Red Dog coverOrdinarily I would never pick up a book by Louis de Bernieres. For one thing he has a pretentious name, although that may well not be his fault. For another I hated the film of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. Again, not his fault. Nevertheless, these things work against his favour. (I think I may have once attempted to read the book of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, but since I neither remember finishing Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, nor am I even sure that I even started it in the first place, I have to assume it was an unhappy experience, if indeed it was an experience that took place at all).
I stumbled across Red Dog while attempting to find out if there were any worthy Australian novels to read. Either there are very few (published) authors in Australia or the books simply don’t travel well, because I didn’t find a great deal.
One thing I did find was Red Dog, which isn’t an Australian novel in the strictest sent, but it does take place in Australia. It’s based on the true story of a dog called Red who travelled his way around Western Australia, adopting different owners at different times, and generally seemed to be liked by most of the people whose paths he crossed.
It’s a slender book, and written with an appealing simple style which makes it great for kids, but rewarding for adults (bit like a Pixar film). Consequently it’s a very short read, but one that’ll probably stick in your mind for quite some time.
Next time we’re in Australia we’ll try and get a picture of the Red Dog memorial, the one that first inspired De Bernieres to write the book, and post it to the moblog.