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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A must read
I dont even know where to begin with this book. I could not put it down after i started it. Helen Humphreys presents a captivating novel about the two tragedies in life. The tragedy of gaining your hearts desire, and the tragedy of losing it. This book will compel you as you read the story of 7 people that im sure many of us can relate to as they encounter love and loss...
Published on June 9, 2005 by Christina

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good story of the human condition
I agree with most what has already been said about this book. The author's prose is wonderful when telling of the human condition of love and loss ,with relation to the lost of the characters dogs, with the help of those they assume to love the most. Howevr, I also agree that once the identity of the wildlife biologist was revealed, it felt contrived. However, it took me...
Published on February 13, 2006 by Happiness


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A must read, June 9, 2005
This review is from: Wild Dogs (Hardcover)
I dont even know where to begin with this book. I could not put it down after i started it. Helen Humphreys presents a captivating novel about the two tragedies in life. The tragedy of gaining your hearts desire, and the tragedy of losing it. This book will compel you as you read the story of 7 people that im sure many of us can relate to as they encounter love and loss in their life.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Small novel that resonates for a long time ..., July 6, 2007
This review is from: Wild Dogs: A Novel (Paperback)
This is one of the better novels I've read. The prose is so spare but each word tacitly cuts like a knife through layers of unecessary thoughts to those truly at the core of what it is to love, lose love and suffer grief. I've read 100s of books and none capture the feelings quite like Helen Humphreys can. The amazing thing too is this is done from various perspectives and vastly different people. In a few short pages, I felt I really understood each of these characters and truly cared what happened to them. In less skilful hands this would be almost an absurd story, but it is so believable, and often sad. But there is some hope in there too, about unlikely people helping each other out. It's also a surpringly good glimpse at how little we know about domestic dogs; and how close in behavior they may be to wild. Fascinating. I would give this quiet, vastly underrated novel 10 stars if I could. Be warned though, its images, thoughts and feelings stick with you well after you finish the book. It may even question how you look at love and what it does to a person.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Love is like... wild dogs. If it hunts you down, it will not let you go.", June 10, 2006
This review is from: Wild Dogs (Hardcover)
Wild Dogs is a tale of belonging, yearning and rejection, a group of people joined in a hopeless quest to recover their lost dogs, connected by that hope in a manner that lends urgency to their nightly vigil at the edge of the woods. The wild dogs symbolize impermanence, the futility of ownership, though many are fooled into believing otherwise.

Alice is lonely, vulnerable; it is through her perspective that we view the others, the enigmatic lover she enjoys for so brief a time, relinquished almost as soon as the words are spoken; the emotionally damaged painter, Malcolm, who offers Alice a temporary home; the stray boy, Jamie, battling the demons of adolescence and unhappiness at home with youthful bravado; and the helpless Lily, her innocence a terrible trap that will betray her. Time is suspended for these weeks of waiting and watching; but reality intrudes, breaking the fragile ties of friendships built on mutual need.

Alice quickly realizes the attraction between these strangers, the rebellious boy, the brain-damaged young woman, the confused artist and the research biologist: they are all afraid of the people who have the power to send their dogs into the void. It is only natural to navigate toward shared comfort, to pair up together: "Because we had all suffered the same loss, we bonded with an immediacy that I now realize was premature and foolish." Although Alice is the primary focus of the novel, the others are equally fraught with self-doubt, empathizing with the wild dogs that once were their pets, sensing some of this errant wildness in themselves. Alice falls hopelessly in love with the research biologist, fashioning a romance that may not be all that she hopes for, that leaves her desolate once more: "I lay down with dying in my bones. I lay down under the sweet, anxious sorrow of you."

Fate intervenes, shattering the bonds these strangers have forged. Relinquishing their dreams of recovery, all are changed by the actions that violate the imperturbability of the wilderness. The other characters complete this strange scenario, each leaving an imprint upon a short season of life at the edge of the woods; yet it is Alice who is most changed, embracing the future, her spirit expanded: "The heart is a wild and fugitive creature. The heart is a dog who comes home." Luan Gaines/2006.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Several stories within a story, May 28, 2006
This review is from: Wild Dogs (Hardcover)
Being an avid dog-lover, I picked up this book for the obvious reason. Once I started reading, I simply could not put the book down. I got very wrapped up in the details of the people involved in the search for their dogs. The story is filled with sorrow, yet there are many glimpses of incredible joy in the everyday happenings in the lives of the characters and their interactions with each other. Truly enjoyable!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I LOVED this book, July 10, 2007
This review is from: Wild Dogs: A Novel (Paperback)
If you've ever loved a dog you'll love this book. On the other hand, if you've ever loved a woman you'll love this book. Once I started reading, I simply could not put the book down. Wild Dogs is a tale of wanting to belong; while showing us different ways of handling yearning and rejection. Beautifully written. A joy to read every word.

On the surface, it's about a group of people joined in a quest to recover their lost dogs. The dogs symbolize the futility of ownership (canine and human). A quote from the book that really grabbed me--" The heart is a wild and fugitive creature. The heart is a dog who comes home."
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars beautiful book, January 31, 2006
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This review is from: Wild Dogs (Hardcover)
This was a beautifully written book which captured a feeling of the sadness of lives going nowhere and the difficulty of forming and maintaining bonds. The characters were well-drawn and sympathetic. My one complaint was the frequent use of the present tense, which slowed the pace down and was a bit confusing since so many of the events were obviously being described by the characters in retrospect. Still a recommended read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful and powerful, May 29, 2013
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Enjoyed every page. The balance between wild and domesticated both in human and in animal and the need for love and stability versus the power of freedom and space is so wonderfully presented. Helen Humphrey's emotional descriptions through such variety of characters is gripping.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good story of the human condition, February 13, 2006
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Happiness (bellevue, wa United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Wild Dogs (Hardcover)
I agree with most what has already been said about this book. The author's prose is wonderful when telling of the human condition of love and loss ,with relation to the lost of the characters dogs, with the help of those they assume to love the most. Howevr, I also agree that once the identity of the wildlife biologist was revealed, it felt contrived. However, it took me several days to shake the book, especially when some of the words hit the very core of what it means to lose someone we love, and hope they will come back.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So glad that I found this book.................., April 3, 2005
This review is from: Wild Dogs (Hardcover)
This is a beautiful story, beautifully written. It talks about leaving and coming home. Humphrey's imagery is haunting.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Writing, September 26, 2005
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This review is from: Wild Dogs (Hardcover)
If you are a reader who savors supurb writing for writing's sake, Helen Humphreys' first novel is for you.

Her characters are finely drawn like a copperplate etching and her moods are palpable.

The story is not an "upper", but the writing makes reading it a superior experience.
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Wild Dogs: A Novel
Wild Dogs: A Novel by Helen Humphreys (Paperback - June 17, 2006)
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