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Ella in Europe: An American Dog's International Adventures Paperback – March 28, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 301 pages
  • Publisher: Delta (March 28, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385338635
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385338639
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 4.9 x 7.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #387,483 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This tale of the author’s adventures in Europe with his dog is more than just your standard-issue travelogue. Events, places and interactions that would seem clichéd or commonplace if only mere humans were involved become reinvented in the presence of Ella Guinevere Konik, a beautiful white Labrador/Greyhound mix. Konik’s love for his best friend is boundless. Thankfully, it’s also free of cutesy Hallmark sentiment. "She’s just a dog," he writes. "This I know. But she is my best friend, too…" Konik takes Ella to Europe as a reward for her years of devotion, but also, he admits, because he loves to be with her. And in Europe, dogs are welcome in public places in a way that American dogs can only dream of. Konik spends much of the book in near shock that he can take Ella to stores, hotels, tourist attractions and even fine restaurants. In the course of their travels, Ella unwittingly teaches her owner important life lessons. Watching her sleep, Konik muses, "Ella’s contentment is the kind that comes from living in the present, from being immune to future worries and amnesiac about past travails. … I think in some ways I’d like to be more like my dog." But, like all the great love stories, this one contains an element of melancholy. Ella is getting on in years, and Konik, unlike his dog, cannot help but think about the future. It’s hard to imagine the stone-hearted reader who could remain unmoved by Ella and the feelings she engenders in Konik and those she encounters. Photos.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

Konik grew up in Illinois with dogs as pets, and when he moved to Los Angeles in 1994, he picked up a puppy from an animal shelter. That was Ella, a mix between a white Labrador and a greyhound. In 2002, Konik took Ella on a six-week European trip, visiting Belgium, Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria, Italy, France, and the Netherlands. They rode in trains, taxis, horse-drawn carriages, and a gondola together. They stayed in hotels, ate in four-star restaurants and cafes, and went swimming in the Danube. "Like one of the world's great religions," Konik writes, "Ella brings solace and happiness into people's lives and the only holy wars she proclaims are upon the backyard rodents. She's blessed, like so many dogs, with the capacity for creating joy in this world." For readers who aren't already dog lovers, this delightful book will make them so. George Cohen
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

A must read for dog lovers and non-dog lovers.
Judith E. Lewter
This is one of the most eloquently written testimonies to the power of love that dogs can bring to our human lives.
Ross
Michael Konik's writing is magical and his love for Ella (and Europe) is genuine.
A Reader

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By SED on February 19, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Ella in Europe is about dreams coming true, and in this case the dream is the author's ambition to bring his Therapy Dog to Europe with him for a summer where she can be treated like a member of the family. What I loved about this book was that it wasn't cutesy or gushy. I also liked that unlike some other dog books I've bought the author didn't actually make the dog have dialog, like it could talk like a human. It's very well written and easy to read. I think even my Maltese Ginger could understand it. Most of all anyone who likes dogs will understand where the author is coming from.

Highly reccommended.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Bidley on January 26, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Like the author I have had dogs in my life from a very early age and I have always appreciated the good things that they bring to life. I have a black lab mix (Porter) who I have always wanted to take with me on trips. Ella's travels in Europe are something that many dog people would like to do but don't because of cost or logistics. It's fun to read about a dog-lover who actually did what all of us wish about doing. I laughed out loud many times during this easy to read book. My Porter does some of the same things Ella does, like standing in between stranger's legs for attention and kissing when asked. I also shed a tear or two. This is a very moving book. I recommend it to anyone who has ever loved a dog. Warning: Some of the pictures are EXTREMELY CUTE!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By SC on March 13, 2005
Format: Hardcover
When was the last time you read a travel book which made you dig deep into your own emotions? This book is nothing short of brillant. It is a tender tale superbly written by a master story teller. Michael Konik, a fantastic writer, shares sweet moments with Ella as they vacation throughout Europe.He has managed to weave tenderness and travel into one great book.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Dad of NilsLars on March 10, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I'm torn between taking this book and just finishing it and reading it one chapter at a time w. my two boys, 6 & 8. We're all enjoying a slow weekly trip to the continent with Ella and Michael, and learning a lot about dogs, families, friendships and cultures along the way.

I don't know if I'll be able to say "no" to the annual request to get a dog when we're finished with this tale (no pun intended).

I thought we got a travel book, but we got much more.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Ms. Steffi on March 9, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Miss Ella is my new hero. She got to go all around Europe with a handsome escort to show her the sites. What a diva.

There were times in this story when I was simultaenously laughing and crying. It was like a good movie in parts. I could definitely see it up there on the silver screen with Ella playing herself and Ben Affleck playing her owner.

Ella is not a lap dog in any way which is probably fortunate. She comes across as calm and that helped, I'm sure.

This is a fabulous story that anyone who cares about a pet is going to enjoy.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By JLilly on April 5, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Ella in Europe is a moving and enjoyable read. I looked forward to reading about every place they experienced together. And what a joy to have your best friend with you in restaurants, trains, taxis, grand hotels and beaches. It really should help open the eyes of the U.S travel industry to be more accepting of our 4 legged, loyal and loving companions being accepted in their establishments.

A truly touching book that had me laughing and crying at the same time. Mr. Konik is a superb writer whose vivid discriptions share what he and Ella experienced and the emotions felt from man to his dog. I look forward to their next adventure!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Crashdoc on January 29, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Once I started I couldn't put this book down. If you're a dog person you're going to love this. I've never been to Europe but I felt like I did after reading about Ella's travels.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Border Collie on May 12, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This book was so good I had to pace myself a few chapters at a time so I wouldn't finish it too quickly. I felt like I was along for the journery with Michael and Ella. At times I would catch myself telling my wife "We're in Venice now," or "we just got on the train to Berlin" like I was there.

This book is very sentimental. If you have ever loved a pet you will relate with the great bond between Michael and the amazing Ella. If you haven't, you'll probably wonder what all the fuss is about. I can tell you that I shed more than a few tears, and I found myself nodding along several times thinking, "yes, that's true. That's how it feels to love a dog."

I'm grateful to have discovered this little gem, and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys a delightful story told with real panache.

The pictures are great, too!
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