dog, it's told with love and even spirituality. As is true of the A Dog's Purpose series, this is a novel that was written for adults but contains nothing that I would be hesitant to let a middle schooler read.
Some who have read it have called it my best book yet.
This book is so suspenseful there were literally times when I had to put it down and take a break. Andrew Gross is one of our best thriller writers anThis book is so suspenseful there were literally times when I had to put it down and take a break. Andrew Gross is one of our best thriller writers and here he deftly brings in historical facts and such a plausible story line that I kept wondering if it were all true. The characters are full and alive and the plot moves and you just can't see what's around the corner. Thoroughly recommend this novel....more
I suppose it is a bit ridiculous for me to review a novel that I wrote, but I did, in the process, read the thing, and I have a few thoughts.
First, thI suppose it is a bit ridiculous for me to review a novel that I wrote, but I did, in the process, read the thing, and I have a few thoughts.
First, the author seems to be losing his hair. In compensation, he's growing it longer and sort of swirling it around on his head, which looks ridiculous.
Second, while I would hand A Dog's Purpose to any child, even newborns, I wouldn't do that with The Dog Master. This is an epic, sweeping tale of a pivotal point in human history: the first domesticated wolf. In other words, the first dog. As such it takes place during a brutal time, even worse than middle school: the paleolithic. This is a time before written language, so instead of forcing a child to write "I will not talk in class" on the whiteboard 100 times, the teacher probably just hit the kid with a rock.
There is lust, violence, hunting, betrayal, murder, privation, and infection in The Dog Master, because these were things the people had to deal with every day. I could not write a "child safe" novel and address such topics. Though oddly the language is pretty PG: using modern four letter words would have seemed pretty ridiculous.
I spent many months doing research and losing hair as I prepared to write The Dog Master, and the result is, I think, my best effort yet. If you loved A Dog's Purpose, I don't think I will be spoiling the plot for you if I tell you that some of my new novel is written from the perspective of the wolves who eventually threw their lot in with humans. If you felt as if I got into the canine brain with A Dog's Purpose, in other words, you will not be disappointed with The Dog Master. ...more