In this sequel to Jazz, Pizzazz, and the Silver Threads (1996), Calvin takes in a large and seemingly untrainable dog for a month, during which time he must teach him to behave and find him a home. Meanwhile, his gifted younger brother, Monk, continues to be obsessed with poetry, and his friend, Jenny, is preparing for her first magic show, roping Calvin in as her assistant. The determined eccentricity of Monk and Jenny, combined with Calvin's continued moping about being ordinary, is wearing thin this time around. The characters are so distracted that they exist in separate vacuums instead of interacting normally. The plot takes an interesting turn when the dog is adopted by a horribly spoiled brat, but returns to a more predictable path almost immediately. Heavy-handed, and not terribly interesting.