Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Dogs in the News--A Good Read

Today's entry is not so much about a specific dog, but a fascinating new dog book. As a writer, I'm always on the lookout for a new dog book. My favorites are still the classic James Herriot books. I just finished Three Dog Life. And now, in the fiction genre, there's The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, by David Wroblewski. Edgar's family breeds unique mixed breed dogs with the desirable traits of intelligence and sense of humor. Edgar is a mute boy who uses a self-taught form of sign language. Edgar's amazing ability to communicate with the dogs is part of what makes this book sing.

A review by Stephen King reads "I flat-out loved The Story of Edgar Sawtelle. In the end, this isn't a novel about dogs or heartland America, it's a novel about the human heart and the mysteries that live there, understood but impossible to articulate..."

Check it out and take this book along on your vacation this summer. You'll be glad you did.


  1. I have not read it yet, but hope to. I believe the author lives here in CO because I saw him on local TV last week, and it seemed to be one of those local guy stories.

  2. Hi Peggy,

    I noticed your mention of THE STORY OF EDGAR SAWTELLE and thought you might be interested in receiving a review copy of another original work of fiction, this one entirely narrated by a labrador (no, it's not the Starbucks book).

    A DOG AMONG DIPLOMATS (April 2008) is the second book in a quirky mystery series by J.F. Englert. The first book, A DOG ABOUT TOWN was published in May 2007, and the third book, A DOG AT SEA, is scheduled for publication in April/May of 2009.

    An overview of the books and excerpts from reviews already in are below. I'd be happy to send you review copies of either or both books if you're interested!


    BULL MOOSE DOG RUN MYSTERY SERIES - A Dog About Town, A Dog Among Diplomats

    In writing this fanciful mystery series, Englert adopts the daring and original conceit of employing a first-person narration by a labrador-cum-detective, Randolph. The first book in the series, A Dog About Town, was recognized with the 2007 fiction award from The Dog Writers Association of America (DWAA).

    Unbeknownst to his owners, Randolph (a black lab) is both sentient and literate--even well-read, spending much of the time that he has to himself at their Upper West Side apartment immersed in books. A year before the first novel opens, Randolph's mistress Imogen disappears without a trace, leaving behind a broken-hearted and mystified boyfriend and dog.

    In A DOG ABOUT TOWN, the object of Randolph's ability to read and to reason turns from private past time to undercover detective work as he gently prods his less-enlightened owner, Harry, toward the answers behind a suspicious death--which also holds clues to Imogen's disappearance. Combining his powers of reasoning with his superior sense of smell (100,000 more powerful than that of humans), he is able to literally sniff out the trail, as well as the guilty parties.

    In A DOG AMONG DIPLOMATS, Randolph dedicates himself to a second murder case—this time one with ties to the U.N. and in which Imogen is implicated as a possible suspect.

    Advance praise for A DOG AMONG DIPLOMATS
    Englert's droll mix of mystery, philosophical musing about man and beast, political doings at the U.N. and the mysteries of love make this an elegant, funny and inspiring romp in the park. - Publishers Weekly

    LibraryThing members on A DOG AMONG DIPLOMATS
    "This book reminded me of two things, both very disconnected: the old-time movie serials where the heroine is always left in utmost peril until the next sequence and P.G. Wodehouse."

    "the writing is sharp and witty"

    "I couldn't help but fall in love with Randolph."

    "a marvelous study of character, especially the dog's, and has some of the funniest writing I've ever read in the genre."

    "Like Wodehouse, [Englert] often throws off phrases that you want to reread just for the sheer pleasure of it."

  3. Thank you Eleanor for the book suggestion. I look forward to reading it.

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Kelly and Ike say thank you for your comments!