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Metzger's Dog
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Group Reads Archive > May 2015 Animal Plays Large Role Group Read: Metzger's Dog by Thomas Perry *Spoilers*

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 Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More) (gatadelafuente) | 4691 comments Mod
Join us for our May group read! I'm sorry the thread is two days late. May got away from me!

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More) (gatadelafuente) | 4691 comments Mod
I've gotten a copy from my library, so I'll join in when I get a chance to read it.

message 3: by Feliks (last edited May 02, 2015 01:01PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) quick definition term to help with Chapter One...

What is Self Propelled Gun Artillery?

Self Propelled Guns are an artillery system that have a main gun mounted on a tracked or wheeled chassis. They are used to support the infantry at range to suppress or destroy enemy infantry and fortifications.

The advantage of an SPG over a towed artillery gun, is protection to the crew, a traversable turret to instantly cover all angles of the battlefield and quick setup, so able to “shoot & scoot”.

message 4: by Sharon (last edited May 04, 2015 05:59PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sharon Michael | 449 comments This has been a long-time favorite of mine, can't even remember how many times I've re-read this but it is always one of my go-to books when I need a lighter view of life.

The characters, human and animal, are wonderful ...

The light-hearted approach to mayhem reminds me just a bit of Westlake's "The Hot Rock" only I do like the characters better. A much different book than Perry's classic "The Butcher's Boy" but both were 5-star reads for me and both have been on my re-read shelves since the first time I read them.

message 5: by Feliks (last edited May 04, 2015 05:54PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) Was this the group that just did a group read of 'Hot Rock'? Couple months ago, and it went over smashingly? Rave reception?

Anyway yes I never thought of it before but Westlake and Perry (in this book) have similar sardonical approaches.

But uhnnng, Sharon I wish you wouldn't reveal the characters to everyone so soon. That's the fun of the first few chapters, letting Perry flesh these weird names out. 'Metzger', what a starts reading the work expecting the usual assortment of thriller characters but slowly a whole other 'fun' dimension is revealed. Its ingenious!

Sorry I know I'm not supposed to nag about spoilers.

Sharon Michael | 449 comments Sorry, guess I'd expected readers to be aware at this point "who' the names belonged to. Will delete that portion of my previous comment.

message 7: by Feliks (last edited May 06, 2015 07:59AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) We should probably ask peeps-at-large.

To wit: How's the read going so far for everybody? Are you diggin' it, err whut? Has Feliks D steered you straight this time, or ...straight into a dead-end?

message 8: by Jim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 789 comments My copy is still on hold at the library. Must be a popular book.

Alison Sumprer | 2 comments Just finished reading this.I'm not sure if I liked it or not. I definitely didn't hate it, but it was not my usual type of book. The animal characters were very enjoyable, though. Hopefully I'll have more to say after I process what I read.

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) Fair enough. At least you stuck with it. And yes there is a 'downbeat' element, if that is what affected you..

message 11: by Feliks (last edited May 09, 2015 10:16PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) "The report says it doesn't take a hundred guys. It says they can do the main part of it with a handful."
Immelman said to Kepler: "You can tell that Chinese Gordon is not yet satisfied with the behavior of our public servants."
"He's disappointed."
"He doesn't seem prepared to accept the limitation Fate has placed on him."

p. 204

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More) (gatadelafuente) | 4691 comments Mod
Will be starting it this week.

message 13: by Eileen (new)

Eileen I'm on chapter nine. Not sure what I think yet. I am enjoying it so far.

message 14: by Lisa P, My weekend is all booked up! (new)

Lisa P | 1965 comments Mod
Sorry guys, this one just doesn't catch my interest. I'm going to pass on this one. Still looking forward to hearing what you all think about it though.

message 15: by Feliks (last edited May 10, 2015 07:49PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) Picking it up off my shelf last night I was surprised to see how short a read it is. Ah well. A relief to those who aren't taken with it and something to mildly rue for those who dig it...better than a 1,300 page juggernaut, either way..

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More) (gatadelafuente) | 4691 comments Mod
Started this today. Dr. Henry Metzger is a character. I think Perry is a cat-fancier. :)

message 17: by Feliks (last edited May 12, 2015 06:53PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) hurrah!

