One Good Dog - Susan  Wilson

Normally, a story about a guy who was raised in foster homes, made it to Harvard to do an MBA and then turned himself into a rich, privileged asshole who manages by fear and is wound so tight that the anger that he feeds daily was bound to explode at some point, wouldn't be my thing. Why should I care whether a single act of violence by a man like that brings his over-privileged, emotionally hollow world down around his ears?

Can you feel my lack of empathy? Maybe even my contempt? Perhaps I shouldn't look too closely at my own often anger-driven working life or I might see unpleasant similarities that trigger my dislike for this guy.

Yet I read the whole book, had my emotions twisted and enjoyed it. I never really got to like Adam March, even when he earned ex-assshole status and joined the human race. What kept me reading was the dog. Him I cared about.

The dog is a pitbull-cross who was raised in a cage and trained to fight to the death. Not pretty, especially with the scars and not needy either. He's an independent dog and proud of it. Yet, unlike me, he is willing to give Adam March a chance.

The chapters in "One Good Dog" alternate between a first-person narrative from the dog and a first-person narrative from Adam March. It's perhaps a sign of the quality of the writing that I was engaged in March's story even when what he thought, felt and did annoyed me. The dog chapters skillfully avoided fluffy Disney anthropomorphisation while still helping me getting inside the living-in-the-here-and-now world of the dog.

If you're a dog person, you'll love this. If you're not a dog person, you may begin to wonder why that is.

I recommend the audio version of "One Good Dog". The dog and March each have their own narrator and both of them do a great job.