Friday, January 14, 2011

Katie Up and Down the Hall by Glenn Plaskin

From Goodreads: It all begins with a random meeting between a younger man and his octogenarian neighbor, Pearl, their attachment cemented by a blond-haired puppy. It isn't long before writer Glenn Plaskin, Pearl, and her husband, Arthur, form a profound bond that blesses all in its sphere. This includes a three-year-old boy named Ryan and his single dad, John, who also happen to be living down the same hallway in a downtown Manhattan high-rise, just opposite the World Trade Center. The group gravitates around Katie, the magnetic cocker spaniel whose domain is a 120-foot red-carpeted hallway the site of dog races, obedience training sessions, Halloween parades, and a passageway to parties and late-night exchanges of confidences. With an uncanny instinct for responding to the needs of her pack, Katie merrily trots up and down her territory, navigating from apartment to apartment, pushing open the doors purposefully left ajar and bringing the entire group together.

I listened to this one on audio in my work car at the same time I was listening to War in my personal car; what an odd experience to daily go from the deep, gravelly voice of Sebastian Junger talking about gunfights and bombs and soldiers not bathing for 30 days to the soothing tones of Glenn Plaskin waxing on about the silky fur of his darling puppy and waking up next to her to smell her delicious baby powder scented belly. Though chock-full of Katie anecdotes, Plaskin's tale was more than just a love story about his dog, it had all sorts of anecdotes about Glenn's day as a celebrity interviewer that I was not expecting yet thoroughly enjoyed. But more than anything, this was a story about a group of people becoming a family and, as such, it was very tender and sweet. I'd be listening and feeling kind of sentimental and maybe even a little teary and then in just an instant it would go to borderline Saturday Night Live sketch funny as he describes his favorite portrait of his dog being the one where she is wearing the sequined dress or feeding her at the table from a plate with silverware. Plaskin through it all is just being himself, a guy who has more frou-frou taste than most girls I know and the income to support a lavish lifestyle. If I had to pick someone to meet, I'd much rather spend the day with Glenn Plaskin than with Sebastian Junger, and I have felt that way as a listener. I turn on War and kind of brace myself for what may happen but I would turn on Katie Up and Down the Hall and just relax and smile and be so happy to live vicariously in this lovely world for awhile.

Counts towards tons o' challenges....



4 comments:

bermudaonion said...

Have you seen the trailer for this book? It will make you cry!

Just Mom said...

Kathy, I haven't but can only imagine - listening to it made me cry and there are PDF pictures at the end that were so sweet.

Dan.Eliot said...

When work is your only option for making the ends meet, then you very well cannot afford to getsick. Single parents and getting illnesses just do not work together in order to keep food on the table consistently. Getting sick as a single dads (fathers) is just downright unavoidable. Once,you know this then the only option that you have is to plan ahead in order to be able to handle it. For help and advice visit:

single Dads

Teresa said...

Great review. I haven't read this one yet, but I might have to. Thanks for linking up your review.