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Wednesday, 09 March, 2011

Best Dog Novel?
(with comments)

Let's say somebody wanted to read a good novel that featured one or more dogs?

What would you recommend?

dog reading

Permalink | Posted in Books |

- Reader Comments -

Following are comments in response to this item.
The most recent comment is at the bottom.

  1. By rahntwo. Comment posted 09-Mar-2011 @05:19pm:
    A boy and his dog. Harlen Ellison
  2. By sekirt. Comment posted 09-Mar-2011 @05:32pm:
    Amazon.com: RED (9780747214670): Jack Ketchum: Books:

    I saw the movie, thought it was good. Seems the book should be good, also?
  3. By countrydave. Comment posted 09-Mar-2011 @05:32pm:
    Travels With Charlie by John Steinbeck. (I read somewhere that his son said the book should be read as fiction since his father was too much of an introvert to go out and seek interaction with strangers wherever he stopped)
  4. By Gee.... Comment posted 09-Mar-2011 @05:44pm:
    Plague Dogs by Richard Adams
  5. By Andie. Comment posted 09-Mar-2011 @05:45pm:
    Call of the Wild/White Fang/To Build a Fire - Jack London
  6. By Melissa. Comment posted 09-Mar-2011 @05:46pm:
  7. By Curtis. Comment posted 09-Mar-2011 @06:05pm:
    Heart of a Dog by Mikhail Bulgakov

    But if you've never read the Jack London stuff - read it.
  8. By Brian. Comment posted 09-Mar-2011 @06:06pm:
    Call of the wild for me but Travels with Charlie was a good second.
  9. By stephanie. Comment posted 09-Mar-2011 @06:19pm:
  10. By Mean Jean. Comment posted 09-Mar-2011 @06:20pm:
    Every Night Josephine
  11. By Gordo. Comment posted 09-Mar-2011 @06:25pm:
    I'd have to agree wholeheartedly with Melissa in the post above. Those are without a doubt the best "dog stories" that I've ever read. I'd place Stein's "Art of Racing in the Rain" as no.1. "The Story of Edgar Sawtelle" is much darker and might be seen as disturbing by some readers. As a teenager my family raised Golden Retrievers and spent lots of time mucking out kennels and obedience training a good number of dogs. I easily identified with some aspects of Wroblewski's realities. On a lighter note, those liking good nature stories would enjoy "My family and Other Animals" by Gerald Durrell; a story of a young budding naturalist and his hilariously dysfunctional family. And yeah!! Jack London!
  12. By Mean Jean. Comment posted 09-Mar-2011 @06:25pm:
    A Dog of Flanders
  13. By Curtis. Comment posted 09-Mar-2011 @06:26pm:
    And not exactly a dog book, but an amzing novel about Canis lupus and the Chinese cultural revolution, Wolf Totem. I loved this book.
  14. By meg_mac. Comment posted 09-Mar-2011 @06:30pm:
    Marley and Me... John Grogan
  15. By meg_mac. Comment posted 09-Mar-2011 @06:32pm:
    scratch that. Not a novel.
  16. By Bisbonian. Comment posted 09-Mar-2011 @06:47pm:
    Never Cry Wolf -- Farley Mowatt. Or anything by Jack London.
  17. By Toad. Comment posted 09-Mar-2011 @06:48pm:
    I was just about to post Never Cry Wolf. It's not a novel, though.

    Another vote for Heart of a Dog.
  18. By Madawinnie. Comment posted 09-Mar-2011 @06:49pm:
    Where the Red Fern Grows. without a doubt
  19. By BdgBill. Comment posted 09-Mar-2011 @06:57pm:
    "The Art of Racing in the Rain" was incredible.

    Honorable mention to "Beautiful Joe" by Margaret Marshall Saunders (written in 1893) and "The Watchers" by Dean Koontz.
  20. By Curtis. Comment posted 09-Mar-2011 @07:05pm:
    Hey Toad! Howz the Kindle experience for you?
  21. By Toad. Comment posted 09-Mar-2011 @07:08pm:
    I really like it, Curtis. The DX is a little bigger (and, I assume, a little heavier) than the standard Kindle, but I have no problem holding it over my head for long periods when reading in bed. Two thumbs up!

    (and muchos gracias for the book, amigo)
  22. By J-Walk. Comment posted 09-Mar-2011 @07:21pm:
    (and muchos gracias for the book, amigo)

    What did he send you? Something in Spanish?

    Curtis is a great Kindle book gifter! Everyone who owns a Kindle should "friend" him.
  23. By Don Coyote. Comment posted 09-Mar-2011 @07:33pm:
    Edgar Sawtelle was a dog of a novel. I recommend not reading it.
  24. By Steve. Comment posted 09-Mar-2011 @07:39pm:
  25. By Bisbonian. Comment posted 09-Mar-2011 @07:39pm:
    I was just about to post Never Cry Wolf. It's not a novel, though.

