Monday, 24 September 2007

Black and white and read all over - but not here!

Jonathan with his real dog Ruby

I love getting parcels. On Saturday I had an interesting one all the way from New York. Enclosed were some copies of "A Dog About Town" a new novel you can't buy here. It's a detective story with a twist. The central character is a Labrador called Randolph who has taught himself to read using the newspapers intended to house train him. He's kept his intellect a secret from the people around him, but when his owner Imogen disappears Randolph decides to help hapless boyfriend Harry solve the mystery.
I've read a few chapters - which with my hectic schedule means this book is quite a page turner. (I haven't read a book all the way through for six years - other working mum's will probably empathise... no long baths in that time either, these are the real sacrifices we make to repopulate the planet.)
Through reading this blog, Jonathan Englert the author of the books had figured out I like to stick up for the underdog, and its seems Randolph could be seen as just that. The book is selling very well in the States - getting great reviews. Randolph is obviously very much an Anglophile - yet the publishers are doing the next editions in Italy, Germany and Japan. Britain doesn't seem to figure in their plans and that troubles Jonathan as I expect he's a bit of an Anglophile, too!
So are we really still considered a nation of dog lovers? Or is it that we're no longer a nation of book readers?
Would you buy this book if it was on sale?
I have one copy to give away to anyone who might read it relatively quickly and then tell me what they think of it!
Jonathan is digging out an email address of who to complain to so that Randolph can get his passport and come to England. As soon as I have it I'll let you know.


Graham, Prince & Tilly said...

I'd certainly buy the book if it was on sale in the UK. I'm not convinced that the issue is whether we're no longer a nation of book readers, or dog lovers (I think we're still both), I think it's more likely that it's to do with the publishers royalties, potential profit or other commercial concern.

Beverley Cuddy said...

So would you like the free book Graham? I have your address. Just say the word and it's in the post.

Julie Hill said...

If Graham doesn't fancy doing it, I'll give it a go.

Flowerpot said...

I'd buy it too, Beverley. If Graham or Julie can't do it, I will!

Graham, Prince & Tilly said...

That's really kind Beverley, but I think I'll have to pass it on to the next in line. With work beckoning at the end of the week, and about two other books on the go at the moment, I don't think I could read it quickly enough for it to be 'hot off the press'. I'll definately try and get hold of a copy in the longer term though, if the review is good!

Graham, Prince & Tilly said...

Incidentally, thanks for your comment about the job situation. I think you're probably right. My background is in PR & marketing - horse & dog food to be precise! It may well be that I drift back in that direction in the longer term, and b*gger the financial consequences!

Beverley Cuddy said...

I know Jonathan is really touched and heartened by your responses so far! A copy is on the way to Julie as soon as our postie picks it up. And flowerpot if I finish with my copy I'll post it on!


Denise said...

I've just bought this on ebay from the US - proabably cheaper than it would be in the UK anyway!
Will let you know my comments when I've read it

freccle said...

I received the book two days ago and have already finished it. I thoguht it was an excellent read, although I'm doubtful if it would appeal to non dog lovers, as a stright forward crime novel as the storyline is pretty weak.
However the doggy insights more than make up for any failings and I will definitely be buying the next one