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message 1: by Deb (last edited Feb 15, 2011 02:39PM) (new)

Deb (debs913) Books with dogs as major characters. The dogs should be dogs, not cutsie people in furry coats. Spencer Quinn's Chet & Bernie mystery series was good--Chet told the story, but he thought and acted like a dog. Also have enjoyed Susan Conant, Carol Lee Benjamin, and some of Donald McCaig.

Stories about dogs are good. Mysteries, thrillers, fiction, science fiction, fantasy all work for me. I don't like short stories--novel length only.

I don't like sappy, rescue dog stories. I do like stories about purebred dogs doing the kind of work they were bred for (e.g.Kelpies or Border collies herding, German Shepherd dogs guarding, hunting dogs).


message 2: by Christine (last edited Feb 15, 2011 02:55PM) (new)

Christine (chrisarrow) You should check out Albert Payson Terhune. He bred collies in NJ and wrote several books about them. The most famous being Lad: A Dog, but several of them are good and most of his stories are best in "truth". He also wrote some purely fictional stories. His dogs tend to be noble, but they are no cutsie people in furry coats. They were bred as show dogs, so most of the stories don't have collies herding; however, some of his dogs did have jobs (one was a messenger dog in WW I), and one of his fictional stories is about ranch dog.

There is also The Plague Dogs which is quasi rescue, about two dogs who were sent to a lab.

Anything by James Herriot.

There is also Thor which is about a German Shepard. He knows that the new addition to the family (an uncle) is a werewolf, but can't tell anyone because he is a dog. Thor acts like a dog; he doesn't use the term werewolf. It is a very good book of a dog being a dog.

There is a Baree and Kazan.

There is also The Gates where a secondary character is a dog, who acts like a dog.

Also Bride of the Rat God. Yeah, yeah I know what it sounds like. But I never liked Pekingese until I read it. It's set during the 1920s and about a Hollywood Starlet who is, in part, saved by her dogs.

Have you read Jack London's two famous dog books?


message 3: by Deb (new)

Deb (debs913) Ooo..some good ones. I've read Terhune, Herriot, and London. Thor, The Gates and Rat God look fab...thanks!


message 4: by Christine (new)

Christine (chrisarrow) BTW - is just dogs or would foxes and wolves do? There is also Franz : A Dog of the Police which is what it says. It is more YA than adult, though.


message 5: by Josh (new)

Josh | 7 comments I second The Plague Dogs. It's really depressing though.


message 6: by karen, future RA queen (new)

karen (karenbrissette) | 1315 comments Mod
oh!! Heroic Measures: A Novel

this is an excellent book. it takes place in the months following 9/11 in manhattan, when things were still tender, and there was a very strong feeling of apprehension and fear that something else big could happen at any minute, and that is underneath all the rest of the action in the novel. but the main plot is all about an elderly couple trying to take their dog to the emergency room, running into all kinds of obstacles because of a potential "situation" tying up traffic. there is a little bit of dog POV, but it is done perfectly. i do not do cutesy dog stories, and this book stunned me with how emotional it made me. also funny in places - just a great read.


message 7: by Brian R. (new)

Brian R. Mcdonald The Plague Dogs is a great suggestion. It isn't exactly what the original poster was looking for, but it is so well written that it is a great read.


message 8: by Mariel (new)

Mariel (fuchsiagroan) The 101 Dalmatians is a different animal than the movie, very much mind of dogs as society and not like people.

Straydog
I loved this 'cause it was about respecting animals as their own "people".


message 9: by Pulkit (new)

Pulkit (pkpkpk) Have you read The Art of Racing in the Rain I haven't read it but it seems just the kind of book you want and has also received great reviews.


message 10: by Mir (new)

Mir | 191 comments Martha Grimes' mysteries often features dogs. I think pretty much all of them except the trilogy that is Hotel Paradise, Cold Flat Junction, and Belle Ruin.


message 11: by Lori (new)

Lori | 4 comments The Story of Edgar Sawtelle is a touching book that shows a lot, to me, about the human/animal connection. It was beautifully written, long, detailed. I also read The Art of Racing in the Rain and was glad I read it, but it was more simplified. The Dogs of Babel was good and also showed a beautiful connection, but had some really disturbing parts about animal abuse/research that I had to skip.


message 12: by Trish (new)

