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Saturday, October 30, 2010

A Book for the Both of You

Posted by: Alana T.

Anyone that knows me knows I am a dog (one shown above) lover. However, I am not usually a fan of books with dogs as characters; they are anthropomorphized and not believable (at least to me). I do like the new series by Spencer Quinn with Chet (a dog) and Bernie (a human) as the protagonists. Chet narrates the stories from his canine point of view and the author does a realistic job of capturing the quirky, impulsive aspect of most dog’s mental activities. The narrator (Jim Frangione) has a down-to-earth type of voice that fits well with Chet’s personality and doesn’t make him seem too human.

The first book, Dog On It, introduced the characters and followed them as they solved a missing persons case. We met Chet, a K-9 school dropout, and his owner Bernie, a sensitive PI who can’t quite get his life together. Chet and Bernie make a good team and have a great relationship, although they don’t always understand each other. The second book, Thereby Hangs a Tail, follows Chet and Bernie as they try to solve another missing persons case, this time involving a show dog and her owner.

The books are generally upbeat (Chet has a very positive view of life), move along quickly, and except for a little violence (knocks on the head, a bit of gun-play), everything turns out ok in the end. The plots are straight-forward, but not predictable, and easy to follow even if you’re doing something else while listening (as I often am). The characters and plots have appeal across all ages and would be appropriate for family listening.

Dog on It is available as a book, audio on CD, audio on cassette, large print and Playaway.

Thereby Hangs a Tail is available as a book, mp3CD, audio on CD, and large print.

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