Mar 13, 2010

Pit's Letter

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


bermudaonion said...

That does sound rather disturbing.

Jenny said...

Mercy, this looks upsetting. And maybe a tiny bit too heavy on the irony, with the lovable boy becoming the scientist?

Jeane said...

Bermudaonion- I know the disturbing quality was intentional to get a message across, but it was too much for me.

Jenny- Even more ironic than that, the boy-turned-scientist ends up getting infected from the dog he's experimenting on, and they both die of the same disease. A bit too heavy-handed for me.

TheBlackSheep said...

I don't think I could stomach that one. I don't really need reminding how horrible humans are. Thanks for the warning.

Jeane said...

BlackSheep- Yes. I looked up a bit more about the author/artist. She does a lot of works (especially paintings) exposing animal abuse. I don't think I could read or see any more of them.

carolsnotebook said...

Definitely one I'll pass on. I just don't have the stomach for it.