Have You Read “Sighthound” Yet?
Pam Houston’s Sighthound should be considered one of a new genre — “dog lit.” What is dog lit? Literature that centers around dogs and humans affected by those dogs. But the question for Sighthound is how much of it is really about dogs? Some, but not enough for us die-hard dog lovers I fear.
I won’t give away anything in this review but if you haven’t already seen the whole plot and even ending then you must not be reading any of the main dogzines. Let’s just say that everything revolves around Dante, the Irish Wolfhound. Unfortunately, we see much more of the whiny humans than the stoic and vastly more intelligent canine. That’s too bad because Dante’s chapters are much more interesting and compelling than those of most of the humans. I understand her device of using the humans as a lens for Dante but Dante really didn’t need it and the humans are just too personally flawed to interest me. Sighthound comes across as one part Fluke, one par tGuiding Light and one part Greyfriar’s Bobby.
Nonetheless, Sighthound is a good early dog lit entry and makes some impressive points about life after death. If you know anyone who is still grieving after the loss of a furfriend then this might make a good way to help them come to terms with the death. Read it just for the dog and cat chapters if nothing else.
I hope we see more canine-focused work from Pam Houston. Her writing is fast-paced and keeps you turning the pages. Even when you aren’t wild about a character you still want to know how she sees and feels about Dante.