I like the way Perry --and the characters in the book-- habitually use the full name 'Doctor Henry Metzger' when referring to him. As if the cat would be affronted to hear some more convenient abbreviation or nickname used. Who labels a cat with a name like that, anyway? Ha!

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More) (gatadelafuente) | 4691 comments Mod
I see a lot of cats with pretty awesome names (due to my job). I love finding out why pets have the names they get. It's always a fun story. :)

Sharon Michael | 449 comments Feliks wrote: "Who labels a cat with a name like that, anyway? Ha!

Oddly enough, my grandfather, a lifetime cowboy/rancher and to all appearances with very little sense of humor, had a big black tomcat when I was a child that had some definite similarities to Metzger. His full name, which my grandfather used when the cat was in trouble, was 'Thomas Henry David Copperfield'. Why the name, I have no clue now, but I do remember the name being used when they were discussing just which one of them was going to get the seat directly behind the potbellied coal stove in midwinter in MT.

message 20: by Feliks (last edited May 12, 2015 07:13PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) Aye, I hear you all. TS Eliot gave us the low-down on cat-names, yup.

Montana huh? Are you familiar with the heart-warming works of Ivan Doig? Sounds like y'oughta be. Good, clean, fun; hearty laughs, and Montana culture in spades

English Creek by Ivan Doig Dancing at the Rascal Fair by Ivan Doig

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More) (gatadelafuente) | 4691 comments Mod
I finished this today. I liked it a lot.

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) Yay! Attagirl!

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) y'know, how Metzger buffaloed that savage hound reminds me of a great short-story called 'A Shipment of Mute Fate'. Tip: it involves deadly snakes.

If you're into audio, this is 29 minutes of exquisitely-drawn out tension. Easily found free, on the net. The version with John Lund is best.

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More) (gatadelafuente) | 4691 comments Mod
I was really impressed with how Perry conveys so much imagery without being wordy.

Favorite characters? Doctor Henry Metzger and Margaret. Chinese wasn't bad either. and the dog, of course.

message 25: by Feliks (last edited May 20, 2015 07:31AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) Pretty hip little romance between that couple eh? Margaret and Chinese? I liked their dialog together.

Me, I thought the background cast-of-characters was hilarious. Gordon's ex-Marine buddies: one of whom constantly breaks into karaoke to flavor his remarks (while the rest of them sit there, rolling their eyes)

By the way, using 'gridlock' to seize up a highway system of course is the plot of 'The Italian Job' (Michael Caine movie) and also is the plot of one of William Marshall's 'YellowThread Street' mysteries.

Oh also: the 'Porterfield' character. I thought he handled his job pretty well. It wasn't an easy task dumped on him. Pretty cool dude.

Thomas Perry is definitely a stylist in the genre. FYI, his 'Butcher's Boy' has the same deftness but moves much, much faster and more frantically.

message 26: by Eileen (new)

Eileen I finished. The dialog between Margaret and Chinese was my favorite part of the book. I really enjoyed the book

message 27: by Feliks (last edited May 20, 2015 07:50AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) Right on!

Y'know when I first read it I didn't grasp why there were pets in the story at all, or even the reason behind the book title. I'm not a pet-fancier as you know. Only much, much, later did it dawn on me (Metzger controlling the much-larger, much-more-powerful hound is what Chinese had to learn how to do towards the CIA). So nifty!

p.s. lol at Margaret: 'Chinese, you only have brown clothes in your entire wardrobe'

message 28: by Jim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jim (jimmaclachlan) | 789 comments Great pick for a group read. I loved the dialog & description, too. Dr. Henry Metzger wagged his world the way Chinese did his & Porterfield did his. It was a neat progression that had me rooting for each one. A lot of similarities between them. Each was very low-key unless action was called for & then they acted to finish the situation.

I posted my 4 star review here:

 Danielle The Book Huntress (Wants to Read More) (gatadelafuente) | 4691 comments Mod
Jim, your review was on point.

I liked the conversation about why Chinese puts so much pepper in his food. Again, I say Perry is an animal lover. He understands the human/animal household dynamic.

Porterfield was a suprisingly layered character. He was The Man, but he wasn't really as much The Man as he seemed.

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