Upon the sudden and mysterious death of his wife, a heartbroken lingistics professor embarks on a mission to teach their dog, Lorelei, the only eye witness, to speak, in order to piece together what happened and why.
His efforts to teach Lorelei lead to a serious misadventure for both the professor and dog. (You'll be horrified and holding your breath at the same time.)
This report prepared by Pat
Little, Brown, May 2003, 21.95, 264 pp.
Linguistics Professor Paul Iverson returns home to find his wife Lexy Ransome dead from an apparent fall from a backyard apple tree that it seems she must have climbed up on. Their dog Lorelei is the only witness to the tragedy, but her barking brought help too late for the victim.
Over the next few weeks, the mourning Paul notices little things in his home seem out of kilter. Originally writing this off as grief, he begins to wonder about whether his spouse accidentally fell or committed suicide. Desperate to know the truth, the linguistic professor tries teaching English to the eye witness his canine, but little if any progress is made until the duo hooks up with an underground group that may enable improved communication between man and dog, but at what price?
THE DOGS OF BABEL can be divided into three parts: the romance between Paul and Lexy, the teaching of English by Paul to Lorelei, and the workings of the underground group. Each segment in of itself is well written, but never fully integrates into a cohesive novel as if Carolyn Parkhurst could never decide on the main theme. Though some romance fans will appreciate that piece best, this reviewer relished the interplay between the professor and his dog. Ms. Parkhurst displays depth, imagination, and talent that makes this novel worth reading, but hopefully her next tale is more focused.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner