Monday, July 07, 2008

A publisher's best friend...

I picked up “The Story of Edgar Sawtelle” at a book store the other day purely based on great reviews and, so far, I'm enthralled by the story even though I have no idea where it's going. (If possible, I try to avoid reading a book-jacket synopsis to retain the element of surprise.)

What I do know is that this tale, set on a farm in Wisconsin, focuses on the relationship between a mute boy and his faithful hound companion. What, with the success of “Marley and Me” and “The Art of Racing in the Rain,” I predict that books about canine best friends are bound to become the next trend in publishing. Hollywood won't lag too far behind. Already, a film adaptation of "Marley and Me," starring Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston, is slated to open Christmas day.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Stephen,

    I wonder if you might be interested in another original work of fiction, also narrated by a sentient labrador (although the writing is quite different from either RACING or MARLEY & ME).

    A DOG AMONG DIPLOMATS (April 2008) is the second book in a quirky mystery series by J.F. Englert. The first book, A DOG ABOUT TOWN was published in May 2007, and the third book, A DOG AT SEA, is scheduled for publication in April/May of 2009.

    I'm helping author J.F. Englert reach out to bloggers, and I'd be happy to send you review copies of either or both books if you're interested!

    An overview of the books and excerpts from reviews already in are below.


    BULL MOOSE DOG RUN MYSTERY SERIES - A Dog About Town, A Dog Among Diplomats

    In writing this fanciful mystery series, Englert adopts the daring and original conceit of employing a first-person narration by a labrador-cum-detective, Randolph. The first book in the series, A Dog About Town, was recognized with the 2007 fiction award from The Dog Writers Association of America (DWAA).

    Unbeknownst to his owners, Randolph (a black lab) is both sentient and literate--even well-read, spending much of the time that he has to himself at their Upper West Side apartment immersed in books. A year before the first novel opens, Randolph's mistress Imogen disappears without a trace, leaving behind a broken-hearted and mystified boyfriend and dog.

    In A DOG ABOUT TOWN, the object of Randolph's ability to read and to reason turns from private past time to undercover detective work as he gently prods his less-enlightened owner, Harry, toward the answers behind a suspicious death--which also holds clues to Imogen's disappearance. Combining his powers of reasoning with his superior sense of smell (100,000 more powerful than that of humans), he is able to literally sniff out the trail, as well as the guilty parties.

    In A DOG AMONG DIPLOMATS, Randolph dedicates himself to a second murder case—this time one with ties to the U.N. and in which Imogen is implicated as a possible suspect.

    Advance praise for A DOG AMONG DIPLOMATS
    Englert's droll mix of mystery, philosophical musing about man and beast, political doings at the U.N. and the mysteries of love make this an elegant, funny and inspiring romp in the park. - Publishers Weekly

    LibraryThing members on A DOG AMONG DIPLOMATS
    "This book reminded me of two things, both very disconnected: the old-time movie serials where the heroine is always left in utmost peril until the next sequence and P.G. Wodehouse."

    "the writing is sharp and witty"

    "I couldn't help but fall in love with Randolph."

    "a marvelous study of character, especially the dog's, and has some of the funniest writing I've ever read in the genre."

    "Like Wodehouse, [Englert] often throws off phrases that you want to reread just for the sheer pleasure of it."