Excerpt from Funeral for a Dog by Thomas Pletzinger, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Funeral for a Dog

A Novel

by Thomas Pletzinger

Funeral for a Dog
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Paperback:
    Mar 2011, 322 pages

  • Rate this book

Book Reviewed by:
Donna Chavez

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

—Who exactly is Dirk Svensson?
—Why should I be the one to ask him this question?
—Where does he live and why there?
—How does he live?
—Why a children’s book?
—Is Svensson first and foremost an author or illustrator?
—Can you be two things at the same time?

and suddenly there’s the small, pretty woman with the boy (ice cream on his T-shirt) sitting two benches down. She wipes his mouth clean and then licks his ice cream off her finger, she takes a cigarette out of his backpack. She looks over at me, and this time she laughs. In front of her stands a small suitcase. Up to this point we’ve taken the same path, but soon I’ll meet Svensson. We’ll go our separate ways, we’ll have to part. I concentrate and write

—Can you want two things at the same time?
—Does the black dog really exist? And if so:
—Where is its fourth leg?
—Who exactly is Daniel Mandelkern?

I’m early, Svensson is early. There really is a black dog with three legs standing on the deck and coughing as the boat docks (Macumba in blue writing on the pale wood). Dirk Svensson pushes the gearshift into neutral with the ball of his thumb and throws the line to me (the children’s book author in a purple T-shirt and taller and heavier than in the pictures). Hello, I say, it’s very nice to meet you. Svensson shuts off the outboard and doesn’t reply, he’s wearing a cap (Los Angeles Lakers, the purple faded, but not the gold). Daniel Mandelkern, I say, but Svensson is looking past me. Macumba scrapes along the green pedal boats. Svensson suddenly ignores his boat, he gives me a nod, me and my tugging at the rope, he climbs across a few pedal boats to the shore. The small, pretty woman with the boy is still sitting two benches down, she’s sitting there in her green, in her beauty, and waiting with the boy in the shade of a linden tree. Svensson leaves me standing there and goes to her (remain polite and get all this over with). Tuuli, he says, and reaches for her wrist and the nape of her neck. The woman gets up, Svensson pulls her up, her back bolt upright, the dog coughs, the dirty swans of Lugano hiss, yellowed as if from cigarettes, the dog barks. Quiet, Lua, says Svensson, quiet.

Excerpted from Funeral for a Dog by Thomas Pletzinger, translated by Ross Benjamin. Copyright (c) 2008 by Verlag Kiepenheuer & Witsch, Köln. The translation of this work was supported by a grant from the Goethe-Institut which is funded by the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs. English translation copyright (c) 2011 by Ross Benjamin. Originally published in German under the title Bestattung eines Hundes. Used by permission of the publisher, W. W. Norton & Company, Inc.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:
  The Challenges of Translation

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member
and discover your next great read!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Crossing the Horizon
    Crossing the Horizon
    by Laurie Notaro
    In Crossing the Horizon, Laurie Notaro takes us back to a time when flying was a rare and risky ...
  • Book Jacket
    Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions
    by Mario Giordano
    Munich matron and self-described worldly sophisticate, Isolde Oberreiter, has decided to retire to a...
  • Book Jacket: Of Arms and Artists
    Of Arms and Artists
    by Paul Staiti
    In the late eighteenth-century, the United States of America was still an emerging country, ...
Book Discussions
Book Jacket
The Bone Tree
by Greg Iles

An epic trilogy of blood and race, family and justice.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Next
    by Stephanie Gangi

    Fast-paced, wickedly observant, and haunting in the best sense of the word.

    Read Member Reviews

Win this book!
Win The World of Poldark

Win the book & DVD

Enter to win The World of Poldark and the full first series on DVD.


Word Play

Solve this clue:

One S D N M A S

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.


Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!

Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.