Sep 22, 2013


by Will Shetterly

A family sets up an attraction of a display of various dog breeds as a tourist attraction in the middle of nowhere. Well, it was in Florida, but sounded like a remote location. It was a strange idea, to my mind. The family built their little enterprise around having the dogs on display like a zoo, running a roadside cafe and selling stuff in a gift shop. Their story is told through the eyes of one of the youngest siblings. I had hoped (of course) on opening the book that it would be about the dogs, but it's mostly about the family, the string of curious visitors to their roadside setup, and how their attempt at running a tourist stop gets them involved in the community. It's set in the sixties and they hire some black people which upsets the locals. They got mixed up in some kind of trouble with the police, I think, and there were other events that caused family turmoil. Also, there were some elements of magical realism, which just confused me. Especially as I thought this was a memoir; there is a website about it here. Bottom line is, this book was unfortunately mostly forgettable for me. I don't recall any of the characters or events very well. Have any of you read it? What did you think? Other readers (see below) seemed to like it better than I.

Rating: 2/5 ......... 402 pages, 1997

more opinions:
Liz Andra Shaw

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