Tuesday, November 09, 2004

The Dog Fighter

"What did I get into?" was what I kept thinking as I trudged my way through this book. No, not because the writing was bad. It was great! And that's precisely why it was difficult to finish.

Let me back up, this book is the story of a young man in Mexico who becomes a dog fighter. As a young boy, his grandfather told him stories of fighters and told him that he had fighting in his blood-that he was born to be a fighter.

So he (the main character has no name and is known as simply "the dog fighter") grows up a very large, strong man who fights dogs for a living.

A warning to fellow dog-lovers: there is a lot of animal abuse in this book. And the descriptions that are so finely crafted by Bojanowski made me cringe and then hug my dog as if telling him "I would never let anyone hurt you!" As a boy he tortures animals, and in the fighting ring, he kills dogs. But of course, he doesn't just kill, Bojanowski writes so descriptive that the reader can hear every bone break, every cry the dog makes, and see the dogs cower in fear until their last breath. It's enough to give one nightmares.

But in the middle of the book he finally realizes how (insert word here: inhumane, horrible, etc.) that it is and the voice of his grandfather no longer makes him want to fight and kill.

Like I said, the writing itself was very good, but it was just hard to keep reading such horrifying acts. If I were to come across another book by Bojanowski (this was his first) I might read it if it doesn't deal with killing animals. I don't think I could make it through another one.

Okay, and I did have a small problem with the cover picture. The book took place in Mexico-all the characters were Mexican. Why did the cover show a picture of a white boy with freckles and a few Mexican kids blurred in the background? I just didn't get that.


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