Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Dog Says How - Kevin Kling

A playwright and regular contributor to the popular newsmagazine-style NPR show "All Things Considered," Kling hems close to his wry on-air delivery in these 29 short essays, ruminating on a variety of topics including a life-altering motorcycle accident, his congenital arm disability and a favorite dog. Excerpt from Publishers Weekly via

My Review:
This was the third short-story/memoir type book I've read in the past few months and was easily my favorite. (See my review of "The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid" by Bill Bryson, which I also enjoyed.) The short essays are evidence of good editing by the author, keeping me interested and tying diverse topics together into one conscise piece. They also tended to have a "moral" but with a very subtle glimmer, so you never felt like there was an agenda being forced on you. The book starts out with a fairly life-changing experience, but it isn't until much later in the book that you realize how challenging the author's life may have been. Instead you are introduced to the personality of the author, becoming his friend, before he asks you to consider his disabilities. I found this to be both a classy and a laid-back characteristic of the author.

The bottom line is, these are well-written, humorous stories and you feel like you spent a few good hours (or less) getting to know a personable guy, one who doesn't take the world, or himself, too seriously.

My Rating: 4 stars

In One Sentence: Starts out interesting and finishes strong.


Heather said...

This looks like a good read. I have been appreciating short stories more and more as it is easy to set aside the time to get through one story and there is a certain satisfaction that comes when you reach the end of a story that you don't get at the end of a chapter. I'll have to check this one out.

Sweet Em said...

You know, you are right about the satisfaction of a short story. In fact, as I was reading this I felt like I was going through it too quickly and that I would have been able to enjoy each story more if I had paused between them.


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