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DoG by Matt Hlinak

DoG (edition 2012)

by Matt Hlinak

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821,035,133 (4.25)None
Authors:Matt Hlinak
Info:Bizarro Press (2012), Paperback, 146 pages
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DoG by Matt Hlinak



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I really enjoyed this book. It had a relatable tale of indiscretion, followed by a chance and eventually successful redemption. The struggle the main character is faced with isn't solely one of society or a physical challenge, although those both come into play, but one of morality and integrity. Interesting twist at the end. ( )
  Bricker | Jun 27, 2014 |
Culann has gotten himself into a little bit of trouble, and as many have done before him, he absconds to the rugged life found in Alaska to avoid prosecution. His cousin Frank has fixed him up with a job on a fishing trawler, and a couch to sleep on. On his first trip out, he learns the captain has a habit of fishing the same area year after year, never branching out to seek out larger yields of fish. Then the crew hauls in a strange object, and everything just gets weirder from there.

Having spent his last few years as a school teacher, Culann is worked harder than ever before as a deckhand, and takes some abuse as a greenhorn who needs to prove himself.

The work was exotic, grueling and fraught with peril. It was like he was being punished and rewarded at the same time. If he could hack it, he would emerge stronger, wiser and cleansed of his sins.

I really enjoyed the first half of this relatively short story (I think the e-book that I received was only about 118 pages). However once Culann came back to port and everything started getting really weird, I started to find it less enjoyable. I mean, fantastical plotline aside, I found the way that people responded to be too unrealistic. People were too quick to just accept what Culann said at face value and resign themselves to their doom. ("Oh well. I'm going to mysteriously drop dead in the upcoming hours, because this criminal on the run says so. Guess I'll just resign myself to it and get drunk.")

And then in the end I wound up a little turned off by Culann. In the beginning I liked him, but by the end I was pretty much over him and finding him a little repulsive, as he seemed to justify his crime.

One thing of note is that the font in my ARC made reading very difficult. I hope that this may be improved in the printed copy, or even the purchased e-book/Kindle edition, but the font was eratic, varying from small to large to bold. It was supposed to have been done to indicate the state the writer was in, as it is a diary of what's happened to him in the previous days and weeks.

Also, sometimes the "i" looked like an "l" (causing "Alistair" to look like "Allstar"), and "f" looked like "r". Very confusing.

My final word: While I wound up not being enamored by Culann or the story in general in the end (as I was in the beginning), it was still a "good" story, and exhibited some solid writing. I would recommend it if you are looking for a fast escape. ( )
  nfmgirl2 | Jan 1, 2013 |
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Matt Hlinak’s debut novel is odd and original. It’s also daring—who would make a possible pedophile the protagonist of a darkly comic fable? DoG is weird in all the right ways, if you like your mythology twisted (just Google the name “Culann") and your religion raw.
added by KelMunger | editLit/Rant, Kel Munger (Jul 14, 2013)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0615700217, Paperback)

Culann Riordan was a high school English teacher with poor impulse control and a taste for liquor. He fled to Alaska before the state could yank his teaching certificate and possibly toss him in jail. He hires on as a commercial fisherman aboard the Orthrus, a dingy vessel crewed by a colorful assortment of outcasts seeking their fortune beyond the reaches of civilization. As he struggles to learn how to survive the rigors of life at sea and the abuses of the crew, he fishes a mysterious orbout of the depths of the ocean and comes into conflict with the diabolical captain of the Orthrus. If he is to live long enough to see the sunset, Culann must escape from the Captain, survive on an island in the Bering Sea populated only by a pack of feral dogs, find out how to control the orb?s destructive power, and come to grips with his sizable character flaws.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:56 -0400)

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