The Lost Dog

The Lost Dog Tom Loxley an Indian Australian professor is less concerned with finishing his book on Henry James than with finding his dog who is lost in the Australian bush Joining his daily hunt is Nelly Zhang

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  • Title: The Lost Dog
  • Author: Michelle de Kretser
  • ISBN: 9780316001830
  • Page: 213
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Tom Loxley, an Indian Australian professor, is less concerned with finishing his book on Henry James than with finding his dog, who is lost in the Australian bush Joining his daily hunt is Nelly Zhang, an artist whose husband disappeared mysteriously years before Tom met her Although Nelly helps him search for his beloved pet, Tom isn t sure if he should trust this new fTom Loxley, an Indian Australian professor, is less concerned with finishing his book on Henry James than with finding his dog, who is lost in the Australian bush Joining his daily hunt is Nelly Zhang, an artist whose husband disappeared mysteriously years before Tom met her Although Nelly helps him search for his beloved pet, Tom isn t sure if he should trust this new friend Tom has preoccupations other than his book and Nelly and his missing dog, mainly concerning his mother, who is suffering from the various indignities of old age He is constantly drawn from the cerebral to the primitive by his mother s infirmities, as well as by Nelly s attractions THE LOST DOG makes brilliant use of the conventions of suspense and atmosphere while leading us to see anew the ever present conflicts between our bodies and our minds, the present and the past, the primal and the civilized.

    One thought on “The Lost Dog”

    1. A shitty book that talks way too much about shit. I'm hard-pressed to even elaborate on it because I almost don't feel like it's worth it. I will just say that for a book about a lost dog, you never get any genuine feeling from the dog loser about his lost dog. Oh, sure, the author throws in that the guy misses his presence when he sees a water bowl or something, but she doesn't sell it. It never feels real. Instead the book is about some guy who loves some artist (who actually has an interestin [...]

    2. I have some really mixed feelings about this book. Parts of it were wonderful, engrossing - I'd get caught up in a line of story and enjoy the trip to the end.The problem was, many of them didn't mesh. Things were often unclear. Some of the lines were - awful. Lines like 'the sweat and spice of her spoor' made me cringe. I don't even want to get started on the annoying tendency (so very modern, no?) to focus on human waste. It comes across as trying to be edgy and raw and instead is predictable [...]

    3. This book was beautiful! Meditations on art, love, relationships, connections with dogs, Melbourne, rural Victoria, and just exquisitely written. I felt like I was reading a painting.

    4. **** A Henry James Question.;I still don't have time for writing reviews until end of semester - else I'll fail my course & I have missed too many days this month with this consumptive-like cough to warrant that happening without fueling the fire. Anyhow I could not comment on this one till I had read some Henry James (of which I've now read one novella of his - In the Cage). Why the need to read Henry James? Other's have likened de Kretser's writing to James and also the main character in T [...]

    5. I've been really getting into Aussie fiction as of late. This is an author I've not read before but she has a very interesting writing style. She's actually Sri Lankan but has been living in Australia for most of her life. The protagonist of this novel also immigrated to Australia when he was a teenager after beginning it in India. The novel doesn't focus on race nearly as much as it does aging, family, and a mysterious sort of relationship between a writer and an artist. One thing disarming abo [...]

    6. So onto THE LOST DOG by Michelle de Krester. This tells the story of a man who loses his dog. He is in the middle of some kind of half hearted love affair, and we cut back and forth between the love affair and the hunt for the dog. This is one literary-ass book. It is so literature I kind of want to barf a bit. It was full of images. There they are buying like whatever, noodles or something, and the noodle seller has . . . exquisite hands. Oh yes. Oh god. Part way through I just had to stop and [...]

    7. The first (for me) of this year's Booker Prize nominees. I loved the style of it, but the substance left much to be desired. The main character was distant but not unsympathetic, but I never understood what pulled him towards Nelly. His interest in her made me care less about him, not more.As a slightly irrelevant side note, I wish every writing fiction 101 course would start by explaining that no one post-Daphne du Maurier should think they can successfully pull off the character without a name [...]

    8. I at once loved and was exasperated by this book. I'm a sucker for things Australian, and the descriptions of the bush really worked for me. And even though the book sometimes seems a bit too obviously influenced by Benjamin and Barthes, it still put those theoretical precurpsors to useful and not-entirely-lame use. Plus, it's portrayal of academia is not completely crazy and misguided, which is a feat in itself. The main problem is its tendency towards what I call the Ondaatje school of self-sa [...]

    9. This was a book that sounded interesting from the info on the dust jacket, and I enjoyed reading it. The story is written mainly from the viewpoint of Tom Loxley, a grown man who currently lives in Australia, but spent many of his growing up years in India. At the beginning of the book, his dog runs away, having broken the knot in the rope that tied him up. Loxley is afraid of what might happen to his dog, lost in the Australian bush, and sets out to try and find him.He ends up being helped by N [...]

    10. This book is beautifully written and artfully told. I would have gotten more out of it if I had read more Henry James more recently. The insights into human relationships are often unexpected and astutely observed. It is not an obvious book in any way; it moves between time periods, advancing the story piecemeal. This is largely successful, although at times just served to get me lost. My only criticism is that there were moments where the writing felt a little contrived. Many of the reviews her [...]

    11. Very well written although at times the prose felt too artful and a bit cloying. Perhaps a case of too much of a good thing?I would have liked a little bit more focus on Tom and his dog and Tom and his mother than Tom and Nelly and the art scene as they annoyed me a bit.I liked the way the search for the dog allowed Tom to search his memory, and his heart as well for other missing thoughts and feelings.For further thoughts on this book and other Booker Prize nominated titles - the kingfisher scr [...]

