Saturday, December 5, 2009

Giv: The Story of a Dog and America by Boston Teran

I remember reading a quote somewhere that said this was the Forest Gump of dog books, so of course that was enough for me to want to read it. And I was not disappointed. This is a unique and beautifully written book.

There are lots of dog stories out there, so what makes this one any different from countless others? I think the answer to that would be the way it is written. From the very first page, this book is suffused with love, and I think it will touch you deeply. There is an overwhelming sadness and beauty in this book that goes beyond the human canine connection and borders on the spiritual. It is a book that is very much pro small town and exalts the american traits of faith and sacrifice.

The story follows a dog named Giv on his journey across the American landscape from post 9/11, through Hurricane Katrina, and the Iraq war. And through this journey you will experience the heart of a nation. Here's a small quote to show you the flavor of the writing:

"The Pitch of creativity was happening in Ruthie, though she did not know it--she wouldn't for a few hours yet, anyway. It was part of the same volcanic energy that had birthed Marlon Brando, the biker, in The Wild One, who when asked in a California town, "What are you rebelling against?" answered, "What have you got?" It had birthed James Dean and a game of chicken on the Pacific bluffs in Rebel Without a Cause. It spawned The Grapes of Wrath and Dean Moriarity in On the Road and Jack Nicholson on the back of a chopper wearing a football helmet while the Byrds sang "The river, it flows to the sea, and wherever that river goes, that's where I want to be."

It gave us The Call of the Wild and Sullivan's Travels and Travels with Charley and The Electric Kool Aid Acid Test and Vanishing Point and Route 66 and Bob Dylan singing, "Where you want this killing done? God said out on Highway 61." There's Johnny Appleseed and Ishmael, though his road was the sea, and The Leatherstocking Tales and It Happened One Night and Superman and The Incredible Journey and John Wayne in The Searchers promising he would find his kidnaped niece "just as sure as the turning of the earth," and Robert Frost's "The Road Less Traveled."

This is one of the most moving books I've ever read. It is poignant, powerful, and compelling. It gives me hope for our troubled world. I guarantee this book will touch your heart.

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