Customer Reviews


87 Reviews
5 star:
 (23)
4 star:
 (26)
3 star:
 (21)
2 star:
 (10)
1 star:
 (7)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Raising your lovable rascal
This is a book for the novice and those who are on their zillionth dog. The book is part memoir/diary and part pet primer, with lots of information that the author gleaned while raising and training Scout. One of the things I learned in this book is that British standard is a type of Golden Retriever which is almost white. You'll also learn about choosing a dog; how...
Published on July 8, 2011 by Joy V. Smith

versus
27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a warm, feel good, puppy story
The book was not bad, but it was not what I was expecting. I expected a more emotional book which would allow me to get to "know" and connect with Scout (the puppy), but it didn't happen. Instead, the book mainly dealt with the struggles of and possible solutions for raising a puppy through its first year. Although the book was not a "how to" manual, it did mention...
Published on July 20, 2011 by ConnieP


‹ Previous | 1 29 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a warm, feel good, puppy story, July 20, 2011
By 
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The book was not bad, but it was not what I was expecting. I expected a more emotional book which would allow me to get to "know" and connect with Scout (the puppy), but it didn't happen. Instead, the book mainly dealt with the struggles of and possible solutions for raising a puppy through its first year. Although the book was not a "how to" manual, it did mention several things, including specific products, the author found helpful. This may be of use to someone wanting to raise a puppy themselves, but certainly did not add anything to the story for me. I felt there was a lot of resentment toward Scout for chewing up some of their belongings, such as eyeglasses. But everyone knows puppies chew on anything and everything, so everything of value must be put away or it's fair game for the puppy. I felt bad for Scout at times, because it seemed she could never live up to the author's first dog, Buddy. If someone is looking for a warm, feel good, puppy story, this is not it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


29 of 35 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars THIS IS AN OKAY READ...DEPENDING UPON YOUR TASTE, August 3, 2011
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Scout, the puppy that this book is about, seems like a very nice dog; a dog I would like. Of course I cannot remember a dog I am became acquainted with that I did not like, so take that statement for what it is...I like dogs and have spent my entire life with them as has my wife.

This work is a fluffed out version of a blog (which I did not read), Jill Abramson wrote documenting the first year she and her family acquired a new puppy. This is a story of raising that puppy. I strongly suspect that anyone in the universe that has raised a puppy, and done it right, could tell stories of a like kind. Mrs. Abramson though has the ability to write and articulate her experiences where as most people do not have that skill.

To be frank though, this is a pretty light weight read when it comes to puppy or dog stories. Being even more frank, I expected a bit more from a writer of Jill Abramson's caliber and reputation. Perhaps I expected too much? Maybe, maybe not.

This book gives a blow by blow play of raising a golden retriever puppy through her first year of life. The puppy is names Scout. Scout's owners live in an apartment in New York City and in a country home in Connecticut. (I suppose part of my apathy for this work is the fact that I have a terrible time identifying with folks who have N.Y.C. loft apartments and country homes in Connecticut...not a part of my life; never was and never will be). The work tells of the ups and downs, the good and the bad of raising a lively (are not they all) puppy and coping with various situations.

The book holds some very good advice as to raising a young dog although you really could not classify this as a how to do it book.

This was a pleasant read which was for me sort of emotionally neutral. I enjoyed reading it but cannot jump up and down enthusiastically about it. It is a quick read; you can do it in a couple of hours or so, and you certainly will not waste your time. On the other hand if you are a hard cord dog story person, you may find this one to be a bit lacking.

Don Blankenship
The Ozarks
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


27 of 33 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A mediocre offering, September 5, 2011
By 
Charles M. Nobles (Tulsa, OK United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I was very disappointed in this book. Perhaps I expected too much but I had hoped for a book full of interesting anedotes, stories, and helpful information on raising a puppy. While there is a bit of each in this book, the majority focuses on the author trying to impress the reader with the many celebrity people she knows and the importance of her job at The New York Times. To be sure she provides examples of the to be expected trials and tribulations of raising a puppy both in the city and the country. However, her attempts to correct the puppy's behavior focus on the high dollar consultants she contacts and the social standing of her many friends that also have dogs. This will no doubt be of interest to a segment of readers but it does not equate to a diary outlining the raising of a dog during the first year of it's life as the title suggests.
Not only is the reader introduced to a way of life many dog owners will never experience but Abramson tries to explain why she bought a dog from a breeder knowing there are millions in shelters that die each year because they are not adopted. She alludes to this situation a couple of times but never satisfactorily explains her reasoning or position.
This book grew out of a blog the author wrote for The New York Times website that was apparently very popular. I did not happen to read it but must believe it was much better than the book.
I am a dog owner and long time animal advocate and thus literally have a bookshelf full of related books. This one will not be among them at the end of the day.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Plodding and self-indulgent, December 21, 2011
By 
John Flora (Brookland, AR United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Jill Abramson's experiences raising Scout, a golden retriever, through her (the dog's) first year is perhaps more about Ms. Abramson than it is about the dog.
(The dog is named for the little girl in "To Kill a Mockingbird," which should be a clue to how her owners see themselves.)
There's not much here for the average American dog owner to relate to considering that Ms. Abramson is the highly paid executive editor of The New York Times and she and her husband divide their time between a loft apartment in Manhattan and a country home in Connecticut.
This book/CD is an expanded version of a blog Ms. Abramson wrote and includes the kind of supplemental dog lore you'd expect from a newspaper writer trying to flesh out a thin story line.
As the owner of a couple of Australian shepherds, one of them a 15-week-old puppy at this writing, I approached this CD optimistically. But Ms. Abramson comes across as a fussy kind of dog owner who calls to mind some of the characters in the movie "Best of Show."
If you're looking for a charming puppy story, this isn't it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Light reading, July 17, 2011
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I am a dog lover and this book isn't bad its just not compelling. For a dog fanatic it might be more engaging but i had to force my way through it. Not bad but kind of slow moving for my tastes.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Raising your lovable rascal, July 8, 2011
By 
Joy V. Smith "Pagadan" (Lakeland, FL United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a book for the novice and those who are on their zillionth dog. The book is part memoir/diary and part pet primer, with lots of information that the author gleaned while raising and training Scout. One of the things I learned in this book is that British standard is a type of Golden Retriever which is almost white. You'll also learn about choosing a dog; how and what to feed your dog; how to train your dog--there are at least two schools of thought, of course; exercise; pet care; and health insurance. The reader will learn, among other things, that there are a lot of choices to be made!

