Beautifully barked diary of a dog as taken down by his Man and a natural for Britain's Whitbread Prize, although the poor dog will never pry it loose from the hands of London's literati.
Buster's Man Hattersley was responsible for that endless Hattersley family novel (608 pages), The Maker's Mark (1991), a well-written but poorly focused history of the Hattersleys. And that's enough about him. Yes, the Man and his ilk may call Buster a German shepherd. But where the Man may trace his line back to Adam, Buster traces his back to his mother, period. Father unknown. And she died, bitten by a rat, within a week of giving birth to Buster and his long-lost brother. Buster first wound up living on the rough in Paddington Park, falling victim to the Dangerous Dogs Act, then being passed around from orphanage to orphanage, until the Man took him up, abandoning his yearly trip to Italy to let Buster train him. It's stupefying how much training a Man needs but Buster is a cheery, bottom-wagging dog and seldom snappish—though a few nips do arise, one in the pant leg to a ticket taker, the other on the neck to a big goose waddling about St. James Park and fearlessly ignoring Buster until he teaches her a thing or two. This turns out to be the Queen's goose. Journalists get after this sweet little story, of course, and soon the Man is fined 275 pounds for the dead goose, though it also leads to great fame for Buster and a trip to Buckingham Palace. Another time Buster falls ill from swallowing plastic wrap from a chicken. The cure for colon blockage, however, is better left out of our present hagiography. As is Buster's love life.
Utterly endearing. Top dog book of the century—so far.