Trish (bowedbookshelf) What about One Good Dog by Susan Wilson. Tells of an ex-financial consultant, meeting a pet-store owner. The dog is there but is firmly dog-like.


message 13: by Trish (new)

Trish (bowedbookshelf) J.R. Ackerley's My Dog Tulip is considered a classic of its type. A good review of the book was recently published in The New Yorker, Feb 7, 2011 edition.


message 14: by Janene (new)

Janene (janene_marie) | 12 comments Have you read Now & Then by Jacqueline Sheehan? It involves an Irish Wolfhound & Time Travel. Liked it alot.


message 15: by karen, future RA queen (new)

karen (karenbrissette) | 1315 comments Mod
here is another one: Rose in a Storm. this man has written several nonfiction books about dogs, and the copy on this one says that he consulted with a bunch of animal behavioralists to make this as close to being from a "real" dog's perspective as possible. it is about a working farm dog; looks like it has some sheep-herding bits in it, the way you like. this may become a series, but right now it is the only one.


message 16: by Brian R. (new)

Brian R. Mcdonald You might want to check the reviews [both positive and negative] of Sight Hound. I enjoyed it immensely but I'm not sure whether the story of a dying Irish Wolfhound and the people, including his vet, who love him cuts too close to the "sappy dog rescue" genre you wish to avoid.


message 17: by Jasmine (new)

Jasmine | 455 comments The Labrador Pact: A Novel is narrated by a dog. but he might be an abnormally smart dog. I haven't actually read it.


message 18: by Deb (new)

Deb (debs913) Just got Sight Hound from the library-I love Irish Wolfhounds, so couldn't resist, even if it is border line sappy ;). Also just read Berkeley Breathed's Flawed Dogs: The Shocking Raid on Westminster which was a hoot, for you dog book lovers. I've read John Katz's books, Flush, and Sawtelle, but will definitely check out Tulip and Now & Then. Thanks everyone for the great recommendations!


message 19: by karen, future RA queen (new)

karen (karenbrissette) | 1315 comments Mod
here is another one!! Niki: The Story of a Dog

it is a NYRB title, so i doubt it is overly sappy. the back claims it is "the story if niki, an ordinary dog, and the ancsas, a no less ordinary couple...an extraordinarily touching, utterly unsentimental, parable about caring, kindness, and the endurance of love"


sounds like it would be perfect for you!


message 20: by Susie (new)

Susie | 33 comments Ha! I was just looking to post a query on this same subject. Months ago I read W. Bruce Cameron's A Dog's Purpose. It's a really wonderful, well-written story about a dog's life from the perspective of a dog. Interestingly enough, the dog actually dies only to come back to life as another dog. This happens a few times throughout the book. I do have to say that it is sappy at times, but it's a justifiable sappiness if that makes any sense. To give you an idea of how much I loved the book, I wanted to go and buy copies for my dog-loving friends afterwards.


message 21: by karen, future RA queen (new)

karen (karenbrissette) | 1315 comments Mod
oh, man, i forgot about this thread. i just finished Faithful Ruslan, and it was an amazing dog book. dog POV, but nothing at all cutesy-pie. ruslan is a dog formerly used to guard prisoners in one of stalin's prison camps, but after kruschev broke up the camps, the dogs were set free and moved into the surrounding forests and towns. so it is about him, still in prison-guard mindset, moving into the larger world, not understanding that the rules of the prison do not translate into the larger world. i'm not gonna lie, it is sad, but in no way "sappy." and he is indeed a purebred working dog. highly recommended.


message 22: by Joel (new)

Joel (joelevard) | 15 comments Watchers by Dean Koontz is a great sci-fi/horror/thriller about a dog. Koontz actually has a lot of great dogs -- Dragon Tears has some dog POV chapters -- but Watchers is the best.


message 23: by Cynthia (new)

Cynthia Paschen | 6 comments Love Jon Katz' stories about Orson, the border collie.


message 24: by Nikkie (new)

Nikkie | 19 comments Kinda sappy but a good read The Story of Edgar Sawtelle


message 25: by karen, future RA queen (new)

karen (karenbrissette) | 1315 comments Mod
yeah, watchers is a seriously good book. i loved it when i was going through my koontz phase in my early teens. some of his books are weak, but i think that one is probably still really good - i mist have read it thirty times.


message 26: by karen, future RA queen (new)

karen (karenbrissette) | 1315 comments Mod
did you try any other books from this list?


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