Don't be put off by the extensive family tree that prefaces Morten Ramsland's rollicking saga; before you know it, you'll be immersed in the stories of a Norwegian-Danish family, the Erikssons, whose tale begins with Grandpa Askild's escape from the Nazis' mercenary bloodhounds as they chase him across a German plain. As the title suggest, dogs permeate the novel, but Ramsland waits to reveal the actual significance of the legendary Doghead until mid-way through. Both up to and beyond that point, he maintains a brisk pace by dividing the family members' individual stories into punchy, titled chapters that help us keep the characters straight as well as clearly understand the relationships between them.
In seamless succession, we meet Grandpa Askild, his long-suffering wife Bjørk, and their ragtag assortment of siblings, children, and grandchildren, all of whom play...
Beyond the Book
Cubism (c. 1907 - 1921)
Asger inherits his love of art from Grandpa Askild, who paints in the Cubist style
pioneered by artists like Pablo
Braque, and Juan
Gris, influenced by Paul Cezanne's later work. Although some art historians
now credit the lesser-known Braque with creating the first Cubist paintings, Picasso's
Les Demoiselles d'Avignon
in 1907, was long considered Cubism's precursor, and the beginning of modern art.
Though it wasn't exhibited until 1914, it wrestles with ideas that would become
central to the Cubist movement -- "the most important and influential single innovation
in the early history of modern art," according to historian Simon Wilson.