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Lincoln’s Doctor’s Dog
James O. Long. Bottlefly, $7.99 e-book (290p) ISBN 978-0-9848113-5-9
A perceptive dog infiltrates Abraham Lincoln’s White House in Long’s charming satire. Sometime after Lincoln’s death, a biographer writes to the Library of Congress, seeking information about a dog Lincoln was rumored to have had as president. The request kicks off a series of letters, including one from Lincoln’s cousin, who claims the dog had been trained to chew tobacco and use a spittoon. The story then flashes back to Lincoln’s first term, when his physician brings terrier/spitz mix Cooper to the White House. A plot involving Cooper’s role in Lincoln’s 1864 reelection provides the frame for a series of vignettes and sketches that evoke vaudeville style slapstick humor via misunderstandings and folksy word play (which are sometimes marred by curiously anachronistic expressions such as “my bad”). Cooper is witness to the idiosyncrasies of the first family by participating in a Christmas party, eating pages of Lincoln’s memoir, and helping to write the Gettysburg Address. With caricatured portrayals of the postmaster general, generals Grant and Lee, and members of the Senate and Supreme Court, Cooper doles out plenty of commentary on the follies of government and war. This will put a smile on readers’ faces and elicit a few good laughs. (Self-published)

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly on 04/23/2021