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Anyone who has read Dean Koontz’s novels (my favorite is Watchers) knows that he can tell a gripping tale while being perceptive about dogs, an insight made more noteworthy by the fact that Koontz didn’t have a dog for the longest time. Finally in 1998 he and his wife Gerda corrected this omission by adopting Trixie, a Golden Retriever and trained assistance dog, who had been forced by elbow problems to retire in her third year of service. It was the happiest forced retirement imaginable--for Trixie, for the Koontzes, and for all of us who are now privileged to read Dean Koontz’s loving memoir of this remarkable being: A Big Little Life.
Like all great writers, Koontz has the ability to transform the ordinary--his daily life with Trixie--into the funny, the moving, and the sublime. Trixie’s accidentally gashing him while they play fetch turns into one of the great set pieces of medical comedy as Koontz ends up in the emergency room with a lacerated hand. On another occasion Trixie’s saying “baw” for “ball”--straining to say it, but saying it nonetheless--becomes a memorable recounting of all of our attempts to communicate with beings from another species. And Koontz’s simply watching Trixie move, her lithe golden body shimmering and flashing in the sun, takes on the quality of the divine as he expresses what so many of us have subconsciously thought about our own dogs: “The more I watched her, the more she seemed to be an embodiment of that greatest of all graces we now and then glimpse, from which we intuitively infer the hand of God.”
It is no exaggeration to say that Trixie was the hand of God for Koontz. He recounts his difficult childhood, his dysfunctional father, and the many challenges that he had to overcome on the road to becoming a world-famous novelist. But with that fame came commercial caution: telling stories in the same old familiar way and a consequent dulling of his creativity. Then came Trixie. With “baws” and balls, with warning him of fires and intruders in the house, with humor, with stoicism, and with unflinching love, she restored his diminished sense of wonder and impelled him toward taking new risks with narratives, themes, and characters, the very ones millions of us now enjoy.
“Some dog, huh?” he says.
“Some dog, yes,” we must agree, also concurring when he adds, “The only significant measure of your life is the positive effect you have on others.”
For all of us who have had our lives made better by our dogs, or for that matter by any loving being, A Big Little Life is a welcome reminder of the power of love to turn our hearts into mirrors, reflecting compassion back into the universe--as Trixie most surely did for Koontz and Koontz now does for us.--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
I highly recommend this book to all dog lovers and to readers who enjoy Koontz's dog stories.
If you want to know what it feels like to know love, loss and much more - please read or listen to this book.
This is a very touching story of a wonderful dog and the people who shared their love and life with her.
Mr. Koontz is not an author. He is, instead, a bright beacon of light shining light on a cold and dark world. My words cannot do justice to this moving and profound work. Read morePublished 13 hours ago by C. W. Lawson
I received this book as a gift for my b'day this year. What a wonderful gift. Mr. Koontz has blessed us all with his heartfelt memoir of a much beloved friend. Read morePublished 18 hours ago by CaliReader
Reading about how close Dean and his wife were to their dog makes me realize I am not alone! I wish everyone could find the joys a pet can bring as Mr. Koontz and I have!Published 4 days ago by Gwen Dossey
I have never laughed, or cried, so much reading a book. This book is a must read for anyone who has or who has had a dog, especially if one has had a golden retriever. Read morePublished 10 days ago by Dan in Aloha
i absolutely loved this book i couldn't put it down its easy to read interesting makes me wanna golden retriever myself.Published 11 days ago by Debra Gahm
In all honesty, after I lost my 15-year old Doody ( I know, I know... silly name, huh) almost five years ago, I hurt too much to even think about caring so much for another dog;... Read morePublished 11 days ago by D. Hodge
Mr Koontz perfectly describes the wonder and joy an animal can bring to your life......and the heart braking pain tailoring them too soon brings....but he puts. Read morePublished 12 days ago by linda Tefelski
A beautiful, heartfelt story about the love between Dean and Gerda Koontz and their Amazing furchild, Trixie. The book made me laugh as well as cry as Mr. Read morePublished 12 days ago by Diane Schober
This story captures the reader and the dog captured the heart of a man who did not know he would ever have a dog. Read morePublished 14 days ago by Lee Huddleston