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Started Early, Took My Dog: (Jackson Brodie)…

Started Early, Took My Dog: (Jackson Brodie) (original 2010; edition 2010)

by Kate Atkinson (Author)

Series: Jackson Brodie (4)

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2,9111803,702 (3.81)313
Tracy Waterhouse, a retired police detective leading a quiet life, makes a snap decision to relieve habitual offender Kelly Cross of a young child he's been dragging around town. Tracy soon learns her parental inexperience is actually the least of her problems, as much larger ones loom for her and her young charge. Meanwhile, detective Jackson Brodie embarks on a different sort of rescue--that of an abused dog.… (more)
Title:Started Early, Took My Dog: (Jackson Brodie)
Authors:Kate Atkinson (Author)
Info:Doubleday (2010), 352 pages
Collections:Your library

Work Information

Started Early, Took My Dog by Kate Atkinson (2010)

  1. 10
    What Was Lost by Catherine O'Flynn (Anonymous user)
  2. 10
    When Will There Be Good News? by Kate Atkinson (KayCliff)
  3. 00
    The Tree of Hands by Ruth Rendell (Imprinted)
    Imprinted: There are some strikingly similar themes involving children and parental love between these two terrific novels.

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English (173)  French (4)  Dutch (2)  All languages (179)
Showing 1-5 of 173 (next | show all)
In this, the fourth Jackson Brodie detective story, Kate Atkinson once again assembles a small cast of characters who intersect in various ways. The case at the book’s heart dates back decades; this is a technique Atkinson enjoys deploying.
However, the inciting incidents are set in the present of the story. Recently retired DCI Tracy Waterhouse and Jackson Brodie each intervene to rescue mistreated beings—one, a little girl, one, a dog. This puts them both outside of the law, but as the plot unfolds, it’s questionable whether anyone is inside the law. This point is reflected, for instance, when Tracy visits comfortably retired gangster Harry Reynolds and they share similar views of what the world is coming to.
It took me longer to warm up to Tracy and the other characters than in the previous books of the series. For the first third of the book, it felt messy. And poor Jackson. Atkinson seems to take sadistic pleasure in some of what he endures. At times, there seemed to be too much interiority. For instance, when Jackson visits the Jervaulk Abbey, his interior monologue sounded to me as if the author were setting out her own pet peeves. Atkinson also records much of what goes on in Tilly's mind, but this served more of a purpose, since the author is depicting a character sinking into dementia.
Nevertheless, I enjoyed the twists and turns of the plot, as well as Atkinson’s fresh prose. many developments were clever and satisfying, especially the rapidly-unfolding conclusion. ( )
  HenrySt123 | Dec 16, 2021 |
I am a huge fan of Kate Atkinson in general, but especially of her Jackson Brodie novels. I've rarely encountered a single genre-enmeshed detective story so well written, with such fantastic, well-rounded characters, and with a complex plot that actually comes together completely at the end and leaves me wanting for nothing... much less five of these books all in the same series. Atkinson is a master at her craft. Any living writer out there today should try to be more like her, regardless of their genre (or lack thereof). One point I'll make repeatedly as I review these books is how fascinating it is that aside from perhaps the first in this series, Jackson, the detective in these detective stories, is actually the least important character involved. All of the characters around him, what they do, what they've done, where they come from, who they are, are much more critical to each of these individual novels. I read once that traditional martial arts movies only need the barest plot, which is like a clothesline upon which to hang as many action sequences as possible. Well, in these books Jackson serves as the clothesline for all of the other characters' stories. He gets involved, to a degree, but even he isn't always the one solving the mystery or saving the day. It's as if, after the first book, she just needed a common thread to tie them together, and he was willing to play along. Anyway (as I tend to digress...) if you have the time and are interested in superbly written mysteries, give these a try. ( )
  invisiblelizard | Jul 18, 2021 |
“The place was better without people. Most things were, in Jackson’s opinion.” Once again Kate Atkinson has produced an absolutely sublime piece of work with “Started Early, Took My Dog”, one where I think she has tapped directly into my brain to give Jackson Brodie that particular thought. Her writing is simply wonderful, she has an ability to be biting and sarcastic without seeming effort. This story is typically convoluted and once again she has numerous story threads that seem to be totally separate until they come together in a wonderful mess of a conclusion. Along the way I found myself laughing out loud at such great lines as “Some women were destined for widowhood, marriage was just the obstacle in their way.” Ms. Atkinson is able to define and explain her characters deeply with observations like that one and it makes me want to read just to see what she will come up with next. Jackson Brodie is a man after my own soul and despite (or maybe because of) his numerous deficiencies I root hard for him. Which is not always a good bet. But, he definitely speaks to me. “More and more these days, he had noticed, he felt like a visitor from another planet. Or the past.” Amen Jackson, amen. ( )
  MarkMad | Jul 14, 2021 |
Quirky novel with a large cast of characters, not always easy to follow the plot, but with some excellent dialogue. ( )
  edwardsgt | Jul 8, 2021 |
I thought the constant time changes was confusing and two main characters with Jackson in the name was also confusing ( )
  Jeff_Simms | Jun 9, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 173 (next | show all)
“Started Early, Took My Dog” — with a wonderful title from Emily Dickinson, summoning a poem that is as artfully enshrouded as this novel — is... jampacked with echoes, parallels, doppelgängers, sneaky omissions and authorial attempts to mislead. For Ms. Atkinson this is business as usual and often a source of final-act revelatory glee. But it doesn’t coalesce as neatly as this series’s earlier installments have.
Kate Atkinson began as a prize-winning literary novelist with Behind the Scenes at the Museum and has, like Michael Dibdin and Ian Rankin before, reinvented herself by using the tropes of detective fiction. She's just as serious and formally interesting as ever, only her novels featuring the ex-policeman Jackson Brodie involve unravelling a couple of murders. With their startling first chapters, appealing cast of familiar characters and meticulous observation of contemporary reality they read like Elizabeth George crossed with Elizabeth Bowen.

