by Sue Coe
Imagine a dog could tell her story, via a letter to one of her littermates. Pit's words gives us the barest outline of her life, but the illustrations show much more, in graphic detail. I found the artwork to be harsh, bloody and pretty disturbing, but the style fit perfectly with the brutality depicted. In the beginning, the dog's life was simple, all she wanted to do was love her boy Pat. But Pat himself struggled to find love and acceptance, living in an abusive home. The boy's father gets angry when the dog fails in a hunting trip, and separates the two. Then Pit wanders the streets, viewing all kinds of atrocities and unkindnesses humans wreak upon each other- violence, rape, cruelty to the homeless, etc. She ends up in an animal shelter and then a laboratory where the awful experiments are described in more detail than you want to know. Ironically, the boy the dog once loved is now a scientist at the very lab where Pit is now a subject.
This short graphic novel packs a staggering emotional punch. Pit's Letter is definitely not for the squeamish. There were little moments of kindness and human decency among all the base behavior, but it wasn't enough to balance it out for me. The book felt like a showcase of all the terrible things people can do to each other, and to dogs- something like Nop's Trials, only when it's visual it has a greater impact on me. I can't say I enjoyed it very much, but I was definitely moved.
borrowed from the public library
Rating: 2/5 ........ 48 pages, 2000
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