Eight Dogs Named Jack is filled with everything from street rats and made men to hardworking honest people. Set in the contrasting locations of wooded Northern Michigan and the city of Detroit, all the stories are held together with fascinating characters. Large Italian families fill the pages with lingo that makes one misty-eyed over the loss of The Sopranos. You can’t help but start using words like “mamaluke” or “Maddon” or craving Italian sausages grilled with a little beer dumped on for good measure. The author, ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year finalist Joe Borri, seasons his writing with fantastic metaphors and similes. One of my favorites? “Tighter than an accountant’s rosebud.” No one talks like that in my neighborhood. What a pity.
My biggest surprise in this book was how Borri could take stories anywhere from a tough Detroit setting to the remote and beautiful wilderness of upper Michigan and back, and make it a perfectly cohesive collection. His singular voice pulls all the stories together in a unified group, yet each plot is unique.
And let’s not forget the artwork. Each story contains drawings by the author that I really enjoyed, reminding me of the sort of art I often see in my favorite mystery magazines or pulp fiction novels. The subjects vary as much as the story topics, and it adds to the book’s appeal.
Overall, Eight Dogs Named Jack is an absolute blast to read. Giving you everything from on-the-edge-of-your-seat mob thrills to tear-jerker tales about man’s best friend, this book has wide appeal. So take a copy to your favorite outdoor chair and break out your best cigar. Because if you miss this one – well, fuhgetaboutit.
I’ve got one hardcover copy to give away thanks to Momentum Books, so leave a comment telling me what you find intriguing about the book. If you’re subscribed to my newsletter, you’re automatically entered to win this and all book giveaways here. I’ll select a winner on 03/15/08, 12noon EST. Check the Giveaway Rules for more details and another shot at winning. Don’t be a mamaluke – just enter.
A carp(e) libris goldfish award book.