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Tillabooks: Will's Book Blog

Monday, April 05, 2004

Someone To Run With: A Novel by David Grossman. New York: Farrar Straus & Giroux, 2004. ISBN: 0374266573

This is an unusual book, to say the least. It takes quite a while before you really understand what's going on. But you're caught up in the action almost immediately, and you WANT to know what's happening, but you're kept in the dark. The setting is Jerusalem, but surprisingly, that has little to do with the story or plot. The story could have been set anywhere, any major city, European, American, wherever.

A young man working for the city gets assigned the task of finding the owner of a stray dog that has just been picked up at the pound. The dog leads him around the city, taking him to places where the dog's owner obviously went, as the dog is recognized wherever they go, and little by little, the boy learns more and more about the girl who owned the dog, and becomes more and more intrigued by her.

In the meantime, the girl herself is preparing for some kind of difficult trauma that involves another person, and in setting up and stocking supplies in a remote site where they won't be interrupted for several days or weeks. We don't know who she intends to bring there, or why, and it takes a considerable amount of time before the story unfolds enough for us to grasp the entire picture.

There is crime and criminals involved, and drugs, and danger, violence, and threat to the lives of these people we've come to know and love. It is a kind of thriller, but a very personal and touching story, all at the same time. Once you allow yourself to be caught up in the increasingly desperate plight of the characters, you just don't want to stop, until you can learn how it all comes out. Will there be a happy ending? Or not? I won't spoil the book by telling you that. You'll have to read it yourself. Highly recommended!


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