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El amigo

El amigo

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El amigo

valoraciones:
3.5/5 (35 valoraciones)
Longitud:
200 páginas
3 horas
Publicado:
Jun 19, 2019
ISBN:
9788433940476
Formato:
Libro

Descripción

La singular, bellísima y conmovedora historia de la amistad entre una escritora neoyorquina y un perro, con el dolor de la pérdida de fondo.

La protagonista y narradora de esta novela es una escritora neoyorquina que pierde de forma inesperada a su gran amigo y mentor, y de forma no menos inesperada se ve obligada a hacerse cargo de su perro –un enorme y artrítico gran danés–, que se ha quedado solo y traumatizado por la súbita desaparición de su amo. La protagonista no tendrá otro remedio que llevárselo a su minúsculo apartamento, arriesgándose a que la echen porque en el edificio está prohibido tener animales. Y así, con el trasfondo del duelo por el amigo y el amo desaparecido en trágicas circunstancias, se desarrollará la singular y bellísima historia de la amistad entre una escritora solitaria y un perro que se ha quedado sin dueño…

El libro –galardonado con el National Book Award, instantáneo y sorpresivo éxito de ventas y elogiado de forma unánime por la crítica– es, en efecto, una novela, pero en su interior contiene muchos géneros y registros: porque también asoman el diario íntimo; el dietario en el que se suceden las anécdotas literarias y las citas de autores como Virginia Woolf, J. R. Ackerley o Kundera; y la meditación sobre el dolor de la pérdida, el amor, la soledad, la sexualidad, la sociedad contemporánea, la escritura, las mujeres, los hombres y los perros…

Un texto acaso inclasificable que seduce con su diáfana capacidad de abordar con gran sensibilidad temas importantes, con una prosa medida y llena de elegancia. El resultado es deslumbrante y conmovedor, uno de esos raros libros que acompañan al lector para siempre.

Publicado:
Jun 19, 2019
ISBN:
9788433940476
Formato:
Libro

Sobre el autor

Sigrid Nunez (Nueva York, 1951) es autora de seis nove­las, de entre las que destacan A Feather on the Breath of God, The Last of Her Kind y Salvation City, y del li­bro sobre Susan Sontag Sempre Susan: A Memoir of Susan Sontag. Ha colaborado en numerosos medios escritos, como The New York Times, Threepenny Re­view, Harper’s, McSweeney’s, Tin House, The Believer y O: The Oprah Magazine; ha dado clases en universi­dades como Princeton, Columbia y la Universidad de Boston, y ha sido escritora visitante en Baruch, Vassar y la Universidad de California, entre otras. Ha obteni­do numerosos galardones, entre los que se cuentan cuatro premios Pushcart, el Whiting Writer’s Award, el Premio Roma de Literatura y el American Academy of Arts and Letters Award de la Fundación Rosenthal. El amigo ha ganado el National Book Award y el New York Public Library Best Book Award.


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3.6
35 valoraciones / 34 Reseñas
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Reseñas de lectores

