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This is the sob of the wild. Master and Mistress of the Kennels are perpetually out of funds. They emigrate from Sussex, England to Australia with Finn, the world's biggest Irish wolfhound (whose life is chronicled from preconception on; Their Australian benefactor expires intestate just before they dock. Mistress falls ill and after a terrible struggle with himself, Master sells prize-winning Finn to finance her treatment. From this point on, Finn's life makes Black Beauty's experiences seem like a romp. Finn runs away from the buyer to rejoin the people to whom his oversized heart belongs. He is waylaid by a carnival man who mistakes him for a new kind of wolf. Caged next to a tiger, Finn nearly goes mad from this proximity to the wild. Attempts to ""tame"" him with red hot pokers nearly break his spirit. At last he escapes into the Australian bush and the long process of his reversion to the wild takes place. After adventures reminiscent of Born Free, Finn ates with a dingo, rising to the leadership of her vicious pack. His idyll as a father is tragically brief. Then comes drought. Finn must lead the pack to new territory across a waterless, gameless desert. But who is this staggering toward him from a successful goldmining venture? It's master, and to the thirst/hunger crazed pack he looks like meat on the table and wine in the cooler. So, finn kills the pack, mate first, and it's back to England, a rich, somewhat bloody hero. The book is much too long. It is filled with unbelievable coincidences. It is also a trying good time, calculated to leave the reader smiling through tears. It will undoubtedly be re-read for the pleasure in the grief. With reservations, it is extremely good.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1963
ISBN: 1164301179
Publisher: Harcourt, Brace & World