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Walking the Dog [Hardcover]

David Hughes
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
RRP: 25.00
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Book Description

31 Dec 2009

Approaching fifty, and warned by his doctor that he's drinking too much and needs to take more exercise, David Hughes is given a dog for his birthday - Dexter, a wire-haired fox terrier.

Hughes' daily walks with Dexter form the spine of Walking the Dog. We eavesdrop on their encounters with fellow dog-walkers ('Hello Hector', 'Hello Chester'...) and on Hughes' thoughts as he plods along carrying a plastic bag of poo. He begins to remember moments from his past, dark memories of murder and violence. He explores his own fantasies and obsessions. From the gentle comedy of the early pages, Walking the Dog is transformed into something deeper and more disturbing.

This will be a landmark book in the field of graphic literature. The drawing is sublime, the imagination extraordinary, the ambition unequalled.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Jonathan Cape (31 Dec 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0224082299
  • ISBN-13: 978-0224082297
  • Product Dimensions: 26 x 26 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 337,156 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Product Description


'It's highly satisfying.' --The Observer

About the Author

DAVID HUGHES is an artist whose work combines illustration, graphic design, photography and animation. In 2003 he received the Pentagram Award for his outstanding contribution to the art of illustration. His drawings have appeared in the Observer, the New Yorker, Esquire, the Guardian, and many other magazines and newspapers. He has received great acclaim for his children's picture books, Strat and Chatto (1990) and Bully (1992). In 2006 he published his version of Victor Hugo's The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Walking the Dog 15 Oct 2013
When illustrator David Hughes approached his fiftieth birthday, he turned himself in at his local surgery for a mid-life MOT and was not overwhelmingly surprised to be told by his GP that he was drinking far too much and exercising far too little. Although both of these slothful habits suited Hughes down to the ground, their adverse implications with regard to his projected lifespan prompted his family to decide that Hughes needed to shape-up and that the best method for him to do so would be to buy a dog and then proceed to walk it.

The dog is to be very generously given to Hughes as a birthday present. At the Saredon Kennels in Uttoxeter Hughes encounters a depressed looking wire haired fox terrier named Murphy who was the father of the litter that Hughes and his family had come to view. Although he feels a certain affinity with Murphy ("I still wasn't sure if I wanted a dog but I wanted to take Murphy home. He needed rescuing, obviously the life of a stud isn't all it's cracked up to be"), Hughes is persuaded that a puppy would be a more suitable companion for him and so Dexter is chosen to join the family.

It might not have been a match made in heaven at the very beginning, but Hughes and Dexter soon began to bond and their walks form the backbone of Walking the Dog. Through the sequences of pencil drawings, Hughes records his impressions as he meanders along with Dexter; he dissects the characters of the fellow dog walkers (and their dogs) that they encounter and chronicles the thoughts that come to mind as he strolls along with a recently scooped bag of poop in his hand.

But Walking the Dog is far more than a straightforward `one man and his dog' tale.
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5.0 out of 5 stars walking the dog 31 Oct 2011
Wonderful book, this is not a graphic novel it is the life and times of David Hughes in sketches. It is without doubt a masterpiece waiting to be discovered. I laughed out loud at some things and cried at others, dont be under the apprehension that this is a thin book (it weighs a ton!) The amount of work and detail is amazing. It deals with the sort of things we all put to the back of our minds or forget about. Hope there are more in the pipeline.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The tears of a clown 4 April 2010
If you like your artwork twee & pretty, go somewhere else. Mr Hughes has a back catalogue that places him unquestionably up there with the finest of British illustrators. His unique penmanship has graced the pages of many newspapers, magazines, album covers and , indeed, his own books. 'Walking the Dog' is his latest offering - a diary, a collage of notes, photographs and other miscellaneous paraphernalia centred around his walks with Dexter, the dog of the title who changed, and possibly saved his life. Here we see depicted an inner life of dissatisfaction and unease. Memories and fantasies coexist, cemented by a mordant wit and plenty of deadpan humour. Never was misery so funny! The artist fulminates against the world with dark and murderous thoughts never far from his mind. Egotism is followed by self-pity, sinister intent with a need to be loved. Mr Hughes is as fine a writer as he is an artist, with words and drawings perfectly complementing this tale of everyday madness. Buy this brave & honest book today and be amused, perplexed, inspired and even, perhaps, horrified. For the price of a round of drinks, it is a bargain. (And congratulations to Jonathan Cape for such a splendid production).
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Walking The Dog 27 Jan 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This graphic novel is unique in that the author has through his distinctive drawing style told the story of walking the dog, Dexter, using it to expose and describe in a frank, sometimes amusing, sometimes serious way, elements of his life story from childhood to contemporary times. A casual scan will not enable the reader to gain a true evaluation of its worth. Yet one can select parts to read intensively and understand the displayed and hidden meanings of the author's being.
Recommended for its imaginative illustration and individuality.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic bargain 6 Jan 2010
The artist David Hughes has created a graphic novel. Perhaps along with such other graphic artists as Chris Ware, this will lead to a new section in bookshops away from the comic book section for the more serious graphic stories. David's book is more of a journey into the artists soul than story. Its a book that can be dipped in and out of revealing a dark humour and wryly ironic look at life. And at 13 odd its a total bargain. This awesome book will sustain your intellect through the long winter months.
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