  • (5/5)
    “What we miss - what we lose and what we mourn - isn't it this that makes us who, deep down, we truly are. To say nothing of what we wanted in life but never got to have.” “There's a certain type of person who, having read this far, is anxiously wondering: Does something bad happen to the dog?” “Consider rereading, how risky it is, especially when the book is one that you loved. Always the chance that it won't hold up, that you might, for whatever reason, not love it as much. When this happens, and to me it happens all the time (and more and more as I get older), the effect is so disheartening that I now open old favorites warily.” The set-up of this novel is pretty straight-forward- A woman loses her best friend to suicide and ends up caring for his massive Great Dane, in her tiny apartment. The dog is also shell-shocked, with the loss of his beloved owner. How this unlikely pairing draw together, bringing each other support and comfort, is the heart of this story. A meditation on grief, companionship and survival. The writing is rich and beautiful. Book lovers and pet owners, will especially enjoy the deep collage of references. This one won the National Book Award and I see no problem with that.
  • (2/5)
    I thought this book was going to be about a woman's love for a dog - a dog which has been "left" to her when her best friend commits suicide. Instead, it mainly turns into stream of consciousness ruminations on a large variety of topics. I felt no emotional connection to the main character and very little for the dog either, which is unlike me since I'm an animal lover. Disappointing.
  • (3/5)
    I enjoyed this book which didn’t really have a plot but was more like musings about many different topics and issues, mostly to do with writing, authors and grief. I liked all the vignettes about variety of authors. And yes there was a dog and I enjoyed that too. But it was clear at the end that this book was really a fictionalized process of writing and an inside look at the industry. That took away a star from me. I appreciated that the author made me think and perhaps even question some of my perspectives but I felt cheated too. I would have preferred the book to be more about a woman dealing with grief with the help of her adopted dog rather then it end up being a more of a treatise about the issues current writers deal with. This novel is really a meta-fiction.
  • (5/5)
    I loved this book.
  • (4/5)
    A roaming, tangential novel around the storyline of a writer's reflection on the death of a friend, and the meaning that a dog brings to her life
  • (4/5)
    In a metaphor I believe Nunez herself would appreciate, I’ve come to think of The Friend as an intricate layer cake, an artifice of layers bound together by quantities of deft lyric frosting. The kind of cake that's meant to look effortless but that never quite lets you forget the amount of painstaking labor that went into every confectionary furbelow.By all means, pause long enough to enjoy the surface layer of this confection, in which Nunez relates the tale of a female writer struggling to come to terms with her grief over the suicide of her mentor/friend with the help of a preternaturally wise and empathetic Great Dane. The author does an artful job of portraying the dolor of grief, the crippling confusion that often accompanies death by suicide, and the incalculable comfort to be derived from the mindfully interdependent relationships we form with our pets. I suspect many readers will choose to stop there, either because that’s all they need from the book or possibly (as Nunez ruminates at one point) because of the ubiquity of careless reading. (In my imagination, this layer tastes like tea – reassuring and restorative.) Beneath this, however, there’s another fully realized layer in which Nunez explores the craft of writing. Brace yourself for many, many, many literary references exploring whether writers are monsters, hypocrites, charlatans, selfish, narcissists, lonely, vicious, self-absorbed, shameful, seducers, betrayers, or witnesses. You’ll need to penetrate to at least this layer to identify a major theme of the novel, which is that writers have a duty to bear witness, and that if writing wasn’t painful, it would not be worth doing. (I picture this layer as lemon curd – tasty but tart.) Descend a bit further and you get to the layer I think of as the “New Yorker” level. Anyone who has partaken of this periodical will instantly recognize the tang of it here, in Nunez’s deliberately artful metaphors, narrative constructs, political & cultural references, art-film allusions, and puns. The way she references Coetzee’s Disgrace in one of the early chapters, only to circle around and lead us up to the novel’s back door chapters later, when our suicidal author confesses feeling “disgraced.” The way she buries “Defeat the blank page!” in a diatribe against James Patterson, so that it's available for use as an ironic device chapters later. These serve as deliberately planted reminders not to be fooled by the story’s stream-of-consciousness vibe into forgetting that this chaos is 