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The Dog of the North

de Elizabeth McKenzie

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13612204,695 (3.59)29
Fiction. Literature. HTML:From the National Book Award??longlisted author of The Portable Veblen

*One of Kirkus??s Top 10 Novels for 2023*

Penny Rush has problems. Her marriage is over; she??s quit her job. Her mother and stepfather went missing in the Australian outback five years ago; her mentally unbalanced father provokes her; her grandmother Dr. Pincer keeps experiments in the refrigerator and something worse in the woodshed. But Penny is a virtuoso at what??s possible when all else fails.
 
Elizabeth McKenzie, beloved novelist of California and its idiosyncrasies, follows Penny on her quest for a fresh start. There will be a road trip in the Dog of the North, an old van with gingham curtains, a piñata, and stiff brakes. There will be injury and peril. There will be a dog named Kweecoats and two brothers who may share a toupee. There will be questions: Why is a detective investigating her grandmother, and what is ??the scintillator?? And can Penny recognize a good thing when it finally comes her way?
 
This slyly humorous, thoroughly winsome novel finds the purpose in life??s curveballs, insisting that even when we are painfully warped by those we love most, we can be brought close
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Mostrando 1-5 de 12 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
This is the 2nd book that I have read by the author. This book is the type of book that you can give 5 stars or 1 star to depending how you feel about absurdist humor with suspend your. belief plot points. I am somewhat in the middle and willing to suspend my belief for something truly creative. This book had humor quirky and funny characters. The plot was was all over the place as if someone got last nights dream down on paper. Yet there was a lot about family, childhood trauma, dealing with loss, and just trying to get through life in one peace. I would try "The Portable Veblen" her book that was long listed for The National Book Award. If you have trouble with lots of characters and maybe one too many "events" you might skip this one. It was a page turner but not one that will stay with you. ( )
  nivramkoorb | Jun 23, 2024 |
It's not an exaggeration to say that our heroine, Penny, is somewhat unlucky in her personal relationships. Her mother and step-father disappeared without trace five years previously in the Australian outback while her biological father seems extremely unbalanced. Her ninety year old grandfather needs rescuing from the clutches of a selfish and unsympathetic second wife. And her grandmother (the intensely annoying first wife) needs rescuing from the clutches of Adult Protective Services:

I nodded grimly. The urgency of the situation stemmed from a recent incident involving Meals on Wheels. On Pincer’s behalf I’d applied for their services, but the day they showed up, she threatened to shoot if they didn’t vacate the premises immediately. Someone had seen her wielding an object that looked like a bazooka. That led to a complaint to the police, which led to Adult Protective Services, which led to the involvement of a woman by the name of Ruth Perry, who warned me there would be swift consequences if we didn’t disarm her and provide for her needs immediately.


And so Penny travels from her home in Santa Cruz to Santa Barbara to assist, abandoning her adulterous husband Sherman and her dead-end job in a dentist's surgery along the way. With only a few hundred dollars in her pocket that she has received from selling her car, she accepts the offer of a place to stay for a few nights from her grandmother's accountant Bert Lampey, who she has been dealing with other the phone. But rather than the besuited corporate type that she is expecting, she is surprised to find that Bert turns up in a battered ancient van, nicknamed 'The Dog of the North' that seems to contain virtually all his worldly goods. And she is even more surprised to find that his offer of a place to stay consists of a sleeping bag on his office couch, an office in which he is actually living in himself...

This was a fun book, that made me laugh out loud at times (and books don't often do that). ( )
  SandDune | Jun 16, 2024 |
[b:The Dog of the North|61153742|The Dog of the North|Elizabeth Mckenzie|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1659403299l/61153742._SY75_.jpg|96040326]Dog of the North had some fine reviews and a Women's Prize nomination, but I found the writing and dialog clunky, although the story buzzed right along and the humor and certainly the Santa Barbara setting reminded me of early Sue Grafton. At the mercy of every character in the book, the protagonist bounces back and forth in her efforts to help everyone and avoid her soon-to-be ex-husband, her cantankerous, creepy father and her erratic mentally challenged grandmother while trying to find her missing parents who disappeared years ago in Australia. Age is well represented in this story with Arlo, the 93-year-old grandpa game to scour the outback with her and avoid his shrewish second wife. There is also a cardiac event and a sinkhole and a mysterious corpse to keep you turning pages, pages which for me were a bit ho hum. ( )
  featherbooks | May 7, 2024 |
I loved this book....I just want it to keep on going so we see what happens, maybe, with Penny!! Wonderful characters, incredible adventures and happenings....every page was a new surprise. Penny is just a delightful speaker telling this amazing story about everything going on in her life. Definitely fun to read!! ( )
  nyiper | Jan 23, 2024 |
fiction, families, Australia, California ( )
  Pennydart | Nov 7, 2023 |
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Fiction. Literature. HTML:From the National Book Award??longlisted author of The Portable Veblen

*One of Kirkus??s Top 10 Novels for 2023*

Penny Rush has problems. Her marriage is over; she??s quit her job. Her mother and stepfather went missing in the Australian outback five years ago; her mentally unbalanced father provokes her; her grandmother Dr. Pincer keeps experiments in the refrigerator and something worse in the woodshed. But Penny is a virtuoso at what??s possible when all else fails.
 
Elizabeth McKenzie, beloved novelist of California and its idiosyncrasies, follows Penny on her quest for a fresh start. There will be a road trip in the Dog of the North, an old van with gingham curtains, a piñata, and stiff brakes. There will be injury and peril. There will be a dog named Kweecoats and two brothers who may share a toupee. There will be questions: Why is a detective investigating her grandmother, and what is ??the scintillator?? And can Penny recognize a good thing when it finally comes her way?
 
This slyly humorous, thoroughly winsome novel finds the purpose in life??s curveballs, insisting that even when we are painfully warped by those we love most, we can be brought close

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