Why do dogs speak so profoundly to our inner lives? When Mark Doty decides to adopt a dog as a companion for his dying partner, he finds himself bringing home Beau, a large golden retriever, malnourished and in need of loving care. Beau joins Arden, the black retriever, to complete their family. As Beau bounds back into life, the two dogs become Mark Doty's intimate companions, his solace, and eventually the very life force that keeps him from abandoning all hope during the darkest days. Their tenacity, loyalty, and love inspire him when all else fails.
Dog Years is a remarkable work: a moving and intimate memoir interwoven with profound reflections on our feelings for animals and the lessons they teach us about life, love, and loss. Mark Doty writes about the heart-wrenching vulnerability of dogs, the positive energy and joy they bring, and the gift they bear us of unconditional love. A book unlike any other, Mark Doty's surprising meditation is radiantly unsentimental yet profoundly affecting. Beautifully written, Dog Years is a classic in the making.
Doty's earnest sincerity and relentless probing at his subject matter will not be to everyone's taste.
Inevitably compared to Marley & Me, Dog Years has more in common with The Year of Magical Thinking. Doty offers more than just a simple celebration of the relationship between a man and his dogs, or even between man and dog, delving into the universal themes of life and death, grief and happiness. His style is more philosophical than it is sentimental, merging memoir, poetry and prose into his eulogy for his two dogs. (Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
A wounding yet arresting memoir about living with his dogs…Doty’s gorgeous prose and piercing meditations...are simply sublime.
No human has ever loved his animals as Mark Doty has…Doty possesses a particular brilliance...[A] stirring chronicle of love.
Minneapolis Star Tribune
This is Doty at his best....Doty does in fact make the unsayable sayable, bringing the ungraspable within our reach.
Los Angeles Times - Susan Salter
This is Doty at his best, crossing lines between dream and reality, poetry and nonfiction, life and death, human and dog.
Booklist - Carol Haggas
Sprinkled among poignant and merry anecdotes about typical and peculiar doggie behavior are Doty's tender yet cogent reflections on the underlying truths such conduct reveals about the canine species, observations that transcendently celebrate the essential connection between man and pet.
Its tone is plangent, its complex formal structure is like memory itself, and its exquisite pace reminds one of nothing so much as a stroll in the park with Fido. Poignant, intelligent, and quite simply superb; highly recommended.
While Doty is clearly fond of animals, his boundless affection is tempered by graceful observations. His warm commemoration of the lives of Beau and Arden makes a fitting companion to his previous chronicles, in prose and poetry, of Wally's illness and death. A profound reflection on hope, and a song of praise for the dead.
Starred review. Evocative, compassionate, a love story both intimate and grand, this is a beautiful book.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by hi Iz awesome man!!!! Yeah, it was, like, good. I, like, liked it. It was, like, cool. I just, like, wanna know, like, what age is it supposed to, like, be for?
Mark Doty's seven books of
poetry and three books of
nonfiction prose have been
honored with distinctions
including the National Book
Critics Circle Award, the
PEN/Martha Albrand Award, the
Los Angeles Times Book Prize
and, in the United Kingdom, the
T. S. Eliot Prize.
received fellowships from the
Guggenheim Foundation, the
National Endowment for the Arts,
the Ingram Merrill Foundation,
and the Dorothy and Lewis B.
Cullman Center for Scholars and
Writers at the New York Public
He is a professor at
the University of Houston and
lives in New York City.
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