Anne (who, by the way, ought to post on her blog more frequently because I know she has all kinds of interesting things to say). Anne's book suggestions are worth something to me, so I thought I might give it a try.
Judging by the source of the recommendation, I shouldn't be surprised that I enjoyed the book. I was afraid the doggy narration would either be too silly (look! a squirrel!) or too human, but Stein achieves a fine balance in anthropomorphizing Enzo the dog. He is smart, even philosophical, but not so clever that you lose sight of the possibility that maybe dogs really can think this way. Not my dogs, of course. One is too lazy, the other is too spastic, and neither has the look of a deep thinker. I can't help but figure that when they bark their minds are devoid of anything beyond "woof." But I have heard of dogs whose responsiveness to humans surely reflects an internal monologue every bit as steeped in astute observation as Enzo's.
Enzo is not omniscient (which is a good thing, of course, so that the story is not impossible to swallow), but he sees and knows and understands so much. It was a bit jarring at times when Enzo was clearly a thinly disguised vehicle for the author's own opinions (like the brief diatribe on allergies and pharmaceutical companies, among others) but it was never to an extent where I lost the magic and fell out of the book.
Some of the weirdest parts of the story (the zebra, the crows) were my favorites. They kept the narrative from being too syrupy, too saccharine, too sentimental. It was just as Enzo explains when postulating that a true hero is not perfect and must overcome obstacles of his own making in order to triumph. Unfortunately, I found Enzo's owner a bit too good to be true, belying those observations, but this was not a fatal flaw in the book.
My prayer to the movie gods: please give up on your film adaptation of this book. I can only picture two possible movies, and they would both suck. Movie #1: Just Denny the driver's story, with Enzo sidelined as a mute witness. This would drain all the life from the story. Movie #2: a movie more faithful to the book, with an Enzo voiceover by someone like Judge Reinhold. Please, no.
Now for something completely different…
3 days ago