Jan 26, 2015

From Baghdad, with Love

by Lt. Col. Jay Kopelman
and Melinda Roth

In 2004, a military unit stationed in Iraq finds an abandoned puppy and starts feeding and caring for it in their quarters. It's strictly against the rules for Marines to feed stray animals or keep pets, but their colonel becomes so attached to the puppy he becomes determined to get it out of the country and home to America. So the story isn't really about the dog. It's about all the events that surround the dog- the secrecy, emails and letters and pulling strings and getting support of big-name pet product companies and volunteer groups back home, to do whatever it takes to get the puppy out. Then the smuggling operation to move the puppy across boarders and home on a plane. It's also about military life, local politics and conditions in Iraq- the stress and fear and confusion. Most of all, Kopelman doesn't want the little dog to die, as so many strays do there on the streets (shot to control disease and keep them from eating dead bodies). He succeeds in rescuing the puppy- but unfortunately I lost interesting in all the technical details of how. I really wanted to like this book- it's such an inspiring story and apparently had a lot of media coverage, but unfortunately it's not very well-written and couldn't hold my attention. The chapters are really too short to be called such, there's very little depth and too much casual slang (it's written the way someone talks) and in the end, even the font started to annoy me. If you like military stories, you might appreciate this one, and if you like animal stories it's good to know the dog doesn't die- but for me this wasn't it.

Abandoned      196 pages, 2006

more opinions:
anyone else?


Shannon... said...

Interesting, I gave up on this one too...and I love animal stories!

Literary Feline said...

I am sorry this one wasn't better. :-( I liked the premise of it, but it sounds like it was poorly executed.