SCRUFFY by Jack Stoneley


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The stormy, sentimental history of a stray--who, in real life, was plucked from the jaws of death in a pound by the (British) author's newspaper report of her plight. As imagined here, the black-and-white pup is born in a condemned house where her mother was unwittingly abandoned (the book's point being the cruelty to such animals). After a spectacular escape from the burning building (her mother scrambles up the chimney), she passes through the hands of a genial couple, two tender-hearted tykes with a brutish father, and a boozy old ham-actor before hooking up with a band of beggar-dogs who inhabit a derelict car. Each of the dogs is a character (one is actually a lush, one is a timorous ladies' man, etc.), and they're all variously devoted to their stalwart leader--which gives this episode a modicum of fictional interest. But the book has little emotional grab even when the pack of them wind up on Death Row in the pound; and its Big Happy Ending--a home for every ill-begotten cur on the premises--is a spectacularly spurious solution to the universal problem of strays.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1979
Publisher: Random House