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Diary of a Dog-walker: Time spent following a lead Paperback – 25 Oct 2012


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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Black Swan (25 Oct. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552777277
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552777278
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 14,509 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Utter magic. Edward Stourton is civilized, charming, and writes like an angel. The dogs all spring to life but this is a gorgeous book for everybody - not just for dog lovers. I love it" (Jilly Cooper)

"The sort of book that might convert even a cat-lover to the charm of canine company" (Jane Shilling Mail on Sunday)

"Delightful... [a] charming and thoughtful book" (The Oldie)

"Diary of a Dog-walker is a delight, combining gossipy politics and shaggy dog stories adroitly" (Time Out)

"After a career setback at BBC radio, Edward Stourton took stock of his life with these imaginative meanders with Kudu his English springer spaniel, who seemed to have an angst-free life. This is the world conceived on a canine level, interpreted with intelligent humour and human interest by his affectionate owner" (Iain Finlayson Saga Magazine)

Book Description

Edward Stourton muses on the meaning of life and all things canine as he walks his dog Kudu.

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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

51 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Rosemary on 11 Aug. 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is a lovely book. Edward Stourton really loves his dog and communicates this throughout. I really enjoyed his keen observations of everyday life whilst walking his Springer Spaniel Kudu, some will make you laugh out loud. However, there are some serious sides to the book and the chapter on the fate of dogs in China is to be avoided. Apart from that this book was a joy to read.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Celticbabe on 19 Mar. 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book surprised me (in a good way). It was bought as a gift, because everyone knows I love dogs, but I have never read a doggy book quite like it. If you are buying this book because you want a 'diary of a dog walker' in a literal sense, then that's not what you will get. There are bits in it whilst out walking for sure, but the book takes you on a exploration of personal dog anecdotes, observations of dog behaviour generally, interesting facts about dogs (including some owned by famous historical figures), and dogs used in Afghanistan, to name just a few things. I saw one of the other reviews that suggested this was more a 'biography with a bit of dog thrown in', and I can see why someone thought that. However, my own view is that you cannot write about dog behaviour without mentioning the circumstances that gave rise to it. One of the points the book tries to make is that dogs can 'read' their owners.

It is written in a style that suits the busy person, with short chapters, and no cliff hangers at the end of each. Each chapter covers a different angle on dogs and hence a different perspective. You can dip in and out of it when you want, and I did. I found it in turn funny, charming, witty, sad, and I learnt a good few things I did not know. It brought back memories of other dogs (spaniels) I have owned, and I was glad to revisit those memories. There is an observational comedy about much of the writing that struck a chord with me and I felt a solidarity with the author as I was reading it. By the end I felt I could visualise the author's dog (Kudu) very well, from his chocolate and milk coat to him making a nest of clothes to snuggle up with (like my spaniel used to do). I have now bought a copy of this book for my friend as I know she will love it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Michael Hughes on 31 Jan. 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A charming, inciteful, thoughtful and extremely witty look at life as pet to a four legged master. Some things in life are still full of simple pleasures and this book is almost a throw back to happier times before cynicism and materialism caused the rot of modern society.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 24 Oct. 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I would still highly recommend this volume to any and all of my doggie acquaintances, as it was a very enjoyable read, which covers a wide range of doggie issues.

Diary of a Dog Walker is a delightful title, if a bit small for my preference - I devoured it in one sitting and wanted much more. I thoroughly enjoyed Edward Stourton's writing and found some of his insights fascinating. It is funny without trying to be and poignant at times as well.

I will confess that this is because Edward's style was attuned to my own - I particularly enjoyed his references to canine culture throughout the ages and the thorough research that clearly went into each column. This is not some pet owner pertaining to be an expert, writing in ignorance, but a very knowledgeable man who had trivia to share which even I was unaware of; no mean feat I assure you!

Mr Stourton writes in a sort of pretentious, almost academic style - it is The Telegraph, after all - which suited me but might not appeal so much to others. This is a light read but one which is highly intelligent and people looking for a shaggy dog tale might be disappointed here.

To that end, the reason for the removal of the final star is simply that Kudu (Mr Storton's Springer Spaniel) did not feature as heavily as I would have liked him to. This is because he was often the means of introducing and framing the story or the topic at hand rather than being a major character or plot point within them, but I still felt that I didn't know Kudu much better coming out than I did going in.

Aside from that minor naggle however, this was a thoroughly enjoyable book and I highly recommend it to anyone, not just dog lovers. I just wish the column was still ongoing so that there was more to enjoy!
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31 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Sueelham on 28 Aug. 2012
Format: Hardcover
DIARY OF A DOG WALKER

This book was chosen for us to read at our Book Group.

After reading the 'blurb' on the cover ......'Engaging and enlightening, Diary of a Dog - Walker - will be utterly irresistible for any man or woman with a dog' - I was sure that I was 'in for a treat!

Thinking of the six wonderful dogs that have been part of my life and recalling many funny episodes, I started it with great enthusiasm. I remembered that Ed Stourton had been a Today Presenter, in the days when I listened to Radio 4 on my way to work, before realising that it only served to raise my blood pressure as it seemed that, every day, teachers were being blamed for all the ills of society ........ quick switch to Terry Wogan on Radio 2!

However, I very quickly found, to my dismay, that I took little pleasure from the accounts that he related. I made myself finish the book, but would have been happy to stop after the first few articles. So, for me, utterly resistible!

He clearly had 'issues' ............ and hadn't got over being 'let go' from Today and thought that he had something to prove about himself.

All of his tales about walking Kudu, instead of delighting us about the quirky things we all know that dogs entertainingly do, merely became an opportunity for him to show off how amazing he is ...........so clever, incredibly well-read (look at all the literary quotes!), what an important job he used to have and - now and again, he felt the need to remind the reader what an enviable social life he has. You might meet friends for a meal and a chat; but he and his wife have dinner parties and weekends away with movers and shakers - publishers/ philosophers/ lawyers etc where they have to 'prove themselves' in erudite conversation!
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