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Comment: This book has already been loved by someone else. It MIGHT have some wear and tear on the edges, have some markings in it, or be an ex-library book. Over-all itâ?TMs still a good book at a great price! (if it is supposed to contain a CD or access code, that may be missing)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (August 6, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805093311
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805093315
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #886,736 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Popular animal-advice columnist Dr. Bob knows and likes pets a lot better than he does people most of the time. And why not? His brother, Ted, is a manipulative sociopath always looking for a way to settle a score or cop some cash, while the only kind of handout his cats, dogs, and birds are looking for is a gentle pat on the head. Bob’s faith in humanity is restored when he marries his soul mate, Anna, but their idyllic time together is cut short when Anna succumbs to cancer. It takes Bob a few years and a few relationships, but he eventually learns to love again when he meets Camilla, a Doctors Without Borders physician who prefers to take her risks on the battlefield rather than in the bedroom. With poignant insight into the precarious nature of human emotions, Gethers, author of nonfiction books about a beloved cat, including The Cat Who’ll Live Forever (2001), dramatizes what it means to be vulnerable and how the pursuit of love and desire for renewal can soothe even the most tortured soul. --Carol Haggas


"[Gethers has] written thrillers along with best-selling accounts of Norton, his late, lamented cat . . . Now, appropriately for the dog days of August, he’s publishing a first romantic novel called Ask Bob, with dogs, cats, and a veterinarian named Dr. Bob. It’s quirky, heart-stirring, and commercial as all get-out."—Vanity Fair "VF Daily"

"[Gethers] tells this romantic comedy … but he transcends every cliché because he makes Bob a very complicated person with very complicated relationships … You have on the one hand the really brilliant comedy of life in New York now, and also the very serious story of all these things—loss, love, happiness—and how they all mingle and mix… A really, really enjoyable book."—Bill Goldstein, Bill’s Books, NBC New York

"A smart, lively novel infused with romance and heartfelt, real-life complications of family and domesticity."—Shelf Awareness

"A modern tale of betrayal and reconciliation, failure, forgiveness and family . . . Gethers sketches perfectly the character and motivations of Bob’s father and the evolution of Bob’s brother from hero to hustler. . . [A] redeeming story of life and love, loss and redemption."— Kirkus Reviews

"Ask Bob is a celebration of the complexity of human relationships."—Publishers Weekly

"A story about family—human, feline, canine and otherwise . . . In Ask Bob, author Peter Gethers has created a story with immense heart."—BookPage

"With poignant insight into the precarious nature of human emotions, Gethers . . . dramatizes what it means to be vulnerable and how the pursuit of love and desire for renewal can soothe even the most tortured soul."—Booklist

"A touching, funny story about the mystery of love – human and animal – that rings too true."—Carl Hiaasen

"Peter Gethers has written a beautiful, wise and poignant novel about love and loss that will break your heart one minute and have you laughing out loud in the next. Ask Bob is for everyone. There will be a sea of bedside lamps burning long into the night as you root for the broken-hearted to rise again, and you will not be disappointed. I loved it."—Adriana Trigiani, author of The Shoemaker's Wife

"Ask Bob is a funny, smart, charming, and relatable romp—with dogs! I enjoyed every page." —Julie Klam, author of You Had Me At Woof

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Customer Reviews

While this book wasn't what I was expecting, I found it surprisingly enjoyable.
I had seen the author on TV where he explained his hope for the reader of his book - and it was much more entertaining.
Suzanne Parrish
Bob isn't a very likable narrator and he never comes to life as fully as the other characters.
Yolanda S. Bean

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Michael Hickerson VINE VOICE on July 15, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Reading Ask Bob, I couldn't help but think that writer Peter Gethers was tapping into the same pool as Jonathan Tropper. Tropper's novels are about flawed men and the people who love them. With Gether's novel, the people who love them is extended to not only those of the human variety but also Dr. Bob's animal companions -- both those who helps cure and those who are an intimate part of his life.

