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Download I Thought You Were Dead epub

by Pete Nelson

For Paul Gustavson, life is a succession of obstacles, a minefield of mistakes to stumble through. His wife has left him, his father has suffered a stroke, his girlfriend is dating another man, he has impotency issues, and his overachieving brother invested his parents’ money in stocks that tanked. Still, Paul has his friends at Bay State bar, a steady line of cocktails, and Stella. Stella is Paul’s dog. She listens with compassion to all his complaints about the injustices of life and gives him better counsel than any human could. Their relationship is at the heart of this poignantly funny and deeply moving story about a man trying to fix his past in order to save his future.
Download I Thought You Were Dead epub
ISBN: 1565125975
ISBN13: 978-1565125971
Category: Literature
Subcategory: United States
Author: Pete Nelson
Language: English
Publisher: Algonquin Books (April 13, 2010)
Pages: 264 pages
ePUB size: 1492 kb
FB2 size: 1888 kb
Rating: 4.2
Votes: 468
Other Formats: rtf lrf mobi azw

I picked this up for my Kindle based on a recommendation in City Dog Magazine. I really enjoyed the ongoing dialogue between Paul and Stella and often imagine that my dog, Agnes, would speak much like Stella does if she could. It was a terrific representation of the weaknesses and insecurities of the human condition. I particularly gained a lot of perspective on the theme that Paul thought he was the messed up one and that he was envious of his brother's "perfect" life, only to realize that it is never greener on the other side of the fence. When it got to the chapter that I knew had to come, I cried from the first word to the last. I just wish that it could have been placed later in the book, as the conversations between Paul and Stella were, in my opinion, as valuable to Paul as if he were paying a high priced psychologist. I think his issues world have been better dealt with through his inner monologue with Stella. But I do understand how his loss of Stella was the kindling that he needed to get the fire of changing his life dramatically stoked. Paul's text dialogue with his father was also extremely touching. My only complaint would be that his decision to quit drinking was far too simplified and not medically accurate. With the amount of all day and night drinking we are led to believe Paul consumes, he would not be able to just decide one day to quit cold turkey. Alcohol withdrawal is a very serious medical issue; I just don't accept the fact that a chronic heavy drinker like Paul would not undergo a variety of medical manifestations from sudden withdrawal of a substance he is physiologically addicted to. Other than that I also thought it was a bit over-simplified that that one singled decision magically resulted in his life turning around completely, I think Paul is more complex than that and would have liked to see more resolution of his deeper seated insecurities.
Here's what I wrote on my blog (Recovering Book Snob - [...]) when I was halfway through "I Thought You Were Dead."

I Love "Talking" Dogs!

I think I first fell in love with books that featured talking dogs years ago, when I read Harlan Ellison's classic novella that included the story A Boy and His Dog. The dog didn't actually talk, but he communicated with his human pal telepathically. It was a post-apocalyptic story that was made into a somewhat horrifying movie.

I remembered that book recently as I fell in love with another talking-dog book. In "I Thought You Were Dead" by Pete Nelson the dog actually talks. Stella, a german shepherd/labrador mix listens to her owner Paul's woes and offers some wonderfully amusing and wise advice.

A typical exchange:
Paul is explaining to Stella that his father has had a stroke. He says, "They don't know how bad it is. I was talking to a guy at the bar who said if they get to you in time, they can limit the damage."

"A guy at the bar said that?


"Always a good source for reliable medical information," she said. "I'm sorry for you."

I love this dog!

What I love about these dog books is that the dogs may be special (talking, telepathic, novel-narrating) but they're still very much dogs. They eat, poop and love a good scratch. And they're ever so loyal.

Here's what I wrote after I had finished the book:

Not Enough Dog

Just to follow up on my previous post about "I Thought You Were Dead." After finishing the book, I would give it four stars. I liked it, but it got a bit whiney in the middle. But mostly, I would have liked to hear more from the dog. If you're a dog lover, I recommend it. But be sure to keep some tissues handy.
This book was recommended by a friend. I wasn't sure if I would like a "talking dog" book, but since that approach wasn't overdone, it worked for me. As a pet owner, I often "talk" to my dog and can appreciate how important it is to have a good listener. The chapter entitled "Time" was extremely difficult for me since I was wrestling with some serious issues when I read it. This book is really about Paul, the main character, and his journey into his future. I really liked it and would recommend it.