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The Power of the Dog : A Novel by Thomas…

The Power of the Dog : A Novel (1967)

by Thomas Savage

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173868,650 (4.08)5



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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
The story was alright, about two brothers who live together on a ranch they own in 1920's Montana. Phil is a severely repressed homosexual, who hides it by overcompensating in all manly ways, and by being at times sadistically cruel, especially to his gentle younger brother George. When George marries and brings a widowed woman and her son to live on the ranch Phil steps up his mean cruel streak.
The writing is fantastic, but it loses a star for its predictability. I will definitely look for other books by this outstanding writer. ( )
  zmagic69 | Nov 29, 2016 |
I didn't warm to this story at all - sorry.
The characters were not believable. Very formulaic. ( )
  Welsh_eileen2 | Feb 13, 2016 |
Originally published in 1967 and reissued in 2001, this is a powerful and very tense narrative of life in a remote western ranching community where one of the protagonists is a repressed homosexual wreaking hellish malicious havoc on everyone around him until the diabolical ending. Many other themes run through this work; the western landscape, isolation, family, money, bullying. ( )
  St.CroixSue | Sep 9, 2013 |
I had never heard of Thomas Savage up until a month or two ago. The Power of the Dog is indeed powerful stuff though. Set in Montana ranching country in the 1920s, it deals with subjects that would have been near-verboten back then: homosexuality and pedophilia are only hinted at throughout much of Savage's book, but finally come out into the open in the final explosive chapters. The two rancher brothers, Phil and George Burbank, are two of the most fully realized characters in western fiction in the past fifty years. It would be easy to see this story as a kind of Cain and Abel parable, but it's a bit more complicated than that. As the tale progresses, you learn, bit by bit, how Phil may have come to be the way he is. While not wholly evil, he comes damn close. George, on the other hand, seems a completely sympathetic sort, albeit an unlikely hero with his slow and careful ways. The Power of the Dog is quite simply and excellent book, enough so that I will be looking for more of Savage's work. He wrote more than a dozen novels in a career that spanned over fifty years. Savage died in 2003 at the age of 88. I for one am happy that his work has been reintroduced to new generations of readers. Writer Annie Proulx has added a wonderful Afterword to this 2001 edition of the book that provides an abbreviated primer on the life and work of Thomas Savage. ( )
1 vote TimBazzett | Jul 5, 2009 |
Thank you, Amazon, for recommending this exquisite novel to me as a Gold Box special. With an afterword by Annie Proulx and the recent success of Brokeback Mountain, this exceptional piece of western literature should now find the audience Thomas Savage so richly deserved in 1967. As restrained and sparing in language as its central antagonist, Phil Burbank, Savage has the uncanny gift of eloquence through omission, allowing the reader to read between the lines. I was captivated by his talent, and jolted by an entirely unexpected but immensely satisfying conclusion. This book has been five times optioned for film, yet never made. I doubt that will go on much longer. ( )
1 vote dreamreader | Mar 21, 2009 |
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Deliver my soul from the sword,
My darling from the power of the dog.

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For my wife
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Phil always did the castrating;
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0316610895, Paperback)

First published in 1967, Thomas Savage's western novel about two brothers and the competition between them when one marries now includes an afterword by Annie Proulx.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:08 -0400)

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