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Adventures of Deuce Clarence Jones

From the The Progenitors series , Vol. 1

Vibrant stories that should amuse readers who love valiant dogs.

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Antijo relates the heroic and often funny adventures of a family of Labrador retrievers in this debut book.

“There are prodigies in the dog world,” the author states in the preface to this collection of interconnected stories. Several of those canine geniuses just happen to be the ancestors of Deuce Clarence Jones, a purebred chocolate Lab. Although the dogs’ names are all real, their escapades are fictional. The first tale relates how Bubbling Bedouine, the Finnish national champion, escapes from the World Global Dog Show to woo Tendercare Muskelunge Debbie, a black Lab. Her chocolate puppies come as quite a surprise to her owners. Subsequent yarns follow one of their puppies, Tendercare Bubbling “Bucky” Buckeye, and then his puppy, Skaggs Westwood Gus. The animals’ monikers may be a mouthful, but the human characters also sport grandiose names, such as Eustis Izzielustus, a failed dog handler–turned-deckhand, and Robbier Rafferty, an unlucky bank robber. These lighthearted stories are bound to elicit more than a few laughs as they showcase the felicitous qualities and bravery of these dogs; Bucky uses his powerful nose to sniff out a thief on a plane, and Gus rescues the hapless Eustis when he falls overboard. The tales take the reader from the Snow Hotel, where getting out of bed without slippers can result in getting stuck to the icy floor, to Niagara Falls on April Fools’ Day, when daredevils are allowed to jump over the falls or ride down them in a barrel. Antijo shares intriguing details about breeding and showing champion dogs as well as captaining a cargo ship, running a fishing trawler, and even collecting pollen for drug companies. The variety of situations holds the reader’s interest, although the text can sometimes veer toward overexplanation and become repetitive, a minor flaw. The first in a series, the book ends with the arrival of Deuce Clarence Jones and a slight cliffhanger.

Vibrant stories that should amuse readers who love valiant dogs.

Pub Date: June 24, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-4834-5171-8

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Lulu

Review Posted Online: Aug. 12, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2016

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MAGIC HOUR

Wacky plot keeps the pages turning and enduring schmaltzy romantic sequences.

Sisters work together to solve a child-abandonment case.

Ellie and Julia Cates have never been close. Julia is shy and brainy; Ellie gets by on charm and looks. Their differences must be tossed aside when a traumatized young girl wanders in from the forest into their hometown in Washington. The sisters’ professional skills are put to the test. Julia is a world-renowned child psychologist who has lost her edge. She is reeling from a case that went publicly sour. Though she was cleared of all wrongdoing, Julia’s name was tarnished, forcing her to shutter her Beverly Hills practice. Ellie Barton is the local police chief in Rain Valley, who’s never faced a tougher case. This is her chance to prove she is more than just a fading homecoming queen, but a scarcity of clues and a reluctant victim make locating the girl’s parents nearly impossible. Ellie places an SOS call to her sister; she needs an expert to rehabilitate this wild-child who has been living outside of civilization for years. Confronted with her professional demons, Julia once again has the opportunity to display her talents and salvage her reputation. Hannah (The Things We Do for Love, 2004, etc.) is at her best when writing from the girl’s perspective. The feral wolf-child keeps the reader interested long after the other, transparent characters have grown tiresome. Hannah’s torturously over-written romance passages are stale, but there are surprises in store as the sisters set about unearthing Alice’s past and creating a home for her.

Wacky plot keeps the pages turning and enduring schmaltzy romantic sequences.

Pub Date: March 1, 2006

ISBN: 0-345-46752-3

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Ballantine

Review Posted Online: June 24, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2005

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THE CATCHER IN THE RYE

A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

A violent surfacing of adolescence (which has little in common with Tarkington's earlier, broadly comic, Seventeen) has a compulsive impact.

"Nobody big except me" is the dream world of Holden Caulfield and his first person story is down to the basic, drab English of the pre-collegiate. For Holden is now being bounced from fancy prep, and, after a vicious evening with hall- and roommates, heads for New York to try to keep his latest failure from his parents. He tries to have a wild evening (all he does is pay the check), is terrorized by the hotel elevator man and his on-call whore, has a date with a girl he likes—and hates, sees his 10 year old sister, Phoebe. He also visits a sympathetic English teacher after trying on a drunken session, and when he keeps his date with Phoebe, who turns up with her suitcase to join him on his flight, he heads home to a hospital siege. This is tender and true, and impossible, in its picture of the old hells of young boys, the lonesomeness and tentative attempts to be mature and secure, the awful block between youth and being grown-up, the fright and sickness that humans and their behavior cause the challenging, the dramatization of the big bang. It is a sorry little worm's view of the off-beat of adult pressure, of contemporary strictures and conformity, of sentiment….

A strict report, worthy of sympathy.

Pub Date: June 15, 1951

ISBN: 0316769177

Page Count: -

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1951

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