Monday, July 16, 2012
One Dog and his Man
Over the past forty eight hours I've been getting closely acquainted with a certain labrador by the name of Oberon. He's a canny soul, slightly posh, remarkably well-versed and with a healthy contempt for the gullibility of his Lord and Master as regards his ability (the Lord and Master's that is) to resist or avert Oberon's attempts to get his own way.
To explain, Oberon is the narrator and 'I' character in the book titled One Dog and his Man by Mike Henley. This is a charming and very humorous view of the world from Oberon's perspective, hence the title. As anyone who has owned a labrador knows, they are obsessed with two things - food and comfort. Oberon is no exception and his accounts of how he manipulates his master into making both these things easily available to him are so familiar, I have been chuckling my way from page to page. He has his master taped to a capital 'T' and provides a very useful guide to up and coming young hopefuls on how to sabotage their humans' intentions, kitchens and even love life with exceptional canine cunning.
It's not a long book. Interestingly, there are no page numbers, but the Lulu.com blurb says it's 109 pages including the title page, copyright page and extras. It's also beautifully illustrated by the late, Larry, who was a well-known British cartoonist, so given the amount of space pictures take up, it is a book you will romp through with ease over a weekend, or if you are a quick reader, even an evening. By the way, the drawings are a treat in themselves and would make me want to own the book just to look at them now and then.
Mike Henley is actually an actor and voice artist, but he clearly has some talent with the pen as well. I knew Mike at college long long ago (in those days, we both had long hair!), and had not seen or been in touch with him until we both re-emerged on Facebook and became contacts through the agency of mutual friends. I still have not met him again in 'real life', but even at college, he was known as a 'bright spark'. I see from his FB repartee that his wit has only increased with the years, and this is evident in his writing as well.
I hope this is not the only book he is planning to write as it would be good to read the feline side of the story too. I believe he has a cat called Nigel. That aside, I can recommend getting hold of a copy of this one, especially if you have a dog, and more particularly, a labrador. You could learn a few things, and not only about dogs, while being very entertained in the process.