“I got a copy through the Early Reviewers group, and raced through this while traveling over the weekend. It's a series of interconnected short stories set on the island of Santa Margarita y Los Monjes, told in the first person and from the point of view of a man who resorts to walking the dog when he needs to ponder, relax, or just get away from his family. His Aunt Dolores is the mother of The Boys, a couple of cretinous low lifes who are always causing trouble. His uncle's funeral is the event in the first story, with Aunt Dolores going ballistic over the uncle's mistress showing up for the service. There's also a shamen/witch doctor on the island who's consulted when drastic measures need to be taken, such as suspending gravity to reverse a curse that he provided Aunt Dolores. All the stories are really funny, and don't even really need the magic to work. The conceit of ending each tale with the author taking the dog for a walk gets really strained, but I'm willing to forgive that for the sheer number of laughs that the bodies of the stories gave me.”
- LibraryThing review
I'm so glad I read this book when I did. I was going through a book reading slump. I hadn't been able to concentrate on books. When I first picked up the book, I couldn't get into it. The wording seemed weird to me and I couldn't get into the flow of the writing. By page 4 I was hooked. The book is divided into several short story chapters all about the crazy inhabitants of the island of Santa Margarita y Los Monjes. Some of the chapters were perfectly hilarious, others were a bit much and extreme for me to really find funny since it crossed over into fantasy. I appreciated the writer's style and use of vocabulary, but sometimes I feel the difficult writing wasn't necessary. I did love the subtle humore throughout the book. My favorite line of the book: Cats, after all, are domestic animals, only intermittingly venturing out to torture something smaller than themselves in the nether regions of the forest, not unlike people really.
This book is full of these lines that make you think and laugh. Overall I really liked this book.
- LibraryThing review
This is a slim volume of humorous fiction, more a collection of related short stories than a novel. Charles Davis lightly sets a stage on a backwater Caribbean island full of affectionately drawn eccentric characters, then turns them loose to illustrate the foibles of their (and our) being human. The writing is first-rate, deftly done to appear effortless, with the exception of the occasional straining to wring the most of a slapstick scene.
The jacket blurb describes Davis’s earlier novel, Walk on, Bright Boy, set grimly against a backdrop of the Spanish Inquisition. It’s hard to imagine a more different work from this light and frothy set of stories. I look forward to reading more Davis as he explores his wide-ranging talent.
- LibraryThing review
“My dominant emotion during and after reading 'the dog' was envy - envy that you now have such an accomplished and effortless control of a very difficult form of writing. At times I found the display breathtakingly exciting - rather like watching someone juggling with six eggs. Generally I found the lead-ins more accomplished than the magical endings - though this may have been the growing familiarity with the genre.
And there were times when I needed the juggler to pause for a moment and allow me to re-enter the more familiar world of naturalist anecdote. I loved the malapropisms and wanted even more. Thinking about my acquaintances - that strange mix of relatives and colleagues and golfing friends - it is really the writers who would most delight in your wit and imagination.”.
- John Saunders, Shakespeare Scholar and Creative Writing teacher
“A real Shakespearian move from Walk On, dark tragedy to dark farce. It took me a couple of chapters before I got into it, but I read with increasing enjoyment. Any book that makes me laugh out loud has a lot going for it and this one did make me laugh. I thought the slapstick bits were particularly well done.
I have been closely involved in the last few years in development work, so I thoroughly appreciated the continued cackhanded interventions by the overdeveloped world, the latter a lovely concept and so on the money. The take on information overload was also fantastic. And I loved the pacemaker bit, a real gem.
Writing such intelligent farce is immensely difficult to pull off. Combining it with off-the-wall magic realism is a real high wire act. Not to say it always worked, but more than enough to make it an immensely enjoyable read.”
- Bill Albert, author of Castle Garden and Desert Blues
Causes Charles Davis Supports
Oxfam, Amnesty International, Greenpeace