Wednesday, November 25, 2009
The Un-Cosy or Noir es Perros
While studying the bookshelves at the home of Frank Bill several weeks ago, I came across a title that I hadn't thought about in quite a while, The Dog Fighter by Marc Bojanowski. I picked it up when it first came out because it had an arresting cover and intriguing title that proved apt enough. It was gritty and bloody with Cormac McCarthy-ish ambitions what without using the punctuation and all. And yep it was about a dog-fighting gladiator in Mexico. Seeing it on Mr. Bill's shelf made me think about Frank's own story The Flesh Rule. From there I got to considering dog-centered stories, (not necessarily gladiator stories)and recalled a short by Daniel Woodrell titled The Echo of Neighborly Bones about vengeance taken over and over after an asshole kills the wrong neighbor's pet. But the best dog-related story I've read recently has got to be Irish author and poet Gerard Donovan's Appalachian novel Julius Winsome. It paints an unsettling portrait of a man unraveling and the retribution he pursues against the world after his dog, is killed by hunters. The language alone is worth the price of the book. It's not a sub-genre I've ever sought out, but once in a while I find myself looking for a good dog related story.