Books Briefly Noted

Gone to the Dogs

by Mary Guterson (St. Martin’s; $13.99)

October 5, 2009

This irreverent novel inverts the romantic-farce convention of the hero as lovable loser. Here it’s the heroine who’s the ambitionless slob, a grad-school dropout treading water as a waitress and living in a pigsty of an apartment. When she’s eighty-sixed by her jock fiancé for an Amazonian white-water-kayaking enthusiast, she’s propelled into action: she kidnaps the new girlfriend’s dog. With expert deadpan, Guterson keeps the premise from getting too cute. The heroine recalls her history of pet ownership, beginning with the gerbils that made “clear even to the mind of an eleven-year-old the stark aloneness of existence, the prison in which we all must live and eventually die.” 

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10 06, 2009
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