Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Men and Dogs

Book Review

Men and Dogs, by Katie Crouch.

I was reading classics and well-known older novels for awhile. And then I realized I was kind of missing out on the current releases.

So I started looking for newer novels.

This looked like it could be fun. So I read the back. And more than one snippet of praise claimed that this book is "hilarious."

Hilarious? I'm good with hilarious.

And why not? 

Many of the men I know have or have had dogs. The men in my family. Friends. Acquaintances. Hmm... come to think of it, this title could refer to just about a quarter of the population.

Okay, not really. But really.

Anyways, it sounded like this would be worth a try. So try it, I did.

Men and Dogs

This is not really a book about men and dogs. It is a book about one adult woman and her issues with various men in her life. The dogs just happen to be along for the ride. 

Hannah lost her father as a preteen and has never come to terms with his absence being permanent. She still looks for him in crowds. Still hopes he will turn up. 

But in the mean time, she has grown up and had relationships, all of which are complicated by her belief that her father will come back.  

While the back of the book said this is all hilarious, it isn't really. Snarky? Yes. Crass? Yes. Hilarious? Not so much. 

"Hilarious" makes me to laugh out loud. Makes others around me look up and question what I'm laughing at. Makes me laugh so hard and long that my cheeks and sides hurt. Makes me tell others what is so funny.  

I didn't laugh out loud once while reading this book. I know. I was counting. 

But the author's snarkiness is unusual. Light. Unexpected. Tells it like it is. Candid. 

I can handle snarkiness. I might go there occasionally myself, from time to time. 

Okay, enough snorting up your milk. I confess I might go there more often than occasionally. Frequently? Okay, so be it. Frequently. 

But crass is another matter. I'd like to think of myself as not stooping to those lows. Most of the time. 

This book has plenty of crassness in it. Crass, adult themes. I'm not particularly fond of reading them. Happy to skip that, but there's no skipping it in this book. Crassness throughout. 

We are given inherently flawed characters, which makes for somewhat interesting reading. They aren't perfect, they aren't special, they aren't everybody's friends. 

I certainly don't know anybody who would do what the protagonist does, but that's not saying much. I exist in a pretty limited world. Still... it makes for minimal belief potential. And I am a pragmatist at heart. 

This is not hilarious, and it did not make me audibly laugh aloud. It does tell it like it is. I guess that could be considered funny. Being blunt sometimes can be. But hilarious? 

Not so much.

Crass and snarky? Definitely. 

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