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Reading Slothfully

I was told in elementary school that I only could read at half the speed for success in college. Oh well, one benefit of slow reading is you get to live with the characters a longer period of time. I read in a vain attempt to better understand people. At my other homes, I'm known as a spouse, pop, guy in the choir, physical chemist, computer/web dilettante and child-care provider. In theory, I'm a published author, if you consider stuff like Quenching Cross Sections for Electronic Energy Transfer Reactions Between Metastable Argon Atoms and Noble Gases and Small Molecules to count as publications. I've strewn dozens of such fascinating things to the winds.

Currently reading

A Christmas Carol
Charles Dickens
The Way Some People Die
Ross Macdonald
Envy of Angels
Matt Wallace
The Fellowship of the Frog
Edgar Wallace
Code of Conduct (The Jani Kilian Chronicles Book 1)
Kristine Smith
A Good Death
Christopher R. Cox
The Black Cargo
John P. Marquand
A Highland Christmas
M.C. Beaton
Tales from Moominvalley
Tove Jansson, Thomas Warburton
Moominland Midwinter
Tove Jansson, Thomas Warburton

Lad: A Dog

Lad: A Dog - Albert Payson Terhune God, this is awful. I love dogs. I love dog books. Silver Chief, Dog of the North and Big Red were among my favorite books growing up. I didn't even much mind reading James Oliver Curwood's Swift Lightening a year or so ago, although it was a pretty silly book. But this piece of crap is beyond the pale. To begin with, it's hideously racist, both in describing the behavior of people and that of dogs. The protagonist dog, Lad, is allegedly a collie, but his behavior isn't evenly remotely collie-like according to my understanding of collies. And yes, you can infer undying love and loyalty in some aspects of dog behavior, but please do not endow dogs with the powers of complex moral reasoning, a trait bestowed upon them, according to Terhune, by dint of their being "thoroughbred". WTF?

Then too, the stories are hideously melodramatic and extremely morally judgmental. Great melodrama might have sold a century ago, but melodrama has always been a cheep way to cheat people out of authentic experience. As for moral judgments, I don't generally mind them, so long as they're apt. Dogs, however, are not beings capable of such, and whether or not one is a true dog person or not is not a matter of moralism. After forcing myself to read five of the stories, trying hard not to vomit each time, I took a rest. Then, after a month I tried a sixth story, and I couldn't get past a couple of paragraphs. God is this awful dreck!