The Friend

The Friend

Book - 2018
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When a woman unexpectedly loses her lifelong best friend and mentor, she finds herself burdened with the unwanted dog he has left behind. Her own battle against grief is intensified by the mute suffering of the dog, a huge Great Dane traumatized by the inexplicable disappearance of its master, and by the threat of eviction: dogs are prohibited in her apartment building. While others worry that grief has made her a victim of magical thinking, the woman refuses to be separated from the dog except for brief periods of time. Isolated from the rest of the world, increasingly obsessed with the dog's care, determined to read its mind and fathom its heart, she comes dangerously close to unraveling. But while troubles abound, rich and surprising rewards lie in store for both of them.
Publisher: New York : Riverhead Books, 2018.
ISBN: 9780735219441
Characteristics: 212 pages ; 22 cm

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megan234
Jun 17, 2018

Oh boy, another writer writing about a writer writing about writing. How meta. And there's death. And a dog. But maybe no death. But then, yes. And they say postmodernism is dead. If you really want to read a writer writing about a writer writing about writing, a much better choice is Richard Russo's Straight Man. Yes, there's the whole discussing one's writing students, but at least there's some humor there that's mostly absent from this novel, and Russo's novel seems to have some originality while this novel feels like I've read this thing many times before. There's a couple of dead dogs in Straight Man, too, if that's a draw. Wonder Boys by Michael Chabon has all these elements as well, also quite funny. But this novel is as unoriginal as they come. My bad for bothering to slog through it once I realized it was a pale imitation of all the other novels where writers feel obliged to talk about writing. Oh, I wish they would just stop.

l
laphampeak
Mar 25, 2018

Nunez displays a strong literary writing skill. The story seemed a bit "stream of consciousness" as the main character, a writer, thinks outloud. A mentor and strong friend dies and leaves our female lead contemplating, writing, commenting on authors, ex-wives, and, of course accepting the bequething of his Great Dane. It seems somewhat loosely put together - quips and quotes and dog things interjected.

LPL_MeredithW Jan 03, 2018

Moving, thoughtful, profoundly sad, and one of the best-written and best-constructed books I've read in years. I would not be at all surprised if this, the first book I read in 2018, ends up being my book of the year.

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