By (author) Donald McCaig
Nop's Trials by Donald McCaig
Book DescriptionA classic dog story, told by one of America's best writers.
Buy Nop's Trials book by Donald McCaig from Australia's Online Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
Book DetailsISBN: 9781558211858
(230mm x 153mm x 22mm)
Imprint: The Lyons Press
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
Publish Date: 1-Dec-1992
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Donald McCaig
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US Kirkus Review » If you don't mind talking animals (the dogs here chat in a sort of Tonto Amish), this recycling of the most reliable canine formula - Man loses Dog, Dog endures an ordeal/journey, Man finds Dog - may be a Disney-ish treat; it's certainly preferable to Winston Groom's cutesy Only (p. 55). Nop is a black-and-white Border Collie, beloved stockdog of taciturn Virginia farmer Lewis Burkholder. But Nop is stolen away by evil, hillbilly-ish Grady Gumm, who's hoping to get $300 from slimy Doug Whitenaur - the Ohio dog-breeder who keeps losing at stockdog "trials" (contests) to the wonderful Nop. When Lewis comes hunting for Nop, however, Grady sells him for a few dollars to ex-rodeo-clown T. T. Raines - who uses Nop as part of a rodeo comedy-act, "The Littlest Buckaroos" (Nop as horse, a monkey as rider). Nop proves too rebellious, however, for rodeo life; so Raines sells him to villain Whitenauer, who has caught a glimpse of the "Buckaroos" on television. And when the indefatigable Lewis trails Nop to Whitenaur's Ohio kennel, the dog is again passed on - first to a cutesy/crazy bag lady, then to a Kentucky chemical lab, where Nop is about to be used in vile experiments. . . when it's Lewis to the rescue, commandeering a local fire truck for the mission. McCaig, author of the impressive miner-novel The Butte Polka (1980), fills out this children's-book scenario with an uneven assortment of subplots and shadings. Among the better digressions: Lewis' gruff, growing affection for his unwanted son-in-law Mark - who accompanies him on some of the Nop-searches. (They stop off and visit Mark's sad mother and his young, autistic brother.) Among the less persuasive ones: the rediscovery of sex between Lewis and his wife; the dog-training endeavors of Lewis' very pregnant daughter Penny; and the intensely anthropomorphic thoughts and speeches of Nop & Co. - including a lecture from the disillusioned Nop on the canine world's "covenant with man." Still, those ready to be tolerant of rampant sentimentality and pooch lyricism will find sturdy lost-dog melodrama here - along with authentic details on Border Collies and dog-handling. (Kirkus Reviews)
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