Lo and behold, I received notification of a new review for my novel LOBO. Very pleased with the review. The reader states that the multiple POV that I employed as a structural twist was confusing for him at first but then goes on to give the book FIVE STARS. To me, this is the best possible result. WHY? Because I don’t strive to write something that is so easily digestible that it passes through you like grease through a duck. I want my books to get stuck in your throat, I want my reader to work for it, to think about it and ultimately, to remember the book years after they have finished reading it.
I have read a ton of pulp fiction paperbacks over the years but few if any of them were memorable. Sure, a lot of them were entertaining at the time but they didn’t change my life or teach me anything or influence my life. They followed a standard formula for the paperback industry depending on what was in vogue at the moment and I bought it, ate it up like a bag of popcorn and then forgot about it. Worse ever is the fact that on a few occassions, I have been reading a book and realized that I had read it years earlier. It had been so forgettable that even with a fresh copy in my hands it didn’t spark those old memory neurons.
If anyone follows my blog, twitter feed, contributions to writer’s forums, facebook page or whatever, you will notice a constant theme – DO YOUR OWN THING! I learned this lesson back when music was my passion. I still play and I’m still doing my own thing there as well but I’m a little aged for trying to break into the nightclub scene with a new band so I just pick away on the guitar for my own pleasure.
Back in the day when I was an up-and-coming bassist/songwriter/arranger in my hometown, I had a lot of peers who were doing a lot of very cool projects musically. Specifically, there was a band that had been highly influenced by Stevie Ray Vaughn, as were millions of young guitarists at the time. Then there was this young chick who played guitar. She went back to the roots, learned all the licks and tricks of the masters. To be honest, I thought she was pretty un-cool.
Fast forward a few years. Who do you think was the first to break out of our hometown and score a major recording contract? That’s right! The chick that did it the way it should be done. She learned from the masters and then did her own thing with it.
Check her out – Sue Foley – a chick from Mechanicsville, Ottawa playing in front of a huge crowd in BRAZIL – How’s that happen? A simple but effective tune.
The same philosophy can be applied to any artistic endeavor. Of course this requires two great human virtues – ethics and patience. I’m not about to sell out and start writing some BDSM erotica or other insipid tripe just to get sales. I believe in what I am writing and figure that with patience and hard work my effort will pay off in the long run. And if not? Well, at least I have the satisfaction of knowing that a few people read, enjoyed and were maybe influenced by my books.
Before posting the review, just a note – It seems that Amazon has a ghost in the machine. The review came to me by way of an email but it’s not online yet. Strangely, my review tally went from 11 reviews to 12 reviews and a lost review reappeared. Weird. Hopefully once this new one goes live I will be up to 13 reviews. The rating to date is 4.6 out of 5 stars. So cool!
More Than a Dog Story, September 5, 2015
This review is from: Lobo: a novel in the tradition of classic dog stories with a Mexican twist. Drug cartels, dog fighting and one dog’s struggle to return home.: A Modern Dog fiction Novel (Kindle Edition)
This novel is more than your typical dog story. Set in Monterrey, Mexico, with plenty of local scenery and characters, it is story about Mexican culture and a bit of a travelogue. It is also a story about human culture, with characters of good, bad, and in-between varieties. Among the good characters is Antonia, an orphaned girl who befriends Lobo, a large, unruly German Shepherd feared by many. The other main characters are Pepe, a former criminal; Padre Miguel, a dutiful priest and sort of guardian angel; and Emilio, a criminal who, among other things, conducts dog fights.
Burke unfolds the narrative using alternating viewpoints within chapters. I found this confusing until I sorted out the characters, their separate threads, and how they interacted. The two main threads are Antonia’s and Lobo’s. Antonia’s thread—orphaned, she is taken in by Pepe’s family, struggles to adjust, meets Lobo, he brings her joy, they are separated, she misses him, they are reunited, but events threaten their reunion. Lobo’s thread—he is born, goes to live with Antonia, is happy, is separated from her by a hurricane and flood, joins a pack of roaming dogs, learns survival skills and dog culture, is captured, is picked up by a criminal (Emilio), becomes a fighting dog, is reunited with Antonia, but events threaten their reunion.
The novel has some violent dog fights and incidents of animal cruelty. It also has some sad moments—Antonia’s reaction to Lobo’s disappearance, the death of a beloved dog. There is a redemption (Pepe’s), a comeuppance (Emilio’s), and lots of other good stuff.
Does the story have a happy ending?
It’s a dog story. Guess.
So there’s the review and my words of wisdom for the day. (my brand of wisdom … take it or leave it)
Have an awesome Sunday and thanks for dropping by.
David Gordon Burke
Find my books here!