THE DOG DAYS OF ARTHUR CANE by T. Ernesto Bethancourt


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Long Island teenager Arthur Cane wakes up one morning after a mild beer party with what seems to be an unduly severe hangover--but no; through the intercession of an African exchange student who's miffed by his ""arrogant, ignorant"" put-down of ""witch doctors,"" Arthur has been turned into a mongrel dog. During his summer as a homeless mutt Arthur is kicked out by the cleaning lady, abused by strangers, hit by a car, fed poisoned meat, and locked up in the pound where he's about to be gassed when, repentant, he suddenly changes back to himself; but he's also taken in by a local black family and, later, in New York, by a blind young street musician who is saving for an eye operation so he can return to his true occupation, painting. The lessons (in tolerance, etc.) that Arthur learns from all of this are so obvious from the start as to be dismissible, and day by day his tribulations are more reminiscent of a run-of-the-alley dog story (and, where his blind friend comes in, a sentimental One at that) than they are of Gregor Samson's dilemma; certainly there's not the vitality here that the author brought to New York City Too Far From Tampa Blues (1975). But there is some distressful humor in Arthur's first recognition of his plight, and throughout, his human reactions give the adventure a slightly wiggy twist.

Pub Date: Sept. 15th, 1976
Publisher: Holiday House