I knew I was going a large book store this weekend, so when I finished #3 I decided to pick out a short quick book to tied me over. The result was a very strange experience.
When my 9 year old lab mix was a puppy I got on a dog themed book kick. I read heart warming tear jerkers about pups that made big impacts, dogs that survived bad odds, and books about raising strong willed puppies into productive adults. The result of all that reading is a nine year old lab who still chews everything, but follows instructions well enough have survived this long. I assumed that Nose down, eyes up by Merrill Markoe would be one if these sappy reads…I was wrong…very…
The book is about Gil who is in his late forties and, due to a bad divorce, is living like a twenty year old. He works as a maintenance man at a family vacation home, where he lives with his four dogs until they decide to use it. Only one dog, Jimmy, is really his. The others are rescues that his hippy girlfriend has dumped on him.
Through a series of events, he ends up doing a job for his ex wife’s new husband and living in their guest house. During all this Gil discovers his dogs talking to eachother, and starts having conversations with them. He tries to make money by blogging about it and selling tshirts, but this flops because Jimmy goes through a period of reconnecting with his family.
Gil ends up having an affair with his ex wife which messes with his job and relationship with the hippy. He ends up at his mother’s house, while fighting his own identity issues. He ends up having to rush back to his “home” where wildfires threaten Jimmy’s life, and all the houses that he’s involved with have burnt down. It all ends up being ok in the end, however Gil ends up living in a tent.
The book has a lot of crude humor, cussing, and some talk about sex (thankfully it doesn’t really describe it). This didn’t really bother me, and didn’t add or take anything away from the story. What I did have a problem with, was trying to figure out if the dogs were really talking to him or if he was going crazy. Gil was also too nonchalant about finding a pack of talking dogs, and likewise the dogs seemed too natural with it.
I give it three out of five wine glasses. It was a good quick read, but was a tad awkward. 🍷🍷🍷