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review 2018-01-30 06:48
A feel-good story about how when we're lost, all we need is to allow ourselves to be found
One Good Dog - Susan Wilson,Fred Berman,Rick Adamson
The Cat Who Went to Paris - Peter Gethers

A feel-good story about how when we're lost, all we need is to allow ourselves to be found.


Watching Milo and Otis nearly killed me at age 30. I've learned my lesson since, though I did have one unfortunate incident. I asked the recommender about The Cat Who Went to Paris -- possibly my favorite travelling animal read ever -- only to arrive in the station, have some woman glance at my book and tell me Norton the cat had recently passed away. I bawled openly in a taxi, rode to my destination and stayed in bed for the first couple days of my vacation crying and rereading the amazing tales of Norton the-Now-Sainted Cat. I would have remained there, but vacation companions were furious with me. It's not just fictional or written animals. I adopted a hard-core tomcat to whom I constantly apologize. He bites me; I suggest couples therapy.


It was with some trepidation that I asked booklikes' own Audio Book Junkie if this was going to be a "dangerous" animal story. I was warned of dog fighting, though it happens off the page. I dove in anyway. After all, I told myself, I'm an old woman. I've lost not only pets but several very important humans including my partner; I am submersed in the field of abuse, incest, violence and trauma. I'm tough. Hah!


I tell you all of this to say I'm an easy touch. I over-relate to stories with anthropomorphized animals. Critically, this doesn't deserve a great review, but I loved it for exactly what it was. Your mileage will probably vary.


The basics: two lost, clueless, angry, violent, and male beings: one human, one canine. Both has paid the price for his own machismo without realizing how much it has cost. Worlds collide; redemption is possible. ~fin~


There are some nice caveats added to the formula. We get decent, somewhat nuanced peripheral nods to human differences, homelessness, fatherhood, family, and how early pain can form a hard exterior that is nearly impossible to break through without some kind of force. Also respect was given to normally marginalized or caricatured groups. I would have liked the world of dog fighting to be treated more fully, but it's the backstory and not the main event. We do get the man's backstory, but he's so much harder to like, perhaps we need it.


Removing the hard outer shell is a lesson it takes both man and dog a while to learn. We hear both characters' rationalizations for bad behavior along the way. At times they are infuriating even while adorable or funny. Adam March is a jerk at the beginning. Chance is a dog who never had a chance. Both can be so dangerous to others they need to be separated.


It's funny how much easier it is to allow for a dog's violent or bad behavior than it is for a person with a very similar background who has learned to protect himself in exactly the same way. It's hard to give humans the breaks we give even non-talking animals.


Neither is perfect or "finished growing" at the end, but they've come so far, and allowed themselves to become vulnerable at least to each other. It's a heartwarming story that reminds us even the most volatile animals can be reached with some understanding, boundaries, decency, openness and enough Chance(s).


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review 2017-07-16 09:16
Some are Eventual
Everything's Eventual: 14 Dark Tales - Stephen King

This is a very well put together collection. What I mean is, almost a third in, it was good, but not awesome. Too much male perspective, maybe. But then it kept getting better an better, and I finished it very satisfied. Not as good as "Nightmares and Dreamscapes", but better than "Skeleton Crew" in my love vs meh stories ratio.

Autopsy Room Four: Weird mix between humorous and harrowing. Likely most of the laughs were out of sheer adrenaline.

The Man in The Black Suit: Childhood nightmare. That dialogue was... *shudder*

All that you love will be carried away: Dreary. Reminded me of Road-work, and his Bachman's writing.

The Death of Jack Hamilston: I guess this one goes in the same bunch with "The Fifth Quarter", but even more "The Wedding Gig". Not my thing.

In the Deathroom: Lots of testosterone on this one too, but it was awesome.


It occurred to Fletcher that in the end there might only be one way to tell the thugs from the patriots: when they saw their own death rising in your eyes like water, patriots made speeches. The thugs, on the other hand, gave you the number of their Swiss bank account and offered to put you on-line.


And that great line. I'm sure I've read it before, but I can't remember where.

The Little Sisters of Eluria: Bitter-sweet spoiler. Another reminder that I have to get this saga once and for all. And a big time *Ick!*

Everything is Eventual: So disturbing, to read what the young guy says, but to also read between the lines, waiting for the other shoe to drop for him too. "Firestarter" world?

Theory of Pets: I almost busted something laughing. Then it turns on you. Loved it.

Road Virus Heads North: Revisited themes.

Lunch at the Gotham Café: It misleads you very nicely. It was great.

That Feeling, You Can Only Say What it is in French: Jesus! (yeah, terrible irony). This one was the best and most disturbing for me.

1408: King going Lovecraftian on you.

Riding the Bullet: Starts disturbing, gets harrowing, ends... bittersweet?

Luckey Quarter: That was depressing. I also kept wondering if she was an addict.

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review 2017-07-12 04:02
Exactly what it says on the tin
Love Story - Erich Segal

Back from my visit home now. I did end up finishing it before departing, but couldn't take the time to update.


I kinda liked it, and I understand why it did so much noise back in the day. It's simple, it's sweet, and even while you are reading a formula (some type of mash-up between Cinderella and Romeo and Juliet)  it has this air of fresh honesty that charms. Dialogue sounds true too (like your mouth wasn't a sewer thorough uni).


There are bits where "society marches on" is a thing (like the doc telling the diagnosis to the husband first), and the end, that if you aren't expecting, you must live in a closed jar, but for the most it's a cute read to fill a couple of hours and a pop-culture gap.


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review 2017-07-01 17:19
Sweet finish
Memory: Volume 3, How Far We Have Come, A Tale of Pride and Prejudice - Linda Wells

Rosy conclusion to this feel-good saga.


It was nicely done, with the end at the beginning, and through the novel, time-wise.


Exactly the amount of sappiness I needed to put a smile on my face.

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review 2017-06-25 16:17
Good Pride and Prejudice variation
Memory: Volume 2, Trials to Bear: A Tale of Pride and Prejudice - Linda Wells

This one dragged a bit compared with the previous volume for me, but it was very sweet continuation.


Most of the pull is in the characterization; Bingley in the first volume was my favorite I think, I just wanted to smile, hug him and give him a pat in the cheek, lol, but they are all nicely done.


The way love expands around, and makes everyone better, is something like a contagion, and it's either sweet or unbearably sappy, depending on you stance. As for other possible negative points, It's somewhat anachronistic where behavior or opinions are concerned, and there is a lot of sex, not always plot relevant (I mostly skimmed on those pages).


It was "feel good" read for me, though and I liked it.

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