>> Friday, May 4, 2012
My Dog Tulip by J.R. Ackerley
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Publication Date: 2011 (originally published 1965
Read by: Ralph Cosham
Source: A Friend
The Short Version:
A memoir of a man and his dog
Why I Read It:
It was a gift from a friend who knows how much I enjoy Ralph Cosham’s narration.
From the Publisher
Distinguished British man of letters J. R. Ackerley hardly thought himself a dog lover when, well into middle age, he came into possession of a German shepherd named Tulip. To his surprise, she turned out to be the love of his life, the “ideal friend” he had been seeking in vain for years. My Dog Tulip is a bittersweet retrospective account of their sixteen-year companionship, as well as a profound and subtle meditation on the strangeness that lies at the heart of all relationships. In vivid and sometimes startling detail, Ackerley tells of Tulip’s often erratic behavior and very canine tastes and of his own fumbling but determined efforts to ensure for her an existence of perfect happiness.
This book was definitely not my cup of tea. If it hadn’t been read by Ralph Cosham I would have never finished it. If it had been much longer (it’s only a little over 4 hours long) I wouldn’t have finished it either.
There were a handful of moments that struck me as sweet, touching or funny, but most of it was about Ackerley’s detailed account of efforts to get Tulip impregnated. And I mean detailed as in bodily function type detail. Maybe you have to be at dog person to get this book. I’m a cat person.
I did enjoy the occasional moments of true wit and charm but they were overshadowed and outnumbered by the stretches that were far less enjoyable.
Perhaps this is a validation of my prior statements that I’d listen to Ralph Cosham read the phone book. Seriously, his reading of this memoir was wonderful. He was able to capture Ackerley’s utter adoration of every aspect of Tulip’s existence in the way he spoke the words.
If I was rating this on audio alone, I’d give it 4.5 stars. If I’d picked up the paper version of this I’d never have finished it.
Rating 1/5 for the book
Rating 4.5/5 for the narration
SoundBytes is a weekly roundup of audio book reviews hosted by Jen at Devourer of Books.