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Nop's Trials

de Donald McCaig

Sèrie: Nop (1)

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A classic dog story, told by one of America's best writers.
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Eh. I like dog stories, but this just did not work for me. Part of it was the rather odd anthropomorphic style - sometimes dogs just react on instinct, sometimes they think things through, sometimes they talk to one another...in thees and thous. Threw me out of the story every time. Then, there was more time spent on the various dysfunctional people and families Nop is associated with than with the dogs themselves. Jack London did "dog bouncing between bad situations" better, with Jerry of the Islands; Terhune did loyal dogs and loyal masters better in a dozen books. Nop collapsing at the trials was the only part of the book that struck me as both good (well-written and ringing true) and new (not trite). There were other well-written bits, and there were other scenes that didn't feel borrowed from other dog stories, but that was the only one that had both. Also, for a bunch of self-proclaimed dog lovers, the good guys here did an awful lot of closing their eyes and ears to animal abuse ("not hearing" the yelping at the first trial, for instance). There are some badly abused animals here, and quite a few dogs die from various causes. It's too shallow to give real ideas, and too nasty to be a pleasant read (though it does have a happy ending). Not a winner. ( )
  jjmcgaffey | Jan 25, 2021 |
Poor Nop. He goes through so much. It was a bit much. ( )
  nx74defiant | Apr 7, 2017 |
This one was not for me, at all. It's a formulaic, by-the-numbers drama about a poor doggie-woggie that gets stolen from its goody-goody owner by some bad men and ends up in the illegal dog fight circuit. Cue predictable plotlines.

But that isn't what I object to, really. What made me dislike the book so much was that it was so obvious that the author was calculatedly pulling all the right strings to provoke a particular emotional response. The writing was fine; it was the intentional emotion-wringing process that put me off. It'd make an utterly unremarkable movie of the type that's aired on the middle-aged-lady channel, after the royalty gossip and the day's hospital soap opera. ( )
  Petroglyph | Sep 20, 2012 |
Nop's Trials was not what I expected. I was thinking since it was primarily about a Border Collie named Nop that it would be sweet and gentle, like the breed itself. Indeed, the story definitely has warm and tender moments - like when Nop is communicating with other friendly dogs but there is definitely a harsher side to Nop's Trials. If you know anything about Border Collies you know they are working dogs, used on farms to corral livestock like sheep or cattle. They are so smart and quick to learn that people have created competitions to showcase their abilities. These competitions are called "trials" and McCaig uses the word "trials" to steer the reader to this mode of thinking. In reality, Nop's "trials" stem from the competition but are more of the "trials and tribulations" variety. Because Nop is a prize winner, always taking first place at the trials, a vicious man named Grady Gumm is hired to steal Nop from his owner, farmer Lewis Burkholder. This is to prevent Nop from ever competing again. Grady is an unscrupulous dog owner who keeps dogs for fighting so pretty soon into the story there is violence. I have to admit it shocked me. The good news is that Nop escapes Grady only to bounce from one trial to another. He encounters many walks of life, dog lovers and dog haters alike.
But Nop's Trials isn't just about Nop and his misadventures. It also delves into Lewis Burkholder's life without Nop. It portrays a man as a farmer, a father and a husband. It examines the relationships between man and land, father and pregnant daughter, father and son-in-law, and husband and patient wife. Life's lessons are masterfully played out while Nop's fate remains a mystery. ( )
1 vota SeriousGrace | Nov 30, 2011 |
I'm a dog person so it was no surprise to me that I loved this book. I've always had a particular fondness of border collies as well, though I've never owned one. This story is about Nop and his owner, Lewis. The story centers around Nop's life after one fateful Christmas morning when he is stolen and Lewis' quest to get his dog and friend back. It's a touching story that reflects on the cruelty of humans, and the loyalty of dogs too well. ( )
  srghc8 | Oct 4, 2011 |
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A classic dog story, told by one of America's best writers.

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Mitjana: (3.73)
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