A while back, I was contacted by Jim at Kelley and Hall about reviewing a book by Boston Teran called The Creed of Violence. It looked really interesting so I said, sure! A short while after they sent me that book, they sent me another one of his books, Giv: The Story of a Dog and America. I wasn't under any pressure to read or review it, but I thought it would be a great addition to my Dog Days of November reads. So I grabbed it off my shelf.
And O. MY. GOSH. I loved it. I'm not sure if I loved it because I had no expectations or what, but what a beautiful book. Beware: If you are the type that might tear up while reading a book, this is one of those books. The idea behind the story is based on events in the author's life. You can read his idea for the book here.
The story follows the life of a dog named Giv. The book is composed as the story of Giv's life written by one of Giv's many owners, Sergeant Dean Hickok. From Giv's birth, by chance, fate, or luck, he gets passed on from person to person, from experience to experience. The blurb from the press release by Americans Speak says "The Forrest Gump of dog books." I'm not sure about all that, but boy does Giv go through some stuff. He's in Dallas with some struggling musicians checking out the book depository, he's there through Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, and he's there for an Iraqi war vetran.
While the book is about a dog named Giv, it's also about the people he meets. Memorable characters. Heart-wrenching characters. It's about the free-will, undying spirit of man and man's best friend. I loved how the idea of the act of rebellion, not always a bad thing, was a piviotal aspect of the book and the character of Giv. Boston Teran wrote rebellion as "the power to choose freely who one will or will not be". I like that. As he points out, America was founded by rebels and there's a little bit of rebel in us all.
I find it hard to write about this book and not sound cheesy or blubbery...but I can't help it. I really loved it. I was really surprised how much I liked it. It's not a book I would have picked up on my own but I am so glad I was sent it.
As a side note: who is Boston Teran? Apparently no one knows! The About the Author section states that it's either a pseudonym of a well-known writer, or a group of writers, or who knows! Apparently Creed of Violence has been bought by Universal for the second-highest price ever paid for a manuscript and another novel, God is a Bullet is highly acclaimed and is being adapted to film as well. Interesting, right?
Has anyone else read this or have it to read? I'd love to hear another person's opinion. Or have you read any other Boston Teran novels? Thoughts on just who Boston Teran is?
I'd love to give away a copy but I'm going to make my husband read it. That and I want to keep mine. So go buy it, borrow it...just read it.