100% controlled and contrived for maximum literary effect; also, they work as Easter eggs wittingly planted to reward the patience and attention of those compulsive enough to unearth them. (Carrot cake – because you get to enjoy all the indulgence of cake while experiencing the self-satisfaction of knowing you’re eating your vegetables.) And there, beneath all the others, a final layer that one might call “foundational truths,” upon which all the other layers rest, in which the author borrows liberally from literature, poetry and philosophy to tackle such rich, fudgy themes as the hypocrisy of aspiration (“do what is difficult precisely because it is difficult” ), the essence of grief (“the dead dwell in the conditional, tense of the unreal”), and the definition of love (“two solitudes that protect and border and greet each other”). (I picture this layer as dense and a little bitter, like dark chocolate.)To conclude: If you prefer your "feels" with a hefty dose of intellectual rumination, if you're the type of person that always stuffs the latest issue of The New Yorker into their hipster manbag as soon as it arrives, and if you don't mind the mild aftertaste of extensive literary workshopping, then Nunez's The Friend is ready and waiting to deliver the goods.
  • (2/5)
    Had more to do with individuals' lives and relationships than with a woman and her dog. Am I wrong? Perhaps I should have stuck with it to the end.
  • (4/5)
    Although this is a novel, it read more like a memoir. A woman loses her best friend and mentor to suicide, and she finds herself with his dog, a beautiful rescued harlequin Great Dane named Apollo. Her grief is mirrored by that of the dog who cannot understand the disappearance of his master. Nunez tells the story of their devotion, while providing passages containing research about suicide and grief, the dog in literature, as well as the teaching and writing life of the narrator and her mentor. I listened to this book in one long trip, and found it moving and beautiful.
  • (3/5)
    When a good, longtime friend and colleague commits suicide, "The Friend" is asked to take in his great dane. The woman is grieving the loss of her friend and the dog becomes something of a substitute. There is a great deal of speculation about what a dog might think and feel. Too much for me! But there are also interesting reflections on male/female friendship, suicide, and the art of writing. Well written and frank in style, but, even though this is a short novel, I had to push my way through.
  • (3/5)
    The Friend tells the story of a middle-aged author and creative writing teacher who is mourning the loss of her mentor and oldest friend. The deceased, himself a literature professor, recently committed suicide but has left no explanation for what seems to be an impulsive act. Beyond having to cope with that loss, the writer has also inherited her friend’s massive and aging Great Dane, despite the fact that her tiny rent-controlled apartment does not allow pets. How she and the dog handle their respective grieving processes and learn to get on with their lives together forms the basic plot of this brief novella.From that description, it should be clear that these fictional elements provide no real dramatic tension and barely amount to much more than an extended short story. To compensate, Sigrid Nunez pads the rest of the book with considerable philosophical musings on sundry topics such as: the sexual tension between professors and students, the psychology and physiology of how pets grieve, famous authors ruminating on the debilitating and lonely act of writing, an examination of the human trafficking business, how the relationship between writers and readers has changed in the age of technology, the therapeutic nature of reading to animals, and so forth.Some of these digressions were stimulating and engaging, particularly when Nunez flexed her almost encyclopedic command of literary references. Still, I came away from The Friend with a vaguely cynical view of the author’s sense of what it means to grieve. I did not understand many of the main character’s actions in the aftermath of the suicide, especially in her relationship with the dog. Further, the lengthy chapter near the end in which she imagines an alternative ending for her mentor’s death seemed like a false note, as well as a device deployed much more effectively elsewhere (e.g., Ian McEwan’s Atonement). So, while generally well crafted, this book was not an especially enjoyable or memorable experience for me.
  • (5/5)
    An amazing, challenging journey of a book, brilliantly written in a voice that captured me.
  • (3/5)
    This is an interesting book. A woman's dear friend dies, leaving her a bequest of his elderly Great Dane. The protagonist is the narrator. Unfortunately, the plethora of tangential lines of philosophical, psychological and historical quotes and ponderings diminished my enjoyment of the book. The themes are grief and the love one can feel for an animal.
  • (5/5)
