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PET PEEVES by George Plimpton


or, What Happened to Doctor Rawff?

edited by George Plimpton

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-87113-820-4
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly

This faintly amusing blend of Plimpton’s ironic words and Koren’s shaggy drawings purports to be a series of letters sent to a veterinarian who wrote a syndicated pet-advice column before his disappearance in 1998. One of Dr. Rawff’s interlocutors wants to know whether he can bring in his cousin, a hotel manager who barks and lifts his leg at hydrants. Another has a goldfish who jumps out of the bowl and walks around on its fins. Another, who carefully taught his parrot the words to Coleridge’s poem “Kubla Khan,” is annoyed that when he exhibits his prodigy to guests, the willful bird will recite only “Innisfree.” In the Afterword, the editor asks, “Could it be that [Dr. Rawff] has gone to rescue the woman who was towed to a strange exotic island by her pet dolphins? Perhaps he’s dropped in on the man whose chimpanzees have completed three unfinished works and are now at work on Schubert’s.” The individual entries, crafted with Plimpton’s trademark deadpan wit, are funny enough, but a little of this flat-affect humor goes a long way. For the pet-obsessed only.