Abramson begins with the loss of her beloved Buddy and the reluctance to try to replace him. Her investigations into pet food and training, etc. are helpful to not only the novice, but those who aren't aware of some of the current choices--and trends. My favorite part of the book focused on training. I have not embraced clicker training, and my sister, who trained her latest dog with the positive training method, is still annoyed by the fact that her dog is not as well trained as our many previous dogs. Anyway, Abramson gives the reader a balanced look at the Cesar Milan/pack-leader approach and the postive reinforcement technique(clicker/lots of treats). I think the book is worth reading just for that! I highly recommend this book.

Footnote: For an excellent look at dog training in fiction, read Susan Conant's Gaits of Heaven (Berkley Prime Crime, 2006). Another book I recommend is Trust the Dog by The Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation with Gerri Hirshey (Viking, 2010). (Abramson mentions Fidelco and the fostering of their puppies in The Puppy Diaries.)
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Boring, July 6, 2011
By 
Megan B. (Wisconsin, USA) - See all my reviews
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
When I first read the description of The Puppy Diaries I thought, hey this could be an interesting read. Maybe somewhat like Marley & Me. I thought the stories would be heartwarming and the dog's personality would just jump out at you. But about thirty pages into the book I realized it wasn't going to be that way.

To put it simply, it was boring. It came to a point where I had to force myself to continue to read it. Since the whole book is about the puppy, Scout, the reader has to feel connected or feel something for her to want to keep flipping the pages. What I felt was indifference. This book wasn't a compelling read. It felt like watching a television show when the actors were reading right from their scripts-no creativity or expression.

Maybe it was because the author, Jill Abramson, was a former investigative journalist, and that type of journalism deals in facts and evidence,whereas a book like this needs lots of heart and fun. Unfortunately, the Puppy Diaries didn't deliver much of either. If you walk by this book in your bookstore or library, I would just pass it by
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring, November 27, 2011
By 
I was so anxious to get this book that I preordered it. The synopsis said it was a funny and entertaining, but it is not.

If you know nothing of animals and training, you might find it informative in spots, but it is lacking in so many ways it's hardly worth the time to read it, let alone the cost of purchasing it. The author makes numerous mistakes in raising her animal and the solution she and her husband decide upon is to send her husband to California for clicker-training classes and use those skills on the dog, an expensive and over-the-top answer to a simple problem. This training they opted for was in addition to the local training they had already received from a clicker-trainer but did not fully adhere to. The author simply did not take control of her dog and let the dog control her. A magazine article might have been a better approach, but in fact this book was written based on numerous small articles from the newspaper. The best solution might be to burn the book to heat the room some cold night. At least then it will have a residual value.

About the only thing I learned from this book is that you cannot trust the synopsis that describes the book since the book is not funny nor enlightening, it is simply a poor attempt that does not satisfy in any way.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wow. A Puppy. Wow. Yawn., June 30, 2011
By 
Patrick McCormack (New Brighton, MN USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
We all like puppies, we puppy liking people.

And it seems as though, since Marley bit us in the pocket book, there are literally dozens of puppy books. My Puppy. How Our Bad Dog Made Us Love Him. Biggles, the Bad Puppy Who Made Us Happy.

This book is by an editor of the New York Times, which should mean literary grace, or probing reporting. Instead, we have fluff, great bags of fluff. Scout, the puppy, is sorta ripped off by the author's greater love for her prior dog, who really was her first love.

There are small forays into puppy training and raising issues. The entire book takes about 2 hours to read. There are the requisite "aw!" moments. But the reader is left feeling that this is a bit rote, a bit of a throw off, a pocket book fattener.

Here is a good guideline. If you are at a party and you are telling a puppy story, and the cat lovers STAY TO LISTEN, then you have a good story. This book is for puppy lovers only, and for them, it is a very light lift.

No offense to Scout.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Confused, December 12, 2011
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
"The Puppy Diaries: Raising a Dog Named Scout By: Jill Abramson"; "The Puppy Diaries" was a short story of a little over four hours that was kind of confusing to listen to. I was never sure if the author was trying to tell us how to breed dogs and raised them or if she was trying to tell about her job at the New York Times. I was honestly confused and unsure if this story was only told to sell another book or was there some deep mysterious mystery in the correlation of the dog and the author.

I think, because this woman is such an experienced author I wonder if her editor should not have told her that she needed to make the distinction of whether she wanted to write about herself or her dog. I think she has written so much that others around her are afraid to speak up and say: "I didn't understand this. Can you rewrite this and make a distinction?" I wish that someone would have said something so the reader could see the great works that this woman is capable of. "

The reader of this book was excellent and her narrative was very pleasing. This is the best praise I can give for this book.

Thank you for letting me review this book and I hope it helps a potential buyer to understand what they might be reading. I also, want to praise Jill's beloved Buddy.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 29 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Search these reviews only
Rate and Discover Movies
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.