    I agree, and Mowatt would agree, but some critics insisted that it was.
  26. By J-Walk. Comment posted 09-Mar-2011 @07:40pm:
    Edgar Sawtell was a great novel. I recommended reading it. Who are you gonna believe, me or a coyote?
  27. By mmmark. Comment posted 09-Mar-2011 @08:14pm:
    "Where The Red Fern Grows" of course; I've already made public my love for that book.

    But "Hotel New Hampshire" also has a dog in it. A good book.

    Also: "Old Yeller" if you haven't read it yet. A very quick read and written in a straightforward, spare style.

    And "Sounder".

    There's also "Hound Of The Baskervilles." For a while I was on a Sherlock Holmes kick and read almost every one.
  28. By chazunga. Comment posted 09-Mar-2011 @08:18pm:
    The Bear -- William Faulkner
    Die Like A Dog -- Rex Stout
    Tiger The Lurp Dog -- Kenn Miller
  29. By exp_err. Comment posted 09-Mar-2011 @08:32pm:
    "Three men in a boat (to say nothing of the dog)". Jerome K. Jerome. A good read, and out of copyright, too.
  30. By Scott Milzer. Comment posted 09-Mar-2011 @08:34pm:
    The Dog of the South
    by Charles Portis.

    I know, I know: but technically, there is a real dog referenced in this great American novel.
  31. By InjunJoe. Comment posted 09-Mar-2011 @08:34pm:
    Last of the Dogmen.

    Not a novel, but a great movie.
  32. By concertinist. Comment posted 09-Mar-2011 @08:37pm:
    I'll second Wolf Totem, as recommended by Curtis - a fine read.

    On the very light side, Winterdance, by Gary Paulsen has many highly enjoyable sections.
  33. By Ingemar. Comment posted 09-Mar-2011 @08:46pm:
    My Life as a Dog by Reidar J├Ânsson.
  34. By Don Coyote. Comment posted 09-Mar-2011 @08:49pm:
    "Edgar Sawtell was a great novel. I recommended reading it."

    You sure did. That's why I read it. I even finished it. Our dogs didn't care for it either, though, because it startled them when I hurled the book across the room after the last page. I had never winged a book before in my life. We have a wood/electric furnace and, fortunately, the wood fire was going so I then burned Edgar Sawtelle. Those were pretty pricey BTUs compared to pine firewood. If I saved someone else from reading my copy of Edgar Sawtelle, it was worth it.
  35. By Curtis. Comment posted 09-Mar-2011 @09:02pm:
    When my literary picks get seconded by the likes of Toad and concertinist, I feel justified. Thanky, fellers.
  36. By Lorence. Comment posted 09-Mar-2011 @09:07pm:
    Ah, dogs and books.

    As you all know, outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend.
    Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.
  37. By Curtis. Comment posted 09-Mar-2011 @09:14pm:
    The Coyote understands Dog - it's essence and true nature, deeply. People who have a working dog (that is, a partner in doing a job of work), know more about the canine soul than everyday pet owners. I take it this hurled and scourged work of fiction must have rung with peals of falsity.

    I remember the bluesman John Hammond Jr. who often had a fine old lab hound at his feet wherever he performed. Might he toss that book as well?
  38. By meg_mac. Comment posted 09-Mar-2011 @09:16pm:
    I was emotionally traumaitized by The Story Edgar Sawtell.
    So I can't really recommend it.
  39. By Curtis. Comment posted 09-Mar-2011 @09:16pm:
    Thanks for the Groucho.
  40. By Bisbonian. Comment posted 09-Mar-2011 @09:27pm:
    It's a Dog's Life, Charlie Brown -- Charles Schulz
  41. By Don Coyote. Comment posted 09-Mar-2011 @09:58pm:
    "...this hurled and scourged work of fiction must have rung with peals of falsity."

    Let's just say there was no hump--or rump--of quivering authenticity.
  42. By Wendy!. Comment posted 09-Mar-2011 @11:25pm:
    Clearly Madawinnie was raised with literary discernment. All Dog novels are a distant second to Where The Red Fern Grows.
  43. By Keith. Comment posted 10-Mar-2011 @03:12am:
    Tales of the bone Ranger.
  44. By Ike. Comment posted 10-Mar-2011 @03:48am:
    Dog Years by Gunther Grass
  45. By Dr. Spammy. Comment posted 10-Mar-2011 @05:52am:
    Roseanne Barr's Autobiography
  46. By Gordo. Comment posted 10-Mar-2011 @06:36am:
    The best of the best has to be Lassie Come Home, by Eric Knight. If you can read that without short circuiting your Kindle with salty tears, you're a man of hardier mettle than I.
  47. By Gafarmer. Comment posted 10-Mar-2011 @06:44am:
    So lets do dog songs next
  48. By andrew. Comment posted 10-Mar-2011 @07:05am:
    Probably not for this audience, but when I was a kid I loved the books by Jim Kjelgaard. He wrote tons of dog books. Not many people I talk to have heard of him though. Here are some:
    Big Red (1945)
    Snow Dog (1948)
    A Nose for Trouble (1949)
    Irish Red, Son of Big Red (1951)
    Fire-hunter (1951)
    Trailing Trouble (1952)
    Lion Hound (1955)
    Desert Dog (1956)
    Stormy (1959)
    The Duck-footed Hound (1960)
  49. By ...pat.. Comment posted 10-Mar-2011 @07:25am:
    @ Bisbonian Another Farley Mowat pick: I think I read it when I was about 10... The Dog Who Wouldn't Be.
  50. By oooooops. Comment posted 10-Mar-2011 @07:27am:
    I just finished reading Cormac by Sonny Brewer. It was good quick, happy read about the author & his dog.
  51. By Jared. Comment posted 10-Mar-2011 @07:41am:
    Anything by Dean Koontz. I think federal law prohibits him from writing any book that does not contain a super intelligent Golden Retriever (teleportation abilities are optional).
  52. By Evil Klown. Comment posted 10-Mar-2011 @08:19am:
    "Rescuing Sprite" by Mark Levin.
  53. By Gee.... Comment posted 10-Mar-2011 @08:48am:
    I had forgotten about The Watchers!
    GOOD book!
  54. By Curtis. Comment posted 10-Mar-2011 @08:57am:
    Probably not for this audience, but when I was a kid I loved the books by Jim Kjelgaard.

