I accidentally read another dog book. I had just finished reading Jack London’s Call of the Wild (which stands the test of time as far as stories told from a dog’s point of view), when I picked up The Story of Edgar Sawtelle. I was interested in the mute and miscarriage aspects of the book, not realizing that it also centered on unnaturally wise dogs (unlike my own hounds). I admit that I had also recently read Marley & Me (for the miscarriage aspect, of course) and Garth Stein’s The Art of Racing in the Rain (because Garth is cute a fine writing teacher). The wonderful Mary Guterson’s Gone to the Dogs is on my short stack to read. This is a lot of dog books for someone who doesn’t read dog books.
What strikes me in regards to connections, though, is the huge popularity of Edgar Sawtelle and The Lovely Bones, which both feature an Upstanding Teenager Who Doesn’t Complain About Chores as well as The Ghost Of A Fine Person Wrongfully Killed (and both of these might be one and the same character).
So, for an added chance of penning a bestseller, I must not only feature a character who is The Ghost Of A Fine Person Wrongfully Killed, but make it The Ghost Of A Fine DOG Wrongfully Killed. Maybe throw in a transvestite and base it on Shakespeare.
As far as dog books go, the finest scene I’ve read involving a dog in recent memory is actually from a sailing memoir, in which Janna Cawrse Esarey tries to train her chocolate lab Scout to go potty on her sailboat. If you want a belly laugh, check out The Motion of the Ocean: 1 Small Boat, 2 Average Lovers, and a Woman’s Search for the Meaning of Wife. I’m enjoying it so much that I almost hate to finish it.
And sign me up for an Upstanding Teenager Who Doesn’t Complain About Chores. I want one of those.