Jane Stewart's Reviews > One Good Dog

One Good Dog by Susan  Wilson
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bookshelves: mens-fiction, dog-fiction

3 ½ stars. An angry man changes his life to one with less anger. The dog has a supporting role, not the main part.

I have complaints, but it’s a thoughtful book and above average.

I’ve read a number of books in the women’s fiction genre, but almost none in men’s fiction. This is the latter. It’s about a man with anger and abandonment issues. He is extremely successful in the corporate world and then loses it all due to an angry action. He loses his job, his wife, and his money. He’s now living alone in a cheap apartment, with no job, and miserable. A judge sentenced him to twenty hours a week serving food to the homeless. By the end of the book he changes his attitude and other things. He has more forgiveness and humility in his life. And it’s a better life.

The dog is a secondary part of the story. I had just finished reading a fabulous true story about a dog before reading this. (The Dog Who Could Fly by D. Lewis) So I was a little disappointed with the dog part of this story. I wanted more man-dog relationship. The dog and man don’t meet until almost half way through the book. This story was less about the dog and more about a man with problems.

The dog is a pit bull. He was raised in a cage and trained to fight and kill other dogs. This dog had better people skills than Adam. Even though the dog was never given love or care, somehow he instinctively knew that his doggie smile and calmness would get him better treatment from strange humans.

Something brutal and horrible happened to the dog. That “torture” was the main idea that stayed with me after reading the book. I wish the author had not done that. It totally took away from the story. The dog survived which gave us “the official happy ending” but it was a tear jerker. Not feel good. I was sad because the dog suffered.

The author annoyed me with cliffhangers at the end of scenes or chapters. For example, there is a major problem and then all of a sudden Adam gets a phone call with the answer or resolution. Then the author switches to another scene or topic before coming back and telling us who called and what was said. I don’t like being manipulated that way. I prefer scenes be finished to normal conclusions.

You’ll need to suspend disbelief on this one. The shrewd businessman gets nothing from the portfolio and none of the three houses?

The chapters alternate between Adam’s and the dog’s point of view. Adam chapters are 3rd person. Dog chapters are 1st person. I usually don’t like 1st person, but this worked because it was easy to know whose mind we were in.


Narrative mode: 3rd person Adam, 1st person dog. Unabridged audiobook length: 8 hrs and 23 mins. Swearing language: strong but not often used. Sexual language: none. Number of sex scenes: one briefly referred to after the fact, no details shown. Setting: current day Boston, Massachusetts. Book copyright: 2010. Genre: men’s fiction, dog fiction.
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Reading Progress

Started Reading
August 17, 2014 – Shelved
August 17, 2014 – Shelved as: mens-fiction
August 17, 2014 – Shelved as: dog-fiction
August 17, 2014 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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Kathleen Wow. You really caught all the main points of the story and I was nodding at your personal feedback. I pretty much agree with you. And I expected more of the dog, too, in the first half, yet I found myself unexpectedly drawn into the guy's story. I found his personality change somewhat hard to swallow yet within the bounds of credulity, given his backstory. I liked the portrayal of his relationship with his daughter, from the pits to something more heartwarming. His girlfriend was strong. Quite decent.

So true about the divorce settlement!

Jane Stewart Thanks Kathleen. It wasn't top of the charts, but I'm glad I read it. There was a lot of good stuff in it.

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