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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.
Dean Koontz not only provided this reader with a sensitive portrayol of his beloved Trixie, but he also gave me an indepth view of himself and his wife. What an absolute delight!Published 2 hours ago by patricia h. sheehy
Excellent read, full of wonder, about a dog that changes lives. Dean Koontz writes beautifully and this book's message is so great that I read it about once a year.Published 3 hours ago by Gaia321
Dean Koontz had never owned a dog. His life was filled with his work (writing thrillers), his wife, his friends, and his favorite charities, one of which had to do with training... Read morePublished 1 day ago by Sharon Jarvis
A Big Little Life by Dean Koontz is an unusual memoir. It is full of both the highly fantastic and totally realistic events in the life of a golden retriever named Trixie. Read morePublished 1 day ago by NebraskaIcebergs
It was a little difficult to get started but once in it was great.
Cried so much towards the end. Want to read Trixie's book now!
Such a deviation from his usual fair. Makes my heart happy to read.
I fell in love with Trixie! What an amazing dog. Read more
I loved this. Trixie was an amazing pooch, but, in my opinion, all dogs were given by God, the wonderfulness of being a dog!!Published 4 days ago by Vicki Wizard
I loved hearing from Dean Koontz about his beautiful girl, Trixie. I am a dog lover, and I can relate to much of what he said. Read morePublished 17 days ago by Mastercard
I laughed and cried. I have a Golden furry daughter too. This is an amazing book about the relationship that we as pet parents have with our furry children. Read morePublished 18 days ago by Meredith Howard