    How I ended up reading a grief novel is beyond me. I didn’t know the subject matter when I saw it had won the National Book Award and decided to read it. A woman loses a good friend to suicide and ends up having to care for his aging Great Dane even though she has a tiny rent controlled apartment in New York City. So although I referred to it as a grief novel it’s also about the bonding between this woman and dog as they both grieve for the friend they both loved. The book is filled with tender poignant moments as the woman, who is a creative writing teacher, thinks about her past with her friend and takes on the daunting task of caring for this enormous animal. Nunez mentions so many books and authors that I lost track, which, of course, adds to the pleasure of this book. Absolutely wonderful.
  • (5/5)
    At times, fiction has such a power over me, this is one of those times. I was moved by this clever, insightful, and tender book. The author brings so much to the table. The book centers on a writer’s dear friend and mentor who has committed suicide. This surviving woman ends up taking care of the dead man's massive Great Dane, in her tiny Manhattan apartment. However, is in much more than that. There are gems of knowledge about authors, the literary world, and so much more, sprinkled throughout the novel. This woman looks and ponders what suicide means for everyone around her late friend. The book doesn’t wax philosophically, but it briefly touches on points of view, on facts, that keeps your mind active. Much is written about the written word, what it means to the writer, the reader, and the society in general. Toward the book’s end, a new fold of the story comes into play that changes things, but does it really? Since I recently rediscovered the significance of “the perfect place to die,” the Aokigahara Forest at the foot of Mount Fuji, I continually come across it. With this book centered on a suicide, and the author loving to drop knowledge on her readers, it was bound to come up in this novel, as it surely did. And, while I’m normally not that taken with stories that feature animals, the role played by this one was much bigger than simply being a massive beast in a 500 square foot apartment. The dog is central to the story line, and is a well-developed character. The scope of the book is a most thoughtful pondering of life, grieving, writing, relationships, and more. It handles each intelligently, in a crisp, clear, and concise style that constantly impressed this reader.
  • (2/5)
    5599. The Friend, by Sigrid Nunez (read 28 Nov 2018) (National Book Award fiction prize for 2018) This is the 68th National Book Awrd fiction prize winner I have read. It involves a writer who had as a mentor a man who had three wives and committed suicide. His widow asks the writer to take a great Dane dog, weighing 180 pounds, and she does so. She has a small apartment but manages to be permitted to keep the dog. There is a lot of discussion of suicide, and of the dog. And lots of references to writers and thoughts they had. Some of the discussion is mildly interesting but there is not much narrative and thankfully the book is only 212 pages.
  • (5/5)
    Nunez is what one could call "a writer's writer" - there's a lot of technique going on in this book, from the frame stories to the pseudo nonfiction essay style a lot of it takes on, and she delves into writerly themes quite a bit (the relationship between authors and readers, between novelists and the real life people who inspire them, literary culture, etc).Really all of that is a bonus, though, on top of the emotional core to the novel: the story of a woman and her dog, both mourning a lost friend. The dog's mourning is without judgment (or understanding), while the woman's is complicated by resentments and an understanding that loving someone doesn't mean erasing their flaws or the harm they do.I really loved this. I'm going to be thinking back on it a lot.
  • (4/5)
    I found this to be cool to the touch in a way that didn't quite do justice to its subjects—grief, literature, male-female friendship, and the love of a good dog. It seemed more like an exercise than a novel, and all the literary references felt distancing, more like name-dropping, than contextual—I think because there were just too many. This was a good book at heart that tried to be too many things, and they were all important enough things to merit their own focus. There were parts that had some teeth, though I wonder how much of that is personal—Nunez's musings on what an old dog in pain might feel and how much they might communicate that hit hard because I have an old dog whom I know to be in some degree of pain. But ultimately it was a bit dissatisfying, and touched me less than I would have imagined. Still, no regrets for having read it, and I did appreciate sentiments like this:Your whole house smells of dog, says someone who comes to visit. I say I'll take care of it. Which I do by never inviting that person to visit again.I think also it's just a matter of the Renate Adleresque tone not doing it for me. It doesn't when Renate Adler does, either.
  • (3/5)
