Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Tale of a Dog by Lars Gustafsson

Excellent short novel by this Swedish writer I really like. This was written during his time at the University of Texas in Austin. It purports to be the diary of a Texas Bankruptcy judge.

Tale of a Dog has an easy-going conversational tone and can easily be digested in a single sitting, or swallowed in small bites between grading sessions, as I did.

The astounding thing about this book was the number of episodes which directly recalled events in my life. The humorous anecdote of a senior judge and his near senility rings true. His view of his neighbors and his grandchildren were also spot-on.

Pervading the novel is a sense of evil, which surrounds the “diarist” in every direction, although it only minimally touches him.

Except for his six-year old grandson, no character is fully formed, especially his wife. We learn a good bit about his step-daughter, but almost nothing about anyone else. (Four stars)

--Chiron, 6/10/08

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