From a literary standpoint, some lines were very beautifully written. The story line threw me a little. I thought it would be more about the dog. The book is more about a semi-reclusive poetry professor who quite accidentally takes adopts a puppy (I believe she googled "adoption" with the idea of looking at adopting a child). She basically does so many things wrong with raising her puppy that it's surprising that the dog turns out as well as he does. Overall I found the book quite frustrating, and the main character a bit annoying...Jean Cable
Too sad about her life, except for the addition of PhilFred Kohn
This was a delightful little book. I could only give it three stars because I could not relate to the main character very well. I think it would be a very good book for a woman to read, especially a middle aged single woman, to read. There wasn't a whole lot of action; the book was more psychological. This is the kind of book I enjoy; it gives more opportunity for character development.Sarah
It was nice and short. The main character did not capture my affection at all, but the dog was sweet.Susie
an innocuous novella about a neurotic woman and the unlikely puppy who humanizes her. simple, sweet.Az
fun, though i would've liked to have it be more about the dog. there's probably a lot more here than i'm willing to discuss, about women and aging and expectations. it was nice to have more of a loner-ish character who wasn't insane. but the discussions of past lovers and things was really lost of me. maybe i just wasn't in the right mood.Anika
I chose this book off the shelf because of the photograph on the cover and it turned out to be an auspicious choice! I loved this book from poet-turned-novelist Michelle Herman. It is the story of a sad English professor and the turn her life takes with the introduction of Phil the dog. Bizarre and beautiful.Brett Newmyer
It was pretty cute, but not especially deep, which you should expect going in. I was a little turned off by the supporting cast being so minimal. That was of course to put emphasis on her relationship with her dog, but it still bothered me. Fun little book, but there are better dog books out thereSarah Brown
This book was truly awesome-I would recommend to any single girl!Willa
This is a cute little story about a single woman named Jill facing the end of her child-bearing years who ends up adopting a dog. While there are aspects that I don't think set a good example for dog ownership - she doesn't think about what's involved in caring for a dog before adopting him, she doesn't properly lead-train him, she doesn't socialize him, she doesn't play with him - there are other aspects that make me happy - she's very conscientious about his house-breaking and his daily walks, and she really does love him and worry about his welfare. Phil is his name, and he's an unusual puppy in that he seems content not to be played with. He's very calm and only seems to act like a puppy on his midnight walks when he alternates between stubbornly investigating every interesting thing for as long as he wants and running pell-mell up the street pulling Jill stumblingly along behind him.And these actions of his bleed over into more of Jill's life than just those midnight walks. She also begins to investigate things thoroughly - her past relationships, whether with lovers, family or friends, and also her current life, with its lack of emotional attachments. By the end, you can imagine a future for Jill with a little experimentation into her own form of running pell-mell once in a while (kind of like she did when deciding to adopt Phil in the first place) and seeing where she ends up because of it.One thing that bothered me significantly was the author's writing style. Lots of long sentences with asides built into the middle of them to further explain or enhance the thought being conveyed. While I tend to do the same thing to an extent - see how I'm doing it now and how I did it in the paragraphs above - I try to stick to one at a time, while this author will use two or three at a time and within each other, causing me to forget the beginning of the sentence by the time I reach the end of it. If not for that, I probably would have given it one more star.Emily Patterson-Blight
Dog unfolds with such openness, such simplicity, such foursquare tenderness. And yet, this small miracle of a novel is steeped in its protagonist's rich and nuanced observations of self, loneliness, companionship. The concluding, miniature meditation on goodness and happenstance roots this brief but wise novel in the heart's memory.Laura
While the picture on the cover makes you want to take it home, it's the story that makes this book stick with you. I'm not sure that Jill is meant to be a likable character, but how you not like someone who's taken in Philip? It's a great story...one that makes you feel lonely, but that makes you enjoy the loneliness, and appreciate your dog.Stephanie A.
Despite what other reviews say, my expectations were exceeded when I picked this up in the general fiction section and found it actually focusing on a woman acquiring a puppy. Heavens! There's also a lot of introspection and no truly discernible point or plot, but it's cozy. I feel like I'll appreciate it more when I'm actually the age of the 45-year-old main character, though.Deschka
" The dog, the dog , the dog-the dog had taken over her life. But this was not necessarily a bad thing. Perhaps she had needed to have her life taken over. " How can you not be pulled in and want to read on after those first sentences? Anyone who has ever been owned by a dog, or has taken care of another being understands how being responsible for a living creature can take over everything and alter your life. And consequently we relate to these thoughts and wonder how the protagonist will handle the changes.The story is simple, almost simplistic, a running narrative and analysis of thoughts really. But nevertheless compelling and intimate. A fun, short read.Jodi
**WARNING: SPOILER**This was a light and fun book about a middle-aged woman getting a puppy completely on the spur of the moment, having never owned a dog before. If you read it superficially, it's a mostly funny, sometimes sad book. However, there's a deeper level because there are many parallels between her journey in life and that of the dog. As she becomes more attached to the dog - Phillip - she gains insight into herself and the reasons she may have problems with both friendships and romantic relationships. All in all, a good read. The only reason I didn't give it a 10 is because I sincerely disapprove of anyone getting a pet without thorough preparation for the lifetime commitment involved.