    In this novel, an unnamed creative writing teacher mourns the loss of her dear friend, an author and professor. She takes in the author's Great Dane, Apollo, despite living in a small Manhattan apartment where dogs are not allowed. As she and the dog mourn the loss of the author, she shares memories of him, as well as her observations and shares quotes about dogs, teaching, writing and life in New York City.Told in a series of brief paragraphs and vignettes, The Friend never really got underway for me. Its a slender novel, and the brief segments each seemed unconnected with the ones on either side. There's a section where the novel reflects on its own construction that was interesting, but ultimately not enough to redeem the rest of it.
  • (2/5)
    For the Tournament of Books Summer Reading Challenge 2018.———This novel is about a woman--early middle aged? Or maybe 30ish? Single, writing teacher, who lives in a small (NY?) apartment. Her former teacher, mentor, and very good friend has committed suicide. His third wife gifts the unnamed narrator his dog. A great dane with the beginnings of arthritis.This book is her ruminations on the dog, her grief, the grief of dogs, writings about dogs, writings about the grief of dogs, her worry about the dog, life with the dog, and why her friend did this thing to his friends and family. Somewhat stream of consciousness, I just didn't find it very interesting. Just a total miss for me. I can see how someone else might like it. I am also not a dog person.I did learn about the book "My Dog Tulip", which I will NOT be reading based on the narrator's description of it.
  • (4/5)
    Quite the different book. We hear the narrator's stream of consciousness. I usually don't like that much but I did like it in this book. Lot's of literary references and in depth tidbits of information on certain subjects (are they true)--for examples various stories about dogs waiting for their owners after their owners death. But I need someone to explain chapter 11 to me--maybe I get it. Is this how the narrator wanted the book to go? It confused me because I thought everything I just read wasn't true--but then chapter 12 makes it seem like this was just a little interlude. Was it necessary for this to be such a long chapter?Anyway--it's worth a read.
  • (5/5)
    I'm a writer who has adopted rescue dogs and has known grief. I loved this book.
  • (4/5)
    3.5 Loss and loneliness are the main themes explored in this novel about friendship and the life of writing. When a woman loses her best friend and mentor to suicide she tries to understand his actions, deal with the loss of this person, and takes on the responsibility of caring for his aged, Great Dane, named Apollo. Apollo is grieving the loss of his former friend and master, and so together they travel a new road.The writing is elegant, spare, recalling literary entities who were also focused on their pets, finding in them many times more humanity in them than in their regular relationships. The writing is non linear, free flowing thoughts, wandering from their past relationship, to the literary endeavors undertaken by them both, and on to other subjects. Intropsective and melancholy, thoughts turn and twist, the way memories do, and always in the background the ties people have found and loved in their animals. Trivia and insights into animals, their empathy, their understanding, keen sense of smell, the bond forged between them and their human counterparts. A shorter novel, but I found it fascinating, the way it is pulled together worked for this exceptionally well. We could travel with this young woman as she attempts to come to terms with something unexpected and devastating in her own life. The words, sentences, nothing wasted, we are n her mind, her free flowing thoughts. Her own relationship with the Great Dane and what it comes to mean. This will probably be a book that won't appeal to all, but it did appeal to me. I sometimes sink into these unconventional types of fiction,just float along with the words, and ponder what I'm reading.ARC from Edelweiss.
  • (2/5)
    The story about grief and the relief from it that the narrator finds in adopting a Great Dane might have been interesting if not for all the writer's annoying tics.My initial impression was that this is "Bartlett's Familiar Quotations: The Novelization" as the author cannot seem to go a page without quoting someone about some topic at hand. And thinking of quotes brings up that old saw attributed to Mark Twain, if you don't like the weather in New England, just wait a few minutes, which is really applicable here, because if you don't like whatever topic the author is currently writing about, just wait a few pages and she'll wander, digress or go down some new rabbit hole. And then she trots out the unreliable narrator and dream sequence schticks, because why wouldn't she?But, hey, my thoughts here aren't that important, as one of her digressions is about the worthlessness of consumer reviews. More troubling, she makes some good points about the worthlessness of reading and writing in general -- talk about biting the hand that feeds you -- and I'd give them credence if they weren't just more of the scattershot of barely sketched ideas tearing through the book.