Living in New York City, Robert Heller has a thriving veterinarian practice and is the popular writer of a weekly newspaper column (think "Dear Abby" for pets). But unlike the works of James Herriot, Ask Bob is less focused on the animals he treats as it is on Dr. Bob himself -- his life, his loves and his family.

Each chapter begins with a column from the syndicated newspaper feature, which will reflect on and foreshadow some of what is to come in the proceeding chapter. And as the novel expands the circle of Bob's universe, several chapters also some with an essay on a person or pet that Bob encounters in his New York practice.

And while Dr. Bob may seem to have it all together in his newspaper columns, perception is not necessarily reality when it comes to his personal life. It's not that Dr. Bob is a mess by any means. It's just that he's human with all the quirks and foibles that comes with it.

The novel is divided into two halves, reflecting on Bob's life and his family before and after a life-changing event. To reveal more about the event would be to give too much away, though sharp-eyed readers may deduce the event long before Gethers get to it on the printed page. Whether you figure it out early or not doesn't make a huge difference because Ask Bob is a character study -- and a compelling, amusing, funny and fascinating one at that.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Tracy L. VINE VOICE on July 19, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
For the most part, I enjoyed ASK BOB a great deal. Author Peter Gethers has written a witty, heart-warming novel centered on the Life of Dr. Bob Heller, a New York City veterinarian with a column in "New York's most popular newspaper."

The novel is divided into two sections, with each chapter beginning with an "Ask Dr. Bob" question. The questions are asking for pet advice, but the answers could and so apply to human beings as well. I found these to be insightful and well written.

In the first, section we learn about Bob, his wife Anna, their menagerie of pets and their incredibly dysfunctional families. Much of what we learn is presented with humor and sadness. There are quite a few funny lines thrown in.

Bob's brother Ted plays a pivotal role in the story. Ted is supremely narcissistic and disturbed man, whom Bob often gives the benefit of the doubt, only to be betrayed again and again, which truly reveals itself later on in the book

Then tragedy strikes and it is truly gut wrenching. The second section begins and this is where I had the most problem with the book. Without revealing anything, I truly did not like the Character that takes center stage in the section and could not reconcile the Bob I knew in the first section of the book with the Bob who finds interest in this character. For example, Bob is a dedicated veterinarian who dotes on his patients and their owners (we even learn about a few of them), but this new character hates animals and tells Bob he is wasting his skills on them.

Despite if few flaws, ASK BOB is an enjoyable book. A four-star recommendation from me.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Susan K. Schoonover VINE VOICE on October 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I view ASK BOB is one of those books that tries too hard to be funny and profound and instead comes off as smug and melodramatic. Though the protagonist of the book is a veterinarian and there are a few minor animal characters this book is almost totally about Bob's relationships with people most of them difficult. Though his parents aren't too bad he has an awful older brother and while his wife Anna is a saint her family is unbelievably horrid. In his Manhattan pet clinic he meets a bunch of wacky people none of whom are particularly well rendered or believable. Aside from his vet practice Dr. Bob is quite a celebrity and writes a column in a NYC paper giving advice to people who write to him with questions related to the behavior of their pets. One of these notes and his reply starts each new chapter of the book and I think the contents of this correspondence it supposed to somehow relate to what is going on in Dr. Bob's life though usually it is a bit difficult to see the connection.

Part of my problem with the book is I never really liked or believed in Bob as a person and all the things that happened to him (several of them tragic) just seemed like plot devices to move the story forward to its finale. And this may sound picky but I want to point out the the college Miami of Ohio is not in Miami, Ohio but in Oxford, Ohio. Near the beginning of the novel Dr. Bob is offered a job in that place shortly after finishing vet school but turns it down and finds a position in Greenwich Village that is more to his liking. I couldn't decide between two or three stars for ASK BOB and have decided to round down to two as I truly can't say I found the novel even average.
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