>A husband and wife have grown apart. They let petty grievances fester. They’re both getting older – spreading flesh, hair where it doesn’t belong – but one day the wife comes home with a dog and they reshape their relationship around it. Until the dog goes missing, for which the wife blames the husband. And in the absence of the dog, they deteriorate further, more rapidly, and neither can do anything to stop it. The only thing interesting about this story is that the dog is named Emma, after the Jane Austen character. That’s it. That’s all you need to know.
November 5, 2007: “The Dog” by Roddy Doyle
>Clifford, very often I disagree with your comments. But this is one occasion where I’m with you 100%! It’s a very typical Roddy Doyle story, and his stories always seem shallow with no point and with dull brief snatches of dialogue that do nothing but waste the reader’s time. He is the most unsubtle writer, and likes to spell out the most obvious message just in case the reader misses it — “That was the way their life had drifted. They never recovered from the dog. They didn’t get another one.” He strongly reminds me of the joke about the British TV quiz show Mastermind — “Specialized subject?” “The Bloody Obvious.”
>Well put, Paul.