Sunday, September 27, 2009

Dogs of Babel by Carolyn Parkhurst

Let me first just put to rest your suspicions that I love every book I read. I've been known to toss bromidic books across the room, including The Shack William Young, Rett Butler's People Donald McCraig, Bright Shinny Morning James Frey, Eclipse Stephanie Meyer, Friday Night Knitting Club Kate Jacobs, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo Stieg Larsson, etc.- the list is boringly long.  However, I really enjoyed Dogs of Babel by Carolyn Parkhurst.

Some people write so beautifully that the story is almost irrelevant. That isn't the case with Dogs of Babel, which is beautifully written, and an enchanting story. Although one of the main characters in Dogs of Babel is a dog, who does create a certain appeal, this is not about dogs.

By the way, dogs have a complicated and mesmerizing affect on people don't they? I asked a friend one time, why she thought people give more money to charities that protect dogs than charities that protect children. She said, "Because animals are helpless." Well, children are as well, but it did make a certain amount of sense.

Dogs of Babel is really about a man whose wife falls or jumps from a tree in their back yard and dies, seemingly with their dog the only witness. So the man, a professor of linguistics, decides he'll teach the dog to talk so the dog can tell him what happened. The process of getting to the answer is a captivating and provocative stroll that keeps you looking for what is just around the bend.

It is also about the most sensitive of issues, life, love and death - the ever so delicate balance of relationships, the torment of relevancy of our lives (would everyone, including me, be better off if I were just gone), and the stunning madness that surrounds us. Read it. It's good.

Hope your weekend was as nice as mine.


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