Doggy Style

Jane May, Author . Kensington $14 (278p) ISBN 978-0-7582-1360-0

A narrative gimmick isn't enough to overcome the tired plotting, undeveloped characters and clichéd dialogue that dog this pooch's-eye-view of one couple's romantic contretemps. The reader meets Miles, the streetwise half-Chihuahua, half-dachshund rapscallion who narrates, as he languishes in a New York City animal shelter. Jen, an Upper East Side resident who is prone to jealousy, and her boyfriend, Bob, a "kind but firm" guy who lives downtown, stop by the shelter on a whim and are charmed by Miles's scruffy appearance; they adopt him the next day. Both gun-shy from previous divorces, the two have not moved in together, and their relationship is soon derailed after Jen gets it in her head that Bob is cheating on her with Valerie, a sexy actress Bob meets while walking Miles. After the breakup, custody of Miles is shared, and Miles reports on their dating foibles before their inevitable reconciliation. With lines like "The sky hung real low like a pregnant bitch's swollen belly," Miles's view of the world is occasionally amusing, but the effect loses its luster rapidly, and the ending, which brings closure to Miles's troubled past, is absurd. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 08/07/2006
Release date: 10/01/2006
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