- 9,99 €
The Iditarod may be the only race that awards a prize for last place. But then how many people can even complete a course that ranges across 1,000 miles of Alaska's ice fields, mountains, and canyons at temperatures that sometimes plunges to 100 degrees below zero? In conditions like these, anything can go wrong. For Brian Patrick O'Donoghue, nearly everything did.
In My Lead Dog Was a Lesbian, his reporter and intrepid novice musher tells what happened when he entered the 1991 Iditarod, along with seventeen sled dogs with names like Harley, Screech, and Rainy, his sexually confused lead dog. O'Donoghue braved snowstorms and sickening wipeouts, endured the contempt of more experienced racers (one of whom was daft enough to use poodles), and rode herd of four-legged companions who would rather be fighting or having sex. It's all here, narrated with self-deprecating wit, in a true story of heroism, cussedness and astonishing dumb luck.
Mushing is an odd sport for anybody. First you take a dozen-plus slightly tamed dogs ("damned wolves with collars," one rancher calls them), strap them to a sled that, with little enough provocation, will send you rocketing into the tundra and start out for the 1000-mile race accompanied by chunks of frozen liver and the occasional whole reporter--this after forking over $1249. O'Donoghue, who moved to Alaska from the lower 48 to work for the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, decided to start mushing after just two winters. He soon entered Iditarod XIX while writing a column for the paper titled "Off to the Races." Perhaps because his own mishaps (shredded doggie booties, sled falls, lack of sleep, poor visibility, missed shelters, tangled, bruised, grouchy and, as the title implies, polymorphously perverse, dogs) don't really change over the course of the race (they just accumulate), O'Donoghue introduces a large cast of other mushers. These do bring new misadventures, but the account can be a little confusing. O'Donoghue's style is amusing but rarely laugh-out-loud. Instead, what really keeps this book going is the same thing that keeps the racers going, a kind of bloody-minded doggedness that thinks, when faced with frostbitten fingers, not about the possibility of amputation but the possibility of scratching.