Welcome to Imprint Friday and today's featured imprint: Algonquin Books. Stop by each week to be introduced to a must-read title from one of my favorite imprints. I know you'll be adding many of these books to your wish list.
When Steven Wolf met his first greyhound outside a grocery store in Arizona, he had little knowledge of the breed. Just weeks later, he was at a greyhound rescue facility, trying to choose a dog for adoption, when Comet picked him. Wolf attributes his own salvation to the relationship he developed with this special dog. He tells their story in his memoir, Comet's Tale.
Here's the publisher's summary:
Forced into early retirement by a spinal condition, Steven Wolf reluctantly left his family and moved to Arizona for its warm winter climate. A lifelong dog lover, the former hard-driving attorney is drawn to a local group that rescues retired racing greyhounds. When Comet, a once-abused cinnamon-striped racer, chooses to "adopt" Wolf, he has no idea that a life-altering relationship has begun—for both of them.Books about pets can sometimes come across as overly sentimental. Books about coming to terms with a personal illness can come across as miraculous or religious. What saves Comet's Tale from any of these fates is Steven Wolf's willingness to share the good and the bad about himself and his family life while telling us about his incredible relationship with Comet and her work as a service dog. Further, Comet's story is presented against the backdrop of a broader discussion of the history and plight of greyhounds in general.
Racers, cruelly treated and exposed only to the track and cage, have no inkling of the most basic skills—walking on tile floors, climbing stairs, even playing with toys or children—so Wolf must show the mistrustful greyhound how to thrive in the real world. Gradually, a confident but mysterious spirit emerges from the stunning animal. And when Wolf’s health starts to worsen, the tables turn and Comet must now help Wolf with the most basic skills.
Wolf teaches her to be a service dog, and soon enough she’s hauling his wheelchair at top speed through airport terminals, towing his cart through the grocery store, helping him get out of bed, and attracting friends to Wolf’s isolated world. She plays a crucial role in restoring his health and even saving his marriage. Their unshakable faith in each other makes them winners once again.
Comet's Tale is a moving (yes, my eyes welled up several times) story about the love between a man and his dog. I can't believe anyone could come away from this book untouched. In fact, I'm giving you fair warning: You may find yourself thinking about adopting your own greyhound.
On this Thanksgiving weekend, Wolf has a lot to be grateful for, and much of that is a result of his relationship with Comet, a special dog who came into his life almost by chance. Read Comet's Tale for yourself and then add it to your holiday gift list.
For more about Steven Wolf and Comet, watch a recent video of a television interview.
Algonquin Books is a featured imprint on Beth Fish Reads. For more information about the imprint, please read Executive Editor Chuck Adams's introductory letter, posted here on January 7, 2011.
Buy Comet's Tale at an indie or at a bookstore near you. (Link leads to an affiliate program.)
Published by Workman / Algonquin Books 2012
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