  • (4/5)
    In case I needed further proof that writing "style" matters a great deal to me, I enjoyed this book much, much more than The Dutch House even though the same "nothing really happens" description applies. Nominally, this book is about a woman who adopts her friend's Great Dane after he commits suicide and how the dog and human help heal each other. In practice, though, Nunez uses this very slim skeleton to muse on the nature of death, being a writer, the changes wrought by cultural changes on writing and teaching, and human connections. While some sections meander, the relationship between dog and human slowly steals your heart and builds to a conclusion that is both sad and beautiful.
  • (3/5)
    3.5
    Sigrid Nunez’s The Friend reads as a diary of a woman mourning and slowly trying to make sense of the suicide of a fellow writer, mentor, and possibly a love that never came to fruition (I believe, because she could not be involved with someone she knew so well). The journal entry like conversations often read more like a dissertation on the frustrations of trying to maintain a career in literature and writing, which at first I regarded as the true most central theme of the book, but then soon realized that this must have been what the two discussed the most. Now, the friend left in mourning, was continuing their lamenting conversations in grief. Maybe these conversations are helping her to understand why he came to his end, and maybe she if fleshing out her own similar feelings on what drives are person to commit such an act. Self-rumination being the downfall as well as inspiration to most artistically inclined people.
    While I liked this book, I do feel that it suffered from some bad marketing. The story of a women and her deceased friend’s dog takes a back seat to what is actually going on in the book, though when it is present it is quite moving. However, if you are looking for a heartfelt story of a woman who bonds in grief with the dog of a deceased friend, know that this is not the real central focus of the story. When the novel does touch on those aspects, it sometimes feels like an afterthought, or a literary trick thrown in at the last moment to add something to the story.
    I would love to read something from Nunez where she writes on these topics where it isn’t complicated by trying to squeeze it into a story, which feels misplaced and misrepresented. Because of the cut and paste nature of this work, the small twist in the last two chapters (who the friend was and the birth of this work of fiction) was lost on me. Was this all just a literary examination of writing and a writer’s inspiration after all? A memoir on the vulture like nature of an author in need of a story? If that is the true takeaway, then the “dog” gimmick made the novel seem a bit too self-important.
    Although my copy is highlighted and annotated in several places, most of those highlights are of other writers thoughts that Nunez weaved into the book. Therefore, while I thoroughly enjoyed reading this, I do not know if it will stick with me, and I surely do not know if it is Nunez’s own thoughts that resonate the most. As someone that deals in a dry manner with research, this feels like a “review of others found data” at times, and not like anything truly original. For me, Nunez’s own thoughts are not the loudest voice in this novel. I truly agreed with many of her thoughts that came through on how politicized writing has become with this new generation. Heck, I see it in reading a couple of the reviews for this book.
    Regardless, I found it worth the read and I know I will pull it out from time to time to show other aspiring writer friends. For that, it is worth at least the three and half star rating I am giving it.
  • (3/5)
    NYT When “The Friend” came out in February, Nunez and her publisher, Riverhead, weren’t expecting a best-seller. Riverhead ordered a first printing of 10,500.Still, Sarah McGrath, Nunez’s editor, hoped the book would resonate with animal lovers and draw a bigger audience than her earlier books.“She’s writing about grief and loss and death and relationships, these are serious earnest subjects, yet she’s doing it with humor, and that’s such a hard thing to achieve,” she said. “For a book that is so wise and rich with literary allusions, it’s actually very accessible, and I did think this was a book that could help her find her readers.”
  • (5/5)
    No, I don't want this book to be over! I want to be there at the end with them and keep turning the page. "The Friend" deals with suicide, friendship, dogs (big ones that smell!), grief, and yet, I'm smiling. And there's Part 11. I had to go back and read it again once I was done with the book. Such an interesting angle. Love, love, love.
  • (3/5)
    When a writer’s dear friend of several decades, her former teacher and mentor, a well known author, attempts to commit suicide, the results are devastating for her. Her grief seems unrelenting. When offered the opportunity to care for his rather large dog, she refuses at first, but then she relents, even though her lease specifically states no dogs allowed! The dog’s presence will make her feel her friend is still with her, and his absence will be less complete.Although we never learn the names of the characters, except for Apollo, the Harlequin Dane, we know many of them are actively involved in the world of words. The story is told in the first person as the author relates her feelings regarding writing, teaching, suicide, sex slaves, abusive male behavior, animal relationships and human relationships. From the beginning, it feels like a treatise on several progressive principles, on the right to take one’s own life, on women’s rights and women’s needs, on women’s behavior and women’s struggles and on men’s toxicity regarding their thoughts on and treatment of women. It is a perfect presentation of the current political themes being publicized and stressed in today’s environment. Like so many books today, liberal principles were out front. The men are portrayed practically as serial abusers, and the women are the unwilling, or sometimes, willingly, abused participants.The book, in great detail, lays out how the author deals with her loss through her relationship with her friend’s dog, now in need of an owner, and this relationship is also compared to the devoted and sometimes loyal relationship of human to human, as well. Can a dog be a kind of substitute spouse! Although the language felt unnecessarily crude, at times, the book is thoughtful and decisive in its clear presentation of relationships and the reactions to the loss of same. It is told well, and at times, the reader may feel it is more like a memoir than a novel. In essence, this book is about loss, the immediate and delayed reactions to it, the grieving process, the eventual adjustment to it, and the recovery. The main character, the grieving author, teaches journaling. Essentially, this book is her story, her journal. She is relating it to the reader. The journey she relates will take the reader into her most personal moments. Her fairly relaxed, cavalier attitude towards life and its rules may appear in contradiction to her overwhelming feelings of loss, at times. The surprising similarities and coincidences concerning our relationship with humans and animals will make the reader think or raise an eyebrow in wonder, at times.What is the main purpose of the novel? Is it about friendship, loss, grief, relationships, love, devotion, fidelity, abuse? Is it about changing times, politics? What is the main character’s ultimate purpose? We do not discover much until the end. There are a dozen parts to this story, and they all come together in the end, in a surprising reveal.Can an animal take the place of a human in someone’s life? Is it a positive or negative quality if a book seems more real than the fiction it was meant to be? Is the issue of support animals being abused for the right reasons, or is it wrong no matter what? Can a dog have human thoughts and feelings? Are writers privileged, and therefore, are they sometimes white supremacists? Should taking one’s life be considered a bad thing or a choice? Do we have a right to make that choice over living or dying? In the end, does the author conclude that some writers, largely the young, new students, have become intolerant to new ideas; are they too politically correct and/too political? Are students unwilling to hear thoughts they disagree with so they can come to terms with them? Have novels become politicized? Are they no longer about anything but social issues?There is added interest in this novel as quotes from renowned authors and philosophers, perhaps not always well known or popular, are provided to illustrate the author’s feelings. The narrator of the audio reads it in what feels like a somewhat flat, dead-pan manner which is perfect for this novel because it neither gives the reveal away nor does it even hint at it until the final moment when the truth is told. Is the author writing a kind of memoir or a novel about her friend? The reader will wonder, what is real, what is not?
  • (4/5)
    I found this to be a complex book and I can't say that I understood all of it, or how it all fitted together, but nonetheless it somehow worked pretty well. OK, some of the sections about writers and what they have thought and said seemed a little too much. The dog in this story is certainly not the focus, but it does help to have a dog orientation to appreciate the book most. The book seems to me to be almost a kind of meditation on death, dying, friendship and grief. A quick read, but it seemed complete and full enough.
  • (5/5)
    A unique and thought provoking book that covers diverse topics like friendship, suicide, pet ownership and the craft of writing. The signature event is that when a long time friend of the narrator (an author) passes away leaving her his Great Dane and she lives in a small apartment in New York City. There are lots of interesting quotes from a bevy of famous authors and other people all worth pondering. I really loved this book and can see why it received all the acclaim that it did.