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Dogwalker [Hardcover]

Arthur Bradford
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Nov 2001
An outstanding debut from a young American writer and protege of Dave Eggers and Zadie Smith, who will appeal to many readers of both. DOGWALKER evokes a world of misfits, of bizarre circumstance and horrific outcomes. With his gift for deadpan dialogue and outrageous incident, and a knack for revealing innocence in the midst of profound depravity, Arthur Bradford offers up a blazingly funny, wholly original, and unexpectedly compassionate vision.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Hamish Hamilton Ltd (1 Nov 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0241141508
  • ISBN-13: 978-0241141502
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 14.2 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 786,797 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description

From the Publisher

Praise for Dogwalker by Arthur Bradford: 'These are stories short enough and perfect enough to pass directly to whomever is sat next to you, on the train or in bed, and watch them as they read it.' - The Independent

'I’m filled with joy when I read his work' - Zadie Smith in The Independent on Sunday

'The maddest collection of short stories you’ll read all year'- I-D

'They’ll leave you with your tail wagging and yapping for more'- Tatler

'Brilliantly written vignettes of the underworld'- Marie Claire

'They have a humour and charm that, without preaching, subtly makes the reader aware of how unnatural our own attutide can be to nonconformity and physical difference'- Time Out

About the Author

Arthur Bradford is thirty years old and lives in Virginia, USA. His fiction has appeared in ESQUIRE and MCSWEENEY'S. He has been working with people with Downs Syndrome and other disabilities for the last eight years. This is his first book.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like talking to your coolest friend 28 Nov 2001
By A Customer
Arthur Bradford's short stories make for compulsive reading. His language and humour highlights every story making it as vivid as if he were actually sitting next to you in a bar, whisky in hand, animated and excited to tell you the WEIRDEST thing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As original as a book can be 29 Jan 2004
I must confess I bought the book because of the cover and the title: I'm a huge dog lover. But as it turned out, "Dogwalker" is one of the most original books I've ever read! Imaginative, funny, stylistically blunt, outrageous! Of course you will find a dog theme in all the stories but that's not really what the book it all about. A winner, all the way!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
I've just finished this book of brilliant stories and my head is still buzzing with its crazy scenes. Bradford writes about his weird world in which dogs and disabilities and strange hybrids are part of normal life. His is a totally original vision - such a relief after reading so many boring slice o' life novels.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very strange - very funny and very very good 27 Nov 2001
By A Customer
I read the book in one sitting it is marvellous. Well written with an otherworldly style that is almost childish and all the more delicious for never knowing what comes next.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  24 reviews
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book, by Gum! 23 Aug 2001
By R. Burlingame - Published on
This is a wonderul collection of stories. David Foster Wallace hits the nail on the head when he says that reading Bradford is like having lunch with the part of you that dreams at night. Strange things occur and exceedingly pleasant, non-neurotic first-person narrators react as you would in a dream: they note the odd situations they find themselves in but then move on (with wonderful results). It's like being able to slow your dreams down--not to mention remember them--and savor all the strange details. The writing is also blissfully clean. I noticed one of the comments above mentioned Bradford's sideburns. I saw a reading and let me tell you: his gums are not to be believed (let's pray he keeps his teeth). See a reading if you can, and enjoy the book, it's well worth a read.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars stray pets & roommates 1 Dec 2008
By gonzobrarian - Published on
Reading Dogwalker, a bizarre collection of stories by Arthur Bradford is well worth the short time it takes to transform the mundane into the weirdness we so crave for amusement. All of the stories contained within revolve around Bradford's attempts in finding some solace from one's self-imposed boredom and stagnation through stray canines and equally stray roommates. If it means anything, this collection takes place throughout Texas; apparently, there is a lot of weird down there.

Bradford writes with childlike simplicity and whimsy, though his plots border on the uber-strange and even the horrific. Cat-faced carnies, fruit sculpting with chainsaws, blind friends who own cars, and the glamour of giant slugs are just some of the musings Bradford could expound on in greater detail; stories I'd happily delve into when in need of a fresh bizarro-cleanse. Yet he tends to focus on dogs and roommates, and the fleeting affection he has for both. By whatever circumstance, both tend to be maimed, mutated or psychologically unhinged, yet that doesn't stop him from adopting each for a brief laugh to pass the time.

What is surprising about this collection of stories is the degree of openness or ambivalence set forth by Bradford. While he languidly chooses his own adventure in each, the degree of tension that rises in most of the stories is soon enough offset by a delicate weirdness that prevents real malice from taking over and sending the reader dashing to the nearest bottle of Pepto. Hence, a slight hint of unsettling will envelop the reader, which is exactly what a good collection of short stories is supposed to do. It was a very quick read and stories like Mollusks, The House of Alan Matthews, Bill McQuill, Chainsaw Apple and Roslyn's Dog tend to linger in my mind, to the extent that I hope Bradford will publish more.
6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What's He Writing In There? 15 July 2002
By Slazz - Published on
I'm pretty sure that Tom Waits mated with a book and the result is Arthur Bradford. If I told you that the characters in Dogwalker live on the same block as The Eyeball Kid and Table Top Joe, and if you understood that, you should not only have read this book by now - you should be actively refusing to loan it out to relatives and friends without a security deposit. Each chapter in Dogwalker reads like the discovery of a new and fascinating insect; if that isn't praise, what is?
7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Eh... 24 Aug 2001
By A Customer - Published on
For its literary merits, I should have probably awarded this book two stars; early reviews are right to point out that much of the book's prose is flat and unspired, that many of the book's non-sequiturs are forced, that some stories seem like abandoned fragments, that the characters and situations are willfully eccentric. And much of this is pretty much true, yet Dogwalker is an enjoyable book nonetheless. How? I perceive Bradford as a kind of David Lynch of short fiction--love him or hate him, you're certainly going to receive a strange bolt of the weird when reading his stories. Often, these pieces have a unique and grotesque humor; I loved "Chainsaw Apple" and "Bill McQuill." Years ago, I read "Catface" when a sophmore in college and ever since sought out Bradford's works; "Catface" rightfully begins the collection--since it defines the tone and is the most interestly constructed of the pieces. Bradford owes an obvious debt to Denis Johnson's Jesus' Son--nothing wrong with that, really--and here is some of the oddness of Johnson's stories, but little of the poetry and compassion. After waiting for this collection to come out, I have to say I'm a little disappointed, but that there are a few strong pieces that make the reading worthwhile.
5.0 out of 5 stars Glorious 9 Nov 2012
By crazytraci - Published on
Arthur Bradford is striking (& a gentleman)! His short stories made me laugh outload! His writing is both inviting & innocent. Dog Walker has the sense of the absurd & wonder equal to Flanery O'Conner's "A good man is hard to find" & Denis Johnson's "Jesus's Son". Fabulous read!!!!!!!!!
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