Sunday, July 27, 2014


Known for his immersion journalism, NY Times Magazine writer Benoit Denizet-Lewis more or less dipped himself in the drooling culture of American dog lovers. Traveling by rented RV, Denizet-Lewis embarks from Provincetown, Massachusetts with his yellow lab Casey on a four month tour through many of the contiguous United States.

His running commentary is enlightening on a number of fronts. Before the ignition is turned, Denizet-Lewis reveals his neurotic preoccupation with what he imagines is his dog's 'opinion' of him and thus sets the stage for many theatrical and frequently funny interactions. It was easy for him to meet wild and and wonderful people hanging out with their pets at doggie parks, shelters, beaches, campgrounds, and inner city abandoned buildings. Denizet-Lewis shares many heartwarming and some heart-wrenching anecdotes and conversations he had with attentive, dedicated owners and those who spend their time and resources rescuing dogs mistreated or abandoned.

Benoit and Casey
An easygoing observer of human behaviour, Benizet-Lewis is often funny and always nonjudgmental. He just weaves the details of many breeds of dogs and all types of owners, in and around his journey with this best buddy Casey, who must be a dream pet to put up with a master seemingly preoccupied during the trip with getting romanced. Denizet-Lews's style seems more of a lovelorn gonzo journalist than an immersed one, but it's sweet all around.

From eastern seaboard small towns and NYC, through the beautiful Appalachian range, down to Florida, across to Texas, Colorado, California, Oregon, Montana and Illinois, there are stories within the story that will appeal to any dog lover looking for a light summer read.

- Lori Ryan Gray

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