These two reviews appeared on Amazon today for my book – Mexican Mutts, Tequila Pups + Chili Dogs – True Stories of the Dogs of Mexico. One is a five star review and the other a three star review. I am not put off at all by the three star review since I think there should be a better method or wider range – like a ten star sytem. The reviewer went on to write a HUGE review so I definitely gave him something to talk about and think about. So I take it as a HUGE positive.
5 Star Review -If only life imitated fiction
By Lynda Martinon August 12, 2015
Being a dog lover and someone who has been involved in dog rescue for three decades and in two countries, I didn’t think I would enjoy this collection of stories knowing the subject matter in advance. But you know what? I did. Who wouldnt? The stories are well written and engaging and unfailingly optimistic. Oh, if only life imitated fiction! For when it comes to dog welfare, or animal welfare in general, such consistent happy endings are fictional indeed. Burke is to be lauded for his attempt to bring these conditions to our awareness, and to those who, like me, say, ” But I don’t want to read about that,” this reader’s suggests take a chance. Read these beautifully written short stories in honor of all dogs everywhere.
3 Star Review – An Exhortation towards a Humane treatment of dogs everywhere
By Raghu Nathan “Ragsraghu” on August 15, 2015
I got a free copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review. I had agreed to review the book without even knowing what it is about mainly due to the author’s novel way of asking for a review. In fact, it made me expect as much from his book as well.
The book is a collection of short stories about dogs in Mexico, based on many real-life events concerning dogs in that country. It is an easy read and the flow is quite engaging. I can’t remember even one story that flags during its telling. However, the feeling that remained uppermost in my mind after reading the book was one of sadness at so much cruelty being perpetrated on dogs in Mexico. Of course, we all know that the cruelty is not something that is unique to only dogs as animals or to Mexico as a land. It happens everywhere. But I had not been aware of some of the specific atrocities around which the author has crafted his book. Here, the stories are of dogs being abandoned by their owners on highways, dogs being chained to a pole all the time, dogs being brutally treated by their owners, dogs being carelessly run over by their owners’ cars or by others on the roads, dogs being kidnapped for ransom and so on. The author has dealt with them all well by starting each story with a real-life news report on one such atrocity and following it up with his story which generally ends in happier circumstances for the fictional dog than its real counterpart, thereby making us feel good rather than depressed at the end. I only wish the author had used his freedom to work his imagination a little more while creating these stories. I kept anticipating some pleasant twist in each story towards the end to make it a story that would linger on in my mind. Instead, I mostly found the stories going on a straight line all the way through, making it difficult to pick out one story that stands out from the pack. Still, I would mark a couple of stories as the better ones.
The story ‘Brothers’ is built on the undying loyalty of dogs. It brought me memories of my high school days when I read a poem by William Wordsworth called ‘Fidelity’, which also focused on the same emotion. The story ‘Ransoming the Bone’, though short, would have to be my choice as the best in the collection because it ended ever so suddenly even as I was led to expect more. Two stories have been told from the dog’s viewpoint in first person and I liked the idea.
The author’s love and concern for dogs is palpable. I have a feeling that people who own dogs and love them, would find much more to enthuse about these stories than me because I have never had a pet and have never known a dog intimately. I can relate to these stories mainly as one who loves animals and wishes that all species be treated humanely and never killed for food or otherwise. Exotic species like dolphins, polar bears, whales, elephants etc easily find enough champions to protect them. Dogs and cats are considered part of the family in countries like the UK, Australia, Canada etc and so at least in such countries, they lead a privileged and protected existence. I hope one day, such happy circumstances would visit dogs and cats in other countries too. Not only dogs, but the other ‘not so lucky’ species such as cows, goats, pigs and chickens as well .
So there you have it. I hope to see more reviews. If you would like to read and review one of my books, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will send you a mobi for kindle, epub for nook or pdf … at no charge in exchange for the review.
Have a great day.
David Gordon Burke
Find my books here.