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Lost Companions: Book summary and reviews of Lost Companions by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson

Lost Companions

Reflections on the Death of Pets

by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson

Lost Companions by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson X
Lost Companions by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson
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  • Published Jun 2020
    272 pages
    Genre: Other

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Book Summary

A heartfelt exploration of human grief after the loss of a pet by the New York Times bestselling author of Dogs Never Lie About Love.

Over 84 million Americans―almost 3/4 of the US population―own a pet, and our society is still learning how to recognize and dignify that relationship with proper mourning rituals. We have only recently allowed the conversation of how to grieve for our non-human family members to come front and center.

Lost Companions fills a specific, important demand, a massive need in the market for an accessible, meaningful book on pet loss. Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson takes a very personal, heartfelt approach to this difficult subject, allowing readers to explore their own responses and reactions, suggesting ways through and out of grief, as well as meaningful ways to memorialize our best friends.

Lost Companions is full of moving, thought-provoking and poignant stories about dogs, cats, horses, birds, wombats and other animals that beautifully illustrate the strong bond humans form with them.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

BookBrowse Review
"Sadly, Lost Companions is disorganized, rambling and frequently redundant. It's reminiscent of a writing exercise where you just write as much as you can as fast as you can without stopping. There are small gems, but it desperately needs the hand of a good developmental editor.

Additionally, the author makes broad claims based solely on anecdotal evidence or his 'sense' of a thing. For example, he asserts that cats don't get dementia but his evidence is solely that none of his cats ever got dementia. He makes passing mention of scientists and researchers, but rarely cites any actual research, and when he does it is often only to contradict the research with his own feelings about the issue or his anecdotal evidence. In other words, scientists and other researchers may say one thing, but he--a lay person--knows better. In addition, some of his broad claims are deeply problematic, whether merely Eurocentric (e.g., "We are today, as a species, pet obsessed.") or deeply offensive (e.g., equating the recognition of animal sentience with the recognition of equality among ethnicities)." - Lisa Bintrim

Other Reviews
"Highly recommended for all animal lovers who inevitably must deal with the death of their pets." - Library Journal (starred review)

"[A] moving and intimate study...Anyone who's found it difficult to deal with the fact that pets' 'lives are so much shorter' than humans' will appreciate this compassionate work." - Publishers Weekly

"A touching, sensitive journey that will, like Masson's previous books, find a wide audience." - Kirkus Reviews

"Losing a pet or other animal friend can be incredibly traumatic. This touching book is all about the bonds between humans and other species, and why we grieve their loss as much as we do." - Frans de Waal, New York Times bestselling author of Mama's Last Hug: Animal Emotions and What They Tell Us About Ourselves

"A thoughtful examination of a heartbreaking thing that happens to many of us, the death of a beloved pet, Lost Companions is a beautiful book about a largely ignored subject, and will help many people." - Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, New York Times bestselling author of The Hidden Lives of Dogs

"When animals enter our lives and hearts, a difficult inevitability arises. None of us live forever, and because we often outlive our beloved pets, we will miss them terribly someday. It's not a subject we like to talk about. Fortunately, Lost Companions does the talking for us, helping to prepare us, helping us to realize that grief is the flip side of all the delights they have given us and that we will always have." - Carl Safina, New York Times bestselling author of Beyond Words and Becoming Wild

"Many of us are devoted to the pets as well as the wild creatures that share the world with us. Their deaths can be wrenching, yet the culture we live in often trivializes our grief. With empathy and tenderness, Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson writes of the innate dignity of other animals and the strength and beauty of our mutual bond ― illuminating our right to love them, and mourn their leaving, as deeply as we want." - Lydia Millet, author of A Children's Bible

This information about Lost Companions was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson Author Biography

Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson is an American author. Masson is best known for his conclusions about Sigmund Freud and psychoanalysis.

Jeff has a Ph.D. in Sanskrit from Harvard University. He was Professor of Sanskrit at the University of Toronto. While at the university he trained as a Freudian analyst (from 1971-1979) graduating as a full member of the International Psycho-Analytical Association. In 1980 he became Project Director of the Sigmund Freud Archives.

Given access to Freud's papers in London and the Library of Congress, his research led him to believe that Freud made a mistake when he stopped believing that the source of much human misery lay in sexual abuse. Masson's view was so controversial within traditional analytic circles that he was fired from the archives and had his ...

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