Excerpt from Started Early, Took My Dog by Kate Atkinson, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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

Started Early, Took My Dog

A Novel

by Kate Atkinson

Started Early, Took My Dog by Kate Atkinson
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Mar 2011, 384 pages
    Paperback:
    Oct 2011, 400 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
BJ Nathan Hegedus

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


"Jesus H. Christ," Arkwright gasped, bending over and resting his hands on his knees when they finally achieved the fifteenth floor. "I used to be a rugby wing forward, believe it or not."

"Ay, well, you're just an old, fat bloke now," Tracy said. "What number?"

"Twenty-five. It's at the end."

A neighbor had phoned in anonymously about a bad smell ("a right stink") coming from the flat.

"Dead rats, probably," Arkwright said. "Or a cat. Remember those two dogs in that house in Chapeltown? Oh no, before your time, lass."

"I heard about it. Bloke went off and left them without any food. They ate each other in the end."

"They didn't eat each other," Arkwright said. "One of them ate the other one."

"You're a bloody pedant, Arkwright."

"A what? Cheeky so-and-so. Ey up, here we go. Fuck a duck, Trace, you can smell it from here."

Tracy Waterhouse pressed her thumb on the doorbell and kept it there. Glanced down at her ugly police-issue regulation black lace-ups and wiggled her toes inside her ugly police-issue regulation black tights. Her big toe had gone right through the hole in the tights now and a ladder was climbing up toward one of her big footballer's knees. "It'll be some old bloke who's been lying here for weeks," she said. "I bloody hate them."

"I hate train jumpers."

"Dead kiddies."

"Yeah. They're the worst," Arkwright agreed. Dead children were trumps, every time.

Tracy took her thumb off the doorbell and tried turning the door handle. Locked. "Ah, Jesus, Arkwright, it's humming in there. Something that's not about to get up and walk away, that's for sure."

Arkwright banged on the door and shouted, "Hello, it's the police here, is anyone in there? Shit, Tracy, can you hear that?"

"Flies?"

Ken Arkwright bent down and looked through the letter box. "Oh, Christ - " He recoiled from the letter box so quickly that Tracy's first thought was that someone had squirted something into his eyes. It had happened to a sergeant a few weeks ago, a nutter with a Squeezy washing-up bottle full of bleach. It had put everyone off looking through letter boxes. Arkwright, however, immediately squatted down and pushed open the letter box again and started talking soothingly, the way you would to a nervy dog. "It's OK, it's OK, everything's OK now. Is Mummy there? Or your daddy? We're going to help you. It's OK." He stood and got ready to shoulder the door. Pawed the ground, blew air out of his mouth and said to Tracy, "Prepare yourself, lass, it's not going to be pretty."

  • 1
  • 2

This is an excerpt from Started Early, Took My Dog by Kate Atkinson. Copyright © 2011 by Kate Atkinson. Reprinted by permission of Reagan Arthur Books, Little Brown, New York, NY. All rights reserved.

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:
  Decoding British Phrases

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Pachinko
    Pachinko
    by Min Jin Lee
    Pachinko has one of the best opening lines I've encountered in some time: "History has failed us, ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Summer Before the War
    by Helen Simonson
    Set on the cusp of World War I, The Summer Before the War exudes strength and spirit as a small town...
  • Book Jacket: Lincoln in the Bardo
    Lincoln in the Bardo
    by George Saunders
    George Saunders' Lincoln in the Bardo is a philosophy discourse brilliantly disguised as a ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Sellout
by Paul Beatty

The first book by an American author to win the prestigious Man Booker Prize.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Caught in the Revolution
    by Helen Rappaport

    A masterful retelling of the Russian Revolution from the author of The Romanov Sisters.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Fifth Petal
    by Brunonia Barry

    Beloved author Brunonia Barry returns to the world of The Lace Reader with this spellbinding new thriller.
    Reader Reviews

Who Said...

On the whole, human beings want to be good, but not too good and not quite all the time

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

K Your F C

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & 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.