Friday, February 14, 2014

Read: "The Way of the Dog" by Sam Savage

Read: The Way of the Dog by Sam Savage, 2013, 9781566893121.

Committee book.  Either Booklist of Library Journal listed this novel in their best of 2013 issue.  Ok.  I'm pretty sure I read, or tried to read, Savage's Glass from 2011.  But, I do not have any typed notes.

This is 153 pages and drew me in.  The internal monologue of an elderly, mostly bedridden, depressed, faithless, lonely, and purposefully withdrawn man.  Harold Nivenson lives in a house that is falling apart.  He was once a wealthy art collector who was primary benefactor of the famous and dead painter Peter Meinenger.  The home's walls are covered in framed art pieces.  Harold sleeps on a bed in his living room and urinates and defecates in a bucket.  The house is filled with junk, crap, and ephemera.

Harold looks out the window at his passing neighbors.  Harold mourns his dead dog with whom he used to take frequent walks.  Harold has a pistol under his bed and contemplates suicide.  Harold thinks dog behavior is the way to go (I admit forgetting what the deal was with that).

Harold's son starts coming over and getting the home in order.  An overweight housekeeper named Moll moves in and starts to clean things up and get Harold to eat properly and bath.  Harold continues to tell us about his past and his hatred of Meinenger.  Harold has many regrets of his stupidity and obsequious following of Meinenger.

As the story goes on you realize Harold's health is getting better.  He starts to go outside.  He starts to converse with his son and Moll.  He develops a love for Moll.  I could tell if he had a romantic love for Moll.

1.  I did get drawn in.  I credit Savage's skill for that because not much happens.  Harold's only activity is carping and reminiscing.  Harold's history has the only action.

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