    My God! I'd forgotten all those. I loved reading them (Snow Dog, esp) when I was a wee laddybuck.
  55. By Jo. Comment posted 10-Mar-2011 @09:15am:
    If you're going to open it up to the younger-audience fare, "The Incredible Journey" by Shirley Burnford is the best.
  56. By OneOfTheNoseless. Comment posted 10-Mar-2011 @09:19am:
    Best dog poem (notice the meter):

    The Song of Quoodle by G.K.Chesterton

    They haven't got no noses,
    The fallen sons of Eve;
    Even the smell of roses
    Is not what they supposes;
    But more than mind discloses
    And more than men believe.

    They haven't got no noses,
    They cannot even tell
    When door and darkness closes
    The park a Jew encloses,
    Where even the law of Moses
    Will let you steal a smell.

    The brilliant smell of water,
    The brave smell of a stone,
    The smell of dew and thunder,
    The old bones buried under,
    Are things in which they blunder
    And err, if left alone.

    The wind from winter forests,
    The scent of scentless flowers,
    The breath of brides' adorning,
    The smell of snare and warning,
    The smell of Sunday morning,
    God gave to us for ours

    And Quoodle here discloses
    All things that Quoodle can,
    They haven't got no noses,
    They haven't got no noses,
    And goodness only knowses
    The Noselessness of Man.
  57. By Neil. Comment posted 10-Mar-2011 @09:55am:
    "To Say Nothing of the Dog" by Connie Willis.

    This has it all, Mystery, Victorian Romance, Comedy, and ever time travel (to say nothing of the dog).

    They even meet the characters from "Three men in a boat (to say nothing of the dog)"by Jerome K. Jerome, which is recommended in comment 29!

  58. By Tino. Comment posted 10-Mar-2011 @10:27am:
    "That dog will never hunt" John Pappas short stories,
    a couple of good ones among them
  59. By meg_mac. Comment posted 10-Mar-2011 @10:32am:
    I must have been too busy ready Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys.
  60. By LJW. Comment posted 10-Mar-2011 @11:16am:
    Shilo. No dogs die in it. A boy finds and saves an abused Beagle (how could I not like this). I pretty much avoid reading books about dogs (or any pet) because 99% of the time they all end with the pet dying and I don't need that.
  61. By NoHelp. Comment posted 10-Mar-2011 @11:20am:
    Lad: A Dog

    Read about it here.
  62. By damich. Comment posted 10-Mar-2011 @11:40am:
    Where the Red Fern Grows...my 11yo son was looking for a book to read recently and I went and found my copy from childhood.
  63. By chazunga. Comment posted 10-Mar-2011 @03:15pm:
    I have to disagree with all of you. The Bear is the #1 best dog story ; better even than Jack London.
  64. By Shari Mickle. Comment posted 10-Mar-2011 @03:26pm:
    Dogs and Goddesses by Jennifer Crusie, Lani Diane Rich, and Anne Stuart.
    If you like dogs and romance novels, many of Jennifer Crusie's books feature dogs. I'm a big fan, myself.
  65. By newzealander. Comment posted 10-Mar-2011 @04:40pm:
    For children or young adults my vote goes to "The Dog in My Life" by Kurt Unkelbach. Possibly my favourite book as a child, I reread it a number of times. I think I still have it somewhere (35 years later!)

    For adults, I'm with "Three Men and a Boat" mentioned above. Laugh out loud funny.
  66. By Kaleberg. Comment posted 11-Mar-2011 @07:55pm:
    How about Bob, Son of Battle, by Olivant. Just download it. It's a ripping yarn.
  67. By Average Jane. Comment posted 12-Mar-2011 @09:31am:
    I like the Chet and Bernie series by Spencer Quinn. The first one is called "Dog On It." They're mystery novels written from the point of view of the dog (Chet).
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