The Philosopher and the Wolf: Lessons from the Wild on Love, Death, and Happiness

Mark Rowlands, Author . Pegasus $25 (246p) ISBN 978-1-60598-033-1

Animal lovers or not, Nietzsche-lovers or not, readers will admire how Rowlands, a philosophy professor at the University of Miami, interweaves essential philosophical questions with charming anecdotes of raising his pet wolf, Brenin. An alcoholic and self-described misanthrope with a penchant for fierce dogs and rough sports, Rowlands is eminently likable and even laugh-out-loud funny. He describes the isolation he eventually acquired in order to write and be with his (eventually three) dogs as follows: “There were girlfriends, but they came into my life and left it again with a regularity by which you could set your watch and an inevitability on which you could bet your bottom dollar.” Of Brenin’s escapades, he writes: “We discovered him... in flagrante delicto with a white German shepherd.” But as funny as these passages are, they are a preamble for a meditation on happiness—for both man and animal. Rowlands’s gruff humor, erudition, honest assessments of himself and the world around him, and his all-out affection for his “pack” result in a book that is surprisingly thoughtful and frequently poignant. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 01/26/2009
Release date: 04/01/2009
Ebook - 246 pages - 978-1-4532-1776-4
Open Ebook - 256 pages - 978-1-60598-759-0
Paperback - 246 pages - 978-1-60598-133-8
Paperback - 246 pages - 978-1-84708-102-5
Hardcover - 246 pages - 978-1-84708-059-2
Hardcover - 288 pages - 978-1-84708-086-8
MP3 CD - 978-1-5318-4308-3
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