Likely to bring smiles and tears to dog lovers.

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THE TALE OF DODGER MCGEE

STORY OF BACHELOR AND AN UNEXPECTED DOG WHO BECAME HIS ANGEL

A delightful dog forever changes the life of a physics professor in this true-life tribute to man’s best, and most forgiving, friend.

It was just after New Year’s 1978 that Deck (Development of Quantum Theory from Physical Principles, 2009) received an unwanted Christmas gift from a friend in Iowa. A call from the Toledo, Ohio, airport informed him that a dog had been air shipped to him and was awaiting pickup. A quiet, somewhat shy bachelor accustomed to his own routine, Deck had no intention of bringing a dog into his rather tidy life. Unable to immediately ship the 7-month-old puppy back to its sender without first retrieving and then resending him a day later, he decided to find someone to adopt the frightened canine. Dodger-McGee quickly worked his way into Deck’s life and heart. Over the next 14 years, man and dog strove to adjust to the other’s unique lifestyle through a journey taken by two independent souls inexorably connected by that special bond between human and dog. A cheerful, affectionate dog, Dodger-McGee displayed exceptional sensitivity to the specific needs of the humans in his environment. Greeting each and every comer individually, he politely discriminated between those who appreciate up-close contact and those who prefer some personal space between man and dog. He knew without being told that Bob’s frail mother could not endure his usual jumps, so he quietly rested his chin on her lap. He was also meticulous in observing rules he set for himself: only one meal per day, specifically after dark; one effusive greeting per day to the next-door neighbor; never enter the living room. Deck recants the story in third person, with “Bob” playing the protagonist. An observational quality in the writing lends a strange air of detachment, even though it’s clear Bob deeply loves the dog. There are several touching moments and a few that are absolutely heartbreaking, as when Deck takes a sabbatical and an aging Dodger-McGee must weather a year with indifferent caregivers, without the most important member of his pack.

Likely to bring smiles and tears to dog lovers.

Pub Date: Aug. 12, 2013

ISBN: 978-1478350309

Page Count: 86

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: Oct. 16, 2013

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

SEVERAL SHORT SENTENCES ABOUT WRITING

New York Times columnist and editorial board member delivers a slim book for aspiring writers, offering saws and sense, wisdom and waggery, biases and biting sarcasm.

Klinkenborg (Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile, 2006), who’s taught for decades, endeavors to keep things simple in his prose, and he urges other writers to do the same. (Note: He despises abuses of the word as, as he continually reminds readers.) In the early sections, the author ignores traditional paragraphing so that the text resembles a long free-verse poem. He urges readers to use short, clear sentences and to make sure each one is healthy before moving on; notes that it’s acceptable to start sentences with and and but; sees benefits in diagramming sentences; stresses that all writing is revision; periodically blasts the formulaic writing that many (most?) students learn in school; argues that knowing where you’re headed before you begin might be good for a vacation, but not for a piece of writing; and believes that writers must trust readers more, and trust themselves. Most of Klinkenborg’s advice is neither radical nor especially profound (“Turn to the poets. / Learn from them”), and the text suffers from a corrosive fallacy: that if his strategies work for him they will work for all. The final fifth of the text includes some passages from writers he admires (McPhee, Oates, Cheever) and some of his students’ awkward sentences, which he treats analytically but sometimes with a surprising sarcasm that veers near meanness. He includes examples of students’ dangling modifiers, malapropisms, errors of pronoun agreement, wordiness and other mistakes.

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-26634-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

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