January 13, 2007

The Shepherd, the Angel, and Walter the Christmas Miracle Dog

The Shepherd, the Angel, and Walter the Christmas Miracle Dog by Dave Barry
Fiction – Holiday
Finished on 12/30/06
Rating: C (3/10 Ho-hum)

Like most couples, Rod & I enjoy reading the morning newspaper while savoring a good cup of coffee. When we were first married, part of our Sunday morning routine was to read aloud the funny bits & pieces from Dave Barry and Joyce Maynard’s columns. Barry generally wrote about all aspects of life: dogs, employers, fear of flying, and swimming in shark-infested waters, to name just a few. In her syndicated column, Domestic Affairs, Maynard focused more on her personal life as a mother of three young children. While I enjoyed parts of Barry’s column, I identified more with Maynard, particularly her anecdotes about sharing custody with her ex-husband.

Over the years, Rod’s accumulated dozens of Dave Barry’s books and up until now, I’ve never felt any compelling reason to read any of them. So it didn’t surprise me in the least when I finished The Shepherd, the Angel, and Walter the Christmas Miracle Dog and thought, “Meh. Cute, but nothing fabulous.” I also couldn’t help but feel thankful that it only took an hour or so to read. I may not have stuck with a longer story.


  1. I too was a Dave Barry fan when I first moved to Miami over 20 years ago and his column was my favorite part of the erstwhile Tropic magazine.

    He had divorced and remarried and wrote a column lampooning women's clothing sizes and how his wife would buy the 6, but not the 8. I wrote a letter which was subsequently published saying, "Congratulations to Dave Barry's wife for not only fitting into a size 6, but for having a husband with a nationally syndicated column to broadcast that fact to the world!"

    Kinda funny, right? Well, several years later we were getting ready to attend my husband's 20th high school reunion and he decided to contact some of his old friends. So he's chatting on the phone to his old friend Michelle...and finds out SHE is the new wife!

    Random comment, I know. But I have so few opportunities to share that story!

  2. For those of you who don't know us, Les and I have been internet friends for almost 10 years, and one of the things we share is a love of reading and books. But what we don't share is a love of specific books. We read almost entirely different choices. When we do "meet" on a certain author or book, we are delightfully surprised. :<) Still, we read one another's booklists with interest and appreciation.

    I loved, loved, loved the Dave Barry book as you may have read on my blog a while back. It could be because I'm just about his age, and much he wrote about was like life in my growing-up town. The illustrations and photographs in the book were familiar to me.

  3. Great story, Di! Thanks for sharing it.

    Nan - I wonder if my lack of enthusiasm for this book stems from the fact that I'm a bit younger than you and Rod? Maybe I simply couldn't relate to his childhood memory. I really want to like it, though!


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