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The subtitle is very accurate, it's the story of the bond between a woman and her dog and her investigation into that bond more generally because she is so surprised by the dog's impact on her own life.
Very much a book for people who love dogs and have experienced this bond, I don't think someone who isn't a dog lover would find this as interesting as it is for those of us who have found ourselves gobsmacked in adulthood by the relationships in which we have unexpectedly developed with dogs.
The narration by Hilary Swank is excellent, although she does mis-pronounce a word or two that sort of interrupted the flow of the text for me but only because the reading was so good only that mispronunciation made it clear it was not the author reading the book. Otherwise her reading was so sincere I felt the whole time like the author was talking directly to me about the intensity of her connection to her dog.
Caroline Knapp is an excellent writer and her prose distinguishes this book from the plethora of dog books published each year. Sadly, I believe she died soon after this book was published.
Highly recommended for dog lovers and people interested in the bonds people develop with animals.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
I thought that this would be just a memoir about the author and her dog; while that was certainly a lot of the story, I was happily surprised to hear the psychological aspects of the human and dog relationship. Her life is woven in, as well as her fears and emotions about her dog and others. I could relate to her feelings about her dog, particularly her fear of being left alone once the dog was gone. I had (and still have) similar fears about my dog, so I can definitely relate to that. It was especially poignant hearing the author talking about how she knows the dog will go before her, yet knowing that she died at a young age (early 40s). I don't know if the dog actually survivied her or not, but this part struck an emotional chord with me. I also loved the part where she was examining her life and realized that while it may not be what she or others expected, she realizes that the question to as is: "does it feel right for you?" How true! After reading this book, I intend to read her book about her battle with drinking as well as her friend's book about their friendship and her untimely death. Hilary Swank did an outstanding job with the narration. You can tell that she loves dogs, as there were times in the book where you could tell the emotion was coming through.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful
Would you consider the audio edition of Pack of Two to be better than the print version?
I rate Hilary Swank as an actress and thought she read the book empathetically and with appreciation of the profound relationship we can have with a dog. I cannot comment on whether or not the audio edition could be considered to be 'better' than the print version. An odd question really, as I'm unlikely to both read the print version and listen to the audio version of the same book.
What was one of the most memorable moments of Pack of Two?
One of the most memorable moments in the book for me was the author's explanation relating to the "it's just a dog" comments from non-dog-owneres. In that, just as you cannot truly appreciate the strength of the relationship between parent and child until you become a parent, it is impossible to truly appreciate the same between a person and their dog until you have experienced it for yourself.
Have you listened to any of Hilary Swank’s other performances? How does this one compare?
I haven't listened to any other books performed by Hilary Swank.
If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?
But for the love of a dog. . .
Any additional comments?
I feel that only dog lovers will enjoy this book and be able to appreciate that the dog 'saved' this lady. She was able to find something profoundly special in her life after a lot of heartache. It is so sad to have learned she has now passed away.
Brilliantly narrated, profound and humane depiction of the power of the love for, and from, (wo)man's best friend!