The fourth, Started Early, Took My Dog is about child abduction, and people who fall through the cracks of modern Britain unless somebody bothers to help. The narrative switches between the 1970s and today with dizzying, at times perplexing, skill. Tracy, its hefty heroine is, like Brodie, ex-police. As a young copper she found a starving, half-frozen child in a flat with his murdered mother. Tracy persists in asking questions, and the child disappears.

Atkinson's detective novels capture the strangeness of modern times, and our supposedly atomised lives, with spiky wit, emotional intelligence and consummate cleverness. All her novels are about the choices that we make and the things we leave behind; about parenthood and the anguish that vulnerability brings. Above all, they scrutinise an England too few literary novelists seem to notice, or care about.
added by VivienneR | editThe Independent, Amanda Craig (Sep 3, 2010)
So much of the narrative is retrospective or interior that there's not much urgency to unfolding events, however highly coloured. And there's a rhetorical whimsy reminiscent of some of Atkinson's earlier books, a devil-may-care gesturing at the novel's own fictionality, which can leave the characters threatening to float free of our trust in them. But we follow their digressive, meandering voices avidly as they circle around their own particular loves and losses, all knitted together with Atkinson's extraordinary combination of wit, plain-speaking, tenderness and control. She's an old hand at paradox now: "All roads lead home," says Julia. "All roads lead away from home," Jackson replies.

» Add other authors (4 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kate Atkinsonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bell, NicholasNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For want of a nail the shoe was lost.
For want of a shoe the horse was lost.
For want of a horse the rider was lost.
For want of a rider the battle was lost.
For want of a battle the kingdom was lost.
And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.
'I was just cleaning up the place a bit.'
Peter Sutcliffe
For my father
First words
Leeds: 'Motorway City of the Seventies'. A proud slogan.
"Hoop' is een ding met veren -
dat neerstrijkt in de ziel -
een melodie zingt zonder tekst -
en nooit stopt - met zijn lied -

het zoetste klinkt - in wilde Vlaag -
De storm moet bitter zijn -
Als hij het Vogeltje beschaamt
dat velen heeft verblijd -

Ik hoorde hem in het kilste land -
En op de vreemdste Zee -
Toch vroeg het - nooit - in Extremis,
een kruimeltje - van Mij.

Emily Dickinson, vertaling van Louise van Santen.
You can't change the past, only the future, and the only place you could change the future was in the present.
Josie, his first wife, had once said to him that if ran far enough he would end up back where he started but Jackson didn't think that the place he had started from existed anymore.
Title from the Emily Dickinson poem (656):

I started Early – Took my Dog –
And visited the Sea –
The Mermaids in the Basement
Came out to look at me –

And Frigates – in the Upper Floor
Extended Hempen Hands –
Presuming Me to be a Mouse –
Aground – opon the Sands –

But no Man moved Me – till the Tide
Went past my simple Shoe –
And past my Apron – and my Belt
And past my Boddice – too –

And made as He would eat me up –
As wholly as a Dew
Opon a Dandelion's Sleeve –
And then – I started – too –

And He – He followed – close behind –
I felt His Silver Heel
Opon my Ancle – Then My Shoes
Would overflow with Pearl –

Until We met the Solid Town –
No One He seemed to know –
And bowing – with a Mighty look –
At me – The Sea withdrew –
Last words
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Publisher's editors
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Canonical DDC/MDS
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Tracy Waterhouse, a retired police detective leading a quiet life, makes a snap decision to relieve habitual offender Kelly Cross of a young child he's been dragging around town. Tracy soon learns her parental inexperience is actually the least of her problems, as much larger ones loom for her and her young charge. Meanwhile, detective Jackson Brodie embarks on a different sort of rescue--that of an abused dog.

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Book description
A day like any other for security chief Tracy Waterhouse, until she makes a shocking impulse purchase. That one moment of madness is all it takes for Tracy's humdrum world to be turned upside down, the tedium of everyday life replaced by fear and danger at every turn.

Witnesses to Tracy's outrageous exchange in the Merrion Centre in Leeds are Tilly, an elderly actress teetering on the brink of her own disaster, and Jackson Brodie who has returned to his home county in search of someone else's roots. All three characters learn that the past is never history and that no good deed goes unpunished.

Kate Atkinson dovetails and counterpoints her plots with Dickensian brilliance in a tale peopled with unlikely heroes and villains. Started Early, Took My Dog is freighted with wit, wisdom and a fierce moral intelligence. It confirms Kate Atkinson's position as one of the great writers of our time.
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Hachette Book Group

3 editions of this book were published by Hachette Book Group.

Editions: 1607886782, 0316120537, 0316066737


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