His Name was Brownie: Close Encounters with Dogs, People, and Other Ridiculous Animals
A mixed-breed offspring of "Marley and Me" and "All Creatures Great and Small," "His Name was Brownie" is your next book for fun. Peopled with multiple Marley dogs (and Marla's as well), nearly all readers will recognize their dog or cat, son or daughter, spouse--maybe even themselves-- as the featured characters barrel their way through their laughable adventures. Collies and Irish wolfhounds bound through the pages; but they have many companions, including a tuxedo cat, a mastiff, a demented border collie, two Siamese cats, two twenty-five pound attack cats, the monkey from Hell, a Labrador retriever nicknamed "Blockhead" because of his habit of getting his head stuck in plastic milk cartons, black witch moths, and a bufo. Their escapades take them through beautiful areas of Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Hawaii, before the clan finally lands in Wisconsin near the Wisconsin River.
Plot/Idea: 7 out of 10
Originality: 9 out of 10
Prose: 8 out of 10
Character/Execution: 6 out of 10
Overall: 7.50 out of 10
Idea: The book's structural presentation occasionally meanders from one storyline to the next, but each story shared is individually interesting, endearing, and often humorous. Collectively, the tales form a touching narrative about human and animal bonds.
Prose: Roller’s greatest strength lies in the book's descriptive language and the author's ability to craft evocative, viscerally powerful scenes. Those moments unfolding in nature and during periods of travel and exploration, are the most alluring.
Originality: Each of the animal characters presented carry distinct personalities and each comes to life in memorable moments. Their tales, set in various states from Hawaii to Ohio to Pennsylvania, make for a one-of-a-kind adventure.
Execution: While Roller's memoir is readable, engaging, and sweetly eccentric, the story ends somewhat abruptly, with a quality of open-endedness that may be unfulfilling for invested readers.
Date Submitted: October 11, 2019