The long-awaited novel; a very special love story; from the best-selling author of Cowboys Are My Weakness.
This is the story of a woman, Rae, and her dog, Dante, a wolfhound who teaches "his human" that love is stronger than fear (the dog has always known this). Dante is the catalyst for change in other characters as well, and they step forward with their narratives: Rae's house-tender; her therapist; two veterinarians; and an anxiety-ridden actor, Howard, who turns out to be as stalwart as Dante himself. As the "seer" who hunts by sight rather than smell, Dante has some things to add, as does Rose, another dog who lives at Rae's heels, and Stanley the cat. Among and above these myriad voices, Rae voices her own challenges. With the wit and dead-on candor we've come to expect from Pam Houston, Sight Hound unfolds a story that illuminates the intangible covenant between loved ones. Here, dogs and humans are simply equal creatures, looking to connect and holding on for dear life when they do. Reading group guide included.
Postfeminist toughness and post-hippie sentiment are the alternating currents of this wry, tender novel by Houston (Cowboys Are My Weakness; Waltzing the Cat; etc.) about a Colorado playwright and her beloved Irish wolfhound. Rae hasn't had much luck with men, but her love for her dog Dante is pure and uncomplicated. When he is diagnosed with cancer, she puts all of her energies into prolonging his life, volunteering him for experimental surgery. The ups and downs of the three years he spends in remission are narrated from the perspective of the motley friends who float in Rae's out-sized orbit. Chief among these is Howard, the adorably histrionic actor whose love is Rae's main consolation for the looming loss of Dante; there's also Darlene, Rae's tough-as-nails housekeeper, who keeps things running at the ranch while Rae's at her Denver apartment or traveling to exotic places. Then there's restless, jaded Jonathan, Rae's fellow playwright and best friend; Jodi, the young bride of a surrealist painter, who moves to Colorado and finds a soul mate in Rae; Dr. Evans, the driven vet who labors to save Dante; and Brooklyn Underhill, Dr. Evans's idealistic young ex-soldier assistant. And of course, Dante has his own say, as does Rae's rambunctious second dog, Rose, and Darlene's cat, Stanley. Houston isn't afraid to venture into boggy terrain readers who squirm at the notion that dogs have human "moms" and "souls as deep and authentic as anything in creation" will resist being carried along at first but the novel's humor and irony are bracing, and different voices provide welcome contrasts in tone. Houston's gift for capturing the dynamic of unorthodox webs of relationships is on pleasing display in this gruffly warmhearted novel.
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I received this book as a gift from a family member whose instincts about what I will enjoy reading are usually spot on. But when I read the synopsis, I was by skeptical. My first thought was "Yes, I love dogs, and yes, I love to read but this sounds kinda hokey." I was wrong. It is one of my all time favorite books. The story itself is unique in perspective and depth. It is moving, honest and wise -- all of which sounds cliche -- but this book is anything but. I defy you to ever forget it. And I promise you'll read it again.
This is my favorite book of all time. The dog's point of view is amazing. The style that the book is written in will make you yearn for more. It's a book you can't put down and will want to read again.