    12. I always wanted to read this book. But one day I was stopped outside a traffic light near her (the authors) house & I saw a huge dog (yes looks like the cover dog) do a gigantic poop on the footpath infront of a bunch of kids that were walking past.I then watched the owner Michelle de Kretser yank the dog back home without scooping up the poop.Now it has ruined the book for me. Everytime I see the title I think of the authors huge dog, pooing with reckless abandon and her lack of respect for [...]

    13. 4.5 stars. I love de Kretser's turn of phrase. So many sections I underlined on my kindle. An example (which may lose something out of context), about the narrator's disapproving aunt Audrey with whom his mother lives: "Audrey said, 'I draw the line at nursing'. There were many such lines, existence taking on for his aunt the aspect of a dense cross-hatching."

    14. Really fine piece of contemporary fiction set in Melbourne Australia and written by a Sri Lankan immmigrant with amazing prose, complex insights and complicated but skillful use of flash backs.

    15. In the acknowledgments section of this book it states that it draws directly and obliquely on various works by Henry James. Well since I have not read any Henry James I missed all that. I saw that this book was called The Lost Dog, and silly me picked it up looking for a story about a dog. But after finishing the book, I know many personal, desciptive details of an old woman's repeated fecal accidents. I know personal details about an artist named Nelly and her missing husband. But I don't even [...]

    16. Picked this up at the library because the description on the inside flap intrigued me. When I got to the end of the book I thought "What happened?" It's a story about a man who as a child moved from India to Australia who is fascinated by a woman artist, Nelly. He has just lost his dog in the bush and is searching for him and dealing with his aging mother who has become incontinent. The narrative jumps back and forth in time; it was confusing and difficult to remember characters when their names [...]

    17. I just couldn't finish this. I never got to that point where I cared for the characters. It's unusual for me not to finish a book, but when a book stops me from wanting to read it is time to give up.

    18. At the same time, he sensed a deadpan teasing: her cut-price instinct dangled in his face. And beyond the self-guying, something deeper and more characteristic still: an impulse to salvage what had been marked for oblivion. An It girl peddling Foster's; the tottering, cotton-reel stack of a stranger's vertebrae; an archangel with upcast eyes and a faint reek of glue: nothing was too trivial to snatch from the flow of time. (p. 125-126) Redeemed from mere utility, its coasters and dishes were mul [...]

    19. I finished this book some time ago, but I wanted to let it settle before writing anything about it, not sure if I loved it or thought it was just OK.Now that my reading is almost solely limited to bedtime (the lack of a public transportation commute has robbed me of about 2 hours of solid reading 5 days a week), I feel that I often don't give books a fair shake. When I read, I'm tired and apt to dismiss a book faster because of my weariness than I would if I were reading it while feeling fresher [...]

    20. Daniel Sumrall at Gently Read Literature was kind enough to ask me to review this book. The link is here. I'm cutting & pasting below:Readers may be forgiven if the title of de Kretser’s third novel fails to captivate. Not only does The Lost Dog continue her preference for curiously static object names (following The Rose Grower and The Hamilton Case) that do an injustice to the complexity of her themes, but it seems to evoke a little too readily a growing genre of literature whose popular [...]

    21. I really loved De Krester's Questions of Travel, so I was eager to read this. I was rather disappointed, the story line was thin and the characters never really fully developed. Perhaps that was the intended style, but I was expecting more from it and "the mystery" alluded to on the back cover. The parts about India were fascinating and engaging, but ended quite quickly as the family moved to Australia and there wasn't much reminiscing about their lives there. There was a strong theme of ageing, [...]

    22. Very good read but hard going at times with moving between characters. Some wonderful descriptive phrases and heartfelt honesty regarding his mother.

    23. Michelle de Kretser writes and sounds like a poet. The short pithy perfectly constructed lines in The Lost Dog, have great appeal. The opening two lines completely set the story up; not many books have ever achieved this. The book is worth buying for those two lines alone.It’s good to see a modern book carrying modern connections in it, such as the references to the usage of modern technology. Many contemporary books do not contain references to the things we use every day, and that makes them [...]

    24. The Lost Dog is a character study concerning a lost dog, a professor writing a book on Henry James, the elusive artist he loves, and a multitude of interlocking themes. It is a quiet book that achieves just the right balance: it is leisurely and meditative without being boring, and deeply poignant.The story begins with Professor Tom's beloved elderly dog disappearing in the Australian backwoods. De Kretser's writing is restrained but effective, sure to tug at the heartstrings of any dog lover. T [...]

    25. An interesting read. Tom Loxley, a migrant from India to Australia and an academic writer with an interest in Henry James meets Nelly the artist with an interesting past. I enjoyed de Kretser's prose style, sometimes poetic and occasionally the dictionary was required to check a meaning of a word. The dog that is lost weaves through the story, perhaps a parable for Tom's own life. As a migrant he frequently reminisces from his memory of early life in India and compares to Australia. I liked the [...]

    26. In this equally intriguing and frustrating novel by Sri Lankan born Australian de Krester, an immigrant writer of Indian descent becomes infatuated with a painter of Chinese descent, falling in love with her while pondering the mystery of her husband's disappearance years before, when he staged an elaborate suicide after being investigated for irregular bond trading.Tom Loxley, the writer, uses artist Nelly Zhang's secluded farmhouse to find the peace he needs to finish a book about the pervasiv [...]

    27. I wasn't entirely sure i'd finish this book when I was about a third of the way through. I found the use of language sometimes completely contrived, as if to give the impression of the author's intelligence rather than to contribute to the story. However, I persevered and found that themes of the book included art, literature and the complexities of thought and culture and this possibly contributed to the style of writing.The main thread is that of the lost dog. However, this is found alongside [...]

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