The White German Shepherd: A Novel by

Vicki Hearne, Author Atlantic Monthly Press $16.95 (205p) ISBN 978-0-87113-196-6
Hearne is known as an animal trainer and defender of pit bulls, poet (Nervous Horses) and writer (Adam's Task: Calling Animals by Name). Her first novel is a good yarn about confused human beings and heroic dogs. Diane Brannigan, a salty, unusually erudite, ironic dog trainer, narrates this tale of love lost and found interwoven with the search for a perfect white German Shepherd. In explaining how it is that she and her partner Sam are charged with this missionfor a movie remake of The Call of the Wildshe initiates readers into the peculiar world of Southern California where, when "" . . . Hollywood calls you up, and says they are looking for an Ibizan Hound that plays the harmonica and do you have one? . . . You rush out and get an Ibizan and you spend the weekend teaching him to play the harmonica. . . . '' The search for a white German Shepherd is ridiculous, continues Brannigan, because white German Shepherds have ``no breed history in their feet, no meaning in their movements.'' But then Jouster appears, an exception that proves the rule, and while that particular movie never gets made, Jouster comes through for Diane in several astonishing ways. His presence ultimately enables her to sort out her feelings for her lover, Luke, an unresolved writer, and rethink her relationship with Sam. The writing throughout this narrative is insightful, provocative and cerebral yet earthy. Reading it, you understand Hearne's high opinion of the canine world. (April)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1988
Release date: 04/01/1988
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