#290 ~ I Thought You Were Dead

I Thought You Were Dead by Pete Nelson

Published by: Algonquin

Published on: April 2010

Page Count: 264

Audiobook Length 7.5 hours

Audiobook Narrator Josh Clark

Genre: Fiction

My Reading Format:

Special thanks to LibraryThing and Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill for providing me a copy of this book.  I was lucky enough to snag it  through LibraryThing’s Early Reviewer program.

Access to the Early Reviewers program is just one of the many reasons why I use LibraryThing to catalog my books online.  You should check it out.

Available Formats: Hardcover, eBook and audiobook

My Review

I had intended on hosting The Dog Days of Summer again this year, so when I saw the audiobook copy of I Thought You Were Dead by Pete Nelson offered up in LibraryThing’s Early Reviewer’s program, I requested it.  I was excited when I snagged it and it arrived in April.  I’d never snagged an audiobook before.  As with much else in my life the second half of this year, Dog Days of Summer didn’t materialize this summer and this audiobook slipped my mind.  I didn’t get around to listening to it until September.

I Thought You Were Dead begins with the premise that a man and his dog can actually speak to each other.  The first time Josh Clark, the book’s narrator, speaks in Stella’s voice it was slightly awkward.  I decided to suspend my disbelief and see where the story took me.  I am so glad that I did.  It didn’t take long for Stella’s voice to feel natural and necessary to me.  I loved her.  Any worries that I might have had that this novel would be too much like The Art of Racing in the Rain were put to bed immediately.

Paul’s story of his broken marriage, his half-hearted career as a writer of “For Morons” books, his faraway family and ill father, his tenuous relationship with his current girlfriend and his other issues were interesting to me as well.  Life doesn’t always work out the way it’s planned.  This novel is about coming to grips with that realization and coming out the other side a stronger person.  In that way, Stella’s place in Paul’s life falls somewhere between conscience and his inner voice.  It all worked well for me.

I don’t often all out cry when reading books.  I Thought You Were Dead was the first audiobook to ever bring me to tears – three times in fact.  If you love dogs, are entering your middle years, live far away from your family, consider your life a disappointment, or are human, you will find something for yourself in this book.  I’ve never had a pet like Stella, but having such a wonderful dog love you must be one way the universe lets you know just how valuable you are.

If you listen to audiobooks, I found Josh Clark to be an engaging narrator.

Final Thoughts

The premise may seem risky at the outset, but if you’re anything like me, it will be well worth it.

Other Voices

You now know what I think.  Why not check out what these other book bloggers have to say?

Chick With Books
Linus’s Blanket
Alison’s Book Marks
Bookin’ with Bingo


  • At 2010.11.26 08:47, Sandy said:

    The Art of Racing in the Rain gave me dog sadness AND a really long, hard ugly cry. I should really know better when there is a dog on the cover. That premise was a risky one as well, but it worked, as I’m sure this one does too. And you know what? If publishers would offer me the chance to review audios, they’d get a whole lot more yes responses!

    • At 2010.11.26 09:21, bermudaonion (Kathy) said:

      It doesn’t seem odd at all to me that the dog in the story would have a voice. Since I’m middle-aged, love dogs and live away from my family, I suspect this book will move me. Great review!

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      • At 2010.11.28 18:46, TheBookGirl said:

        I definitely fit into more than one of the categories you enumerate that make this a good fit for me 🙂
        I am going to search this one out tomorrow, thanks!

        • At 2011.06.17 06:59, Beth S. said:

          This book sounds awesome. I’d never heard of it before just now. Thanks for sharing. Off to put it on my TBR list…

          (Required, will not be published)

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