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Comment: The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels.
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Dog Walks Man: A Six-Legged Odyssey Paperback – October 4, 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

An experience shared by millions each day, dog walking establishes a bond between people and their pets, and, at its best, allows for a daily period of contemplation and quiet; at its worst, it's an exercise in tedious repetition. Zeaman, an award-winning art critic and children's book author (Before They Were Pets), presents a set of thoughtful, well-written essays about his experience walking Pete, a poodle who draws the family closer together, and helps Zeaman rediscover his childhood sense of wonder, better appreciate nature, and fully explore the wilderness outside his suburban New Jersey front yard. These essays are alternatively humorous and poignant; from analyzing the Meadowlands after a tropical storm ("Pete sloshes through every puddle. Tiny minnows dart and flicker in the shallow water. How'd they get in there? It's like seeing the origins of life.") to struggling to explain a marital separation, Zeaman's relationship with Pete will be instantly familiar to dog lovers everywhere. The author speaks from a place of great affection for dogs, nature, doggie dads (that "brotherhood of dupes"), and New Jersey.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Zeaman’s memoir tells the story of his years as the family dog walker. Theme-based chapters convey both his love of his dog and of walking in nature. After moving from Manhattan to New Jersey, the young family gets a dog, Pete, and Zeaman becomes his lifelong devoted companion. Together they explore the parks, woods, and other edges of nature to be found in densely populated New Jersey. While dog lovers will thoroughly enjoy Zeaman’s descriptions of dog walking, dog walkers, and the dogs themselves, nature lovers will find equal enjoyment in Zeaman’s quiet explorations of the natural world. Despite their forays into the Meadowlands, Zeaman (and, apparently, Pete) prefer their controlled, suburban-style excursions into the natural world over the true wild, but even a little green and a few trees inspire thought-provoking meditations and occasions to reflect on the works of his beloved Thoreau. --Jessica Moyer --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Lyons Press; 1 edition (October 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780762771783
  • ISBN-13: 978-0762771783
  • ASIN: 076277178X
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #730,728 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is an amazing book. I don't even have a dog and I found it fascinating. For one thing, it's not really a dog book. There's a dog at the center of the story, but unlike books like "Marley and Me," the dog is not really the point. This book is more in the mold of Steinbeck's "Travels with Charley," with man and dog setting out on an adventure together - except they never leave their suburban town. This is a book about discovering your place in the natural world, but making those discoveries on a daily basis in the place where you live.

Dogs, Zeaman finds, "connect us to the land." In his case, that land is a succession of places that become progressively wilder, from a small woods not far from his house, to a neglected riverside park with a broad meadow, and finally, to what he calls "the mother of all fringe places," the New Jersey Meadowlands. A no-man's land because it was formerly a dump, the Meadowlands that Zeaman and his standard poodle find is a place that, in the intervening 30 years, has become a small, but jungly wilderness teeming with wildlife. In one chapter, he rediscovers the childhood thrill of being lost. In another, he ponders the origins of paths as an ancient human-animal collaboration, "prehistory's greatest cross-species public works project."

The author is also an art critic and former landscape painter, so the world he sees is informed by paintings, and ideas about landscape. The book's playfulness is reflected in the charming maps drawn by the author's daughter, Claire Zeaman. There are also laugh-out-loud scenes, as when Zeaman's dog refuses to give up an enormous dildo that he found in the bushes. This book connects so many things and works on so many levels that it deserves to be a classic.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I got this book two weeks ago and have been reading it slowly because it's so good, I don't want to finish (five pages left). John Zeaman brings an artist's eye to the world -- he was a painter before becoming an art critic. So he sees things while he walks his dog that I would never have noticed. And he captures them so well I feel like I've been there. Anyone who has ever loved a dog will love this book. I bought two copies to give to friends and will probably buy a few more. The author's honesty makes his stories ring true. He talks about family problems and local laws he's bent on his six-legged odyssey. If you read this book as a collection of essays, you can savor it even more.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This wonderfully written memoir, reads like a combination of astute commentary on a particular modern life and a window into art history with a dog as companion. Inspiring sometimes, with humor and personal moments aplenty, the book allows the reader to enter the author's world as he honestly shares fresh insights into his life:a unique perspective on the commonplace is revealed. An intelligent read to enjoy.
I would highly recommend this book to a friend and have, in fact, shared it with many. Dog walkers will have a particular affection for the stories to be found between the covers of Dog Walks Man, A Six legged Odyssey by John Zeaman.
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Format: Paperback
This is the most wonderful book! I know it, even though I've only read a few pages (which was all they'd let me see). I Googled, "trees that grow in N.J. Meadowlands," which I needed for a project I'm writing, and got this! what great luck! Bless you, John Zeaman. P.S. what I loved was more the nature descriptions than the dog, since I don't have a dog. But it was all good.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I just read this book and I'm almost sad that I've finished it. Without giving away too much, I note that there is much that I can relate to. There is the fact that I moved to New Jersey from a borough of New York (Brooklyn) and have developed a deep appreciation of nature, partly as a result of the walks that my wife and I have taken with our current and past dogs. This is a well written, fascinating, book that provides the author's astute observations during his dog walks and I recommend it highly.
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By J. Jeffries on February 10, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Having a standard poodle I could relate to all of the poodle quirkiness. Also walking him several times a day, I could relate
to seeing our neighborhood in a new light. Every walk is an adventure for both of us. Happy to know we are not the only
ones fulfilling our duty and learning something at the same time. 4 stars
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Format: Paperback
To fully appreciate "Dog Walks Man: A Six-Legged Odyssey" by John Zeaman, one probably needs to bear in mind the circumstances under which it was conceived and the audience for whom it is most likely intended. John Zeaman is an American urbanite, who through the (initially) imposed necessity of walking a dog has come to realise the plight of the modern conurbation-dweller and the risk the human species runs of losing touch with the world beyond our fabricated and over-sanitised urban environments. Increasingly, what passes for "wild" and "natural" is tamed and anything but natural. "Natural" is increasingly not to be tolerated and is branded as unsafe, unhealthy and undesirable.

"Dog Walks Man" is a cry from the heart for the reversal of this thinking; a plea for mankind to listen more closely to the true wilderness that calls from beyond our asphalted and mowed grass parkland substitutes, and to become more closely attuned to natural events, rhythms and dispositions. The vehicle for Zeaman's own personal enlightenment is the humble daily dog walk; both the routine necessity, and the disposition of the hound itself in this process being cathartic, as well as catalytic in engendering the necessary change of mindset.

If this were all that the book had to offer, however, I doubt that it would ever have made it into print (and is unlikely to have sold, if it had). Readers away from the North-Eastern states would possibly be left shaking their heads in sadness or bewilderment. Fortunately, Zeaman is a very sharp observer of all around him and no detail is ever too small for him to find merit in reporting, and no aspect of dog walking as an activity per se strikes him as inconsequential.
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