Saturday, May 15, 2010

Book Review--Dog Boy

The following book review appeared in the May/June 2010 edition of OFF THE SHELF

Dog Boy
By Eva Hornung
HarperCollins, hardcover, $29.99

Reviewed by Breila von Holstein-Rathlou

This is the first review I have ever written to let people know what I have read and if I have enjoyed it. So here it goes.

When I began to read Dog Boy by Eva Hornung, I quickly grew weary of the story. However I pushed myself to read further to prove I could read something out of my normal genre. I am glad I did. I got pulled into the story of Romochka and his unique family. When a child is raised by dogs a normal reaction is to feel sorry for the child--we are confused, and believe he is growing up in an unhealthy environment. However in the pages of Dog Boy you are compelled to love his family, revel in their victories, feel the pack's fear, and suffer their losses, even if they cannot.

Romochka grows up with a pack of dogs, but he is a boy. He cannot smell, nor hear, nor see the way the dogs can. He is the cripple of the family, but like a normal household, that does not stop the pack from loving him and protecting him.

I am so glad I pushed myself to go further. I'll even admit to those reading this, I cried. Yes I did. I couldn't help myself, it pulled at my heart strings and yes I am a dog person. Eva Honrung wrote this book beautifully. I applaud the voice of the character, and the honesty of life she has portrayed in her novel.

Don't get me wrong, this isn't the story of a perfect life. It's a child growing up on the harsh streets of Moscow.

When I was given this book I believed it would be a more clinical look at the life of a feral child. It's not. This is a story of the ties that bind, in the life of Romochka. It's hard to accept the view point because it's not usual. But this book shows us the value of family, even when it's not typical. Read the book and you'll understand what I mean.

Something I believe: when a book can pull at your emotions, and attach you to the characters, even if it's a little twisted, if it makes you feel, and fall into their world, then that, my friends, is a good book.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Does Hair and Nails Grow After Death?

I thought I would verify my argument!! Check it out...

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Life after death

  • 09 June 2007
  • Magazine issue 2607

Why do hair and fingernails grow after death? Surely dead means dead. How can our bodies continue to produce more cells?

• This is something that we noticed as fresh-faced first-year medical students when confronted with the cadavers we were going to dissect over the next two years. All had slightly long fingernails, and all of the men had neatly cropped stubble. We assumed that these had grown while the cadaver was being prepared. However, an anatomy demonstrator assured us that nails and hair do not grow after death and that this phenomenon was actually the result of the surrounding tissue drying out and shrinking away from the nail folds and hair shafts, giving the impression of growth.

David Pothier, Bristol, UK

Hey Writers Ink.!!! I am happy to announce that I have my first article being published in a newspaper maybe even today. I can't wait! I have another being published in the next little while. I met somebody on Friday afternoon, and was asked to write an article for her. Not sure what the deadline was for it, but I was so excited , I wrote it the next day at the market! It was kind of strange because I had people waiting in line for a vendor, and looking over my shoulder to read! Writing has it's place I guess, but when you can't sleep the night before, and still get up at 4 in the morning, I get it out when I can!!!


Monday, May 3, 2010

Guidance From Michael Ondaatje

I was reading an article (by John Intini) about Justin Rutledge, the singer-songwriter, who recently turned to the famous novelist, Michael Ondaatje, for guidance on a few songs he was writing.

The 31 year old Toronto, alt-country troubadour, is releasing a new album "The Early Widows" in May. The two collaborated on a song "On The Russian River" which did not, however, make the cut for Rutledge's current album.

What struck me was the second line written by Michael Ondaatje of a song called "Be A Man" ....."I am a pause in a storm on a dark stair whenever your name is spoken"..... Intini comments, as his millions of fans will attest, Ondaatje has always written with lyrical cadence.

Written by Monika Wright