The Dogs of Babel
4 journalers for this copy...
This is a very special book. Not because it was particularly expensive (I bought it at a second hand bookshop) or because it has a particularly exciting history (I've no idea where it's been before I bought it). No, it holds a special place in my heart because of how I lost its predecessor. Okay, that probably sounds odd, so let me explain.
Almost to the day, four years ago, I offered the German copy of this book as a ring. I had originally planned to release it for the Advent calendar challenge I was doing in that year, but after I'd read it I decided that I wasn't quite ready to part with it. At the same time I wanted, needed to share it with others, because I had fallen in love with it, because it had made me cry, and because I needed others to feel what I'd felt.
So I sent it out into the world to come back to me. At the first station, it was stalled for close to a year. The second reader adored it. The third participant never responded to my pleas.
Well, that taught me to never again part with a book to which I had any emotional attachment. It's stupid, really: the book is about the death of a loved one, about deep grief and depression, and I'm mourning a lost book? But I was hurt, both by what felt like betrayal and because I felt I still needed to reread the book.
When, by coincidence, I saw it again in an English second hand bookshop, there was never any question. I just had to buy it, and immediately felt better about its cousin's loss. It took me another year to actually get around to reread it (it never was an urgent need, more like a hollow ache), and what prompted me to do so was the (again) almost physical knowledge that it was time to let it go.
You see, when I had a look over your wishlist, virtual bookshelf and lists of read books, the main thing that struck me was that you seemed to really like a lot of books I had enjoyed, too. I would have loved to send you a book on your wishlist, but unfortunately I don't own any of them or, if I do own them, am not yet ready to part with them, and they'd be in no condition for travel (or gifting), anyway, having been read and reread and rereread over and over again. Maybe you would have preferred a pristine copy of a wished-for book and I was about to go out and buy one, but when browsing through my shelves for inspiration, this book caught my eye, and I thought, "Hey, if your reading lists felt so very familiar to mine, why shouldn't you love a book I loved so much I couldn't bear to part with it?"
Of course, there was one problem with that. If I had missed the book so much during its two-year absence, would I be able to give it away as a present? Only one way to find out: I cracked it open on the spot, and started to read.
I was a bit surprised that reading it didn't take long, and am equally surprised right now by Amazon's information that it's just 264 pages, because it feels like it covers a lifetime. It does, too, in a way. You learn a lot about Paul's life with and without Lexy, about Lexy herself, even Lorelei. The book felt different this time around. The last time I had been wrapped up in Paul's grief; this time I could empathize with Lexy's struggle with life. At the end, I cried again, but the aching wound has started to heal, and I find that finally I can give it away. Now, over time, I'll be able to make my peace with my lost ring. Who knows? Maybe the reader didn't keep it to be mean, but because they needed it, too.
I realize you're more of a cat person (as am I), but if there's one book involving dogs you've got to read, it's this one.
PS: I hope you do love it.
PPS: Merry Christmas!
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
First, I really love the cover of the book. Not necessarily the mask, but the colors. They really caught my eye right from the beginning and made me like the book before I even read the first sentence. But that's probably just a personal thing.
I enjoyed reading the book a lot. I loved the story of Lexy and Paul, their special characters, the circumstances of them meeting. It was written really colorful and I wanted to go on a road trip right away. Of course there is more to the story than laughter and happiness. The primary idea to teach a dog to speak seemed reasonable in that context, however from time to time the direction it took was a little bit too creepy. In the end however, it all makes sense and Parkhurst does a nice job bundling up all the story lines.
What made this book really special is the fact that erinacea put so much effort into choosing it for me, that it is of such importance to her, but she still chose to share it with me. Thank you very much!
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
WILD RELEASE NOTES: