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The Dog Department: James Thurber on Hounds, Scotties, and Talking Poodles Hardcover – April 3, 2001

5 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From The New Yorker

This omnibus brings together the artist's signature hounds with previously uncollected material. Thurber disdained "sentimental woofumpoofum," and his unpoetic dogs, with their expressive ears and baffled faces, surprise us with a vision of our sloppy selves.
Copyright © 2005 The New Yorker

From Booklist

Thurber fans and dog lovers everywhere will appreciate this fine collection of the esteemed humorist's canine-related drawings and musings. James Thurber--author, cartoonist, renowned wit, and founding staff member of the New Yorker--contributed articles and cartoons in that magazine from 1927 until his death in 1961. This delightful compilation of his work (on the subject of dogs) includes pieces from the classic and hugely popular Thurber's Dogs (1955), which is now out of print, along with some previously unpublished materials and a large selection of "Talk of the Town" miniatures from the New Yorker. The collection is edited by Rosen, literary director of the Thurber House, a literary center in Columbus, Ohio, and author of such books as Speak (1993), Dog People (1995), and The Company of Dogs (1996). Thurberphiles, of which there are many, will clamor for copies. Kathleen Hughes
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 308 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; 1st edition (April 3, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060196564
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060196561
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 1.1 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #701,631 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I own a yellowed, dog-eared copy of the original "Thurber's Dogs", published in 1955. I don't remember where I got it, but I still read these stories from time to time, and they never cease to cheer me up and get me smiling! Now I can get a nice, new copy of "The Dog Department", a collection of mostly the same stories that Thurber(1894-1961) wrote decades ago, but have not lost their appeal. The stories are warm and witty--very personal accounts of his many dogs and their personalities and antics. The cartoons are great, too. His drawings seem primitive, yet universal.

His iconic dog sketch was rounded, with floppy ears, a wrinkle in this brow, is usually low to the ground, as if he were resting on the floor. I always thought that he looked like my dear old yellow, floppy-eared, Labby, Muggsy. But after reading the essays again today, I have concluded that Thurber's dog drawing was modeled after the Bloodhound, an uncommon breed of which he was uncommonly fond. Nevertheless, he had owned a standard Poodle who was a show dog; a Airdale who bit people, a Scotty who "knew too much"; and a "cockeyed Spaniard" (Thurber was always fond of words.), among others.

I discovered Thurber in my youth, whereupon I read all of his works that I could get my hands on. His stories are simple, yet perceptive. His tales are sometimes rather tall and accented by hyperbole. He was also very imaginative, not unlike his famous "Walter Mitty". I recommend "Thurber's Dogs" to anyone who loves dogs and satiric wit. It offers a perceptive view of life, but at the same time, a break from harsh reality. Be careful, though, you just might get addicted!
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By peter barry on January 21, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
No one can write better about dogs than James Thurber. The chapters about Mugsy the airedale and about his poodle are incomparable. My stomach muscles were sore for days after reading about the airedale. My youngest son read it aloud and could not contain himself either. If you have an airedale or a poodle or ever owned one, this is must reading. Peter
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By Frank Fox on April 29, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This book contains one of the great dog stories of all time: THE DOG WHO BIT PEOPLE....... Scratch that ...... This book contains one of the great stories -- period -- of all time, THE DOG WHO BIT PEOPLE. Once you have read this story you will remember it forever. Isn't that the definition of a "great" story?
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