31 July 2014

101 Dalmatians by Dodie Smith


Reading to Know - Book Club

     I was able to get my hands on a copy of 101 Dalmatians on the 27th only because Husband has access to all the libraries in our new hometown. Since then I've applied for my own library card. Yes, my first piece of ID that is attached to my married name, is a library card. Am I proud of this? Yes I am. Anyway, I'm glad to be blogging again, and even more glad to be reading my friends blogs, and the MOST glad to be reading again.

     So, I was actually really surprised by this book. I guess I had the Disney movie in mind the whole time (by which I mean the one with Glenn Close as Cruella. I either have never seen the cartoon one or I saw it so long ago that I don't remember it) and in my memory the movie is a LOT less intense. I'm not sure if it was the shock that Perdita was the puppies step mom (of sorts) and not their real mom (WHY?), or if it was being so much in the minds of the dogs and observing their emotions, but I was actually quite enthralled even though I basically knew the outcome.

     If you happen to know nothing about this book it's the story of Pongo the dalmatian and his wife Missis and their fifteen children. They are the “owners” of Mr. and Mrs. Dearly, a regular London couple who happen to know a rather strange woman by the name of Cruella DeVil. Cruella loves fire, and red, and pepper and in case you didn't catch on, her last name sounds like devil. Potentially she has a relative who controlled lightening. She's scary. I was actually kind of surprised at HOW scary she was. She also has a hankering for fur, particularly Dalmatian fur. When the puppies all go missing one day, Pongo has a feeling Cruella is involved. And the journey to finding the lost puppies begins.

     I'm actually really liking Dodie Smith these days. I read I Capture the Castle with my old book club and even now I can think of things I really enjoyed about it, and I think I'd like to read it again. I'm not sure how she does it, but she's a very engaging author. I don't even like dogs and I might have actually said “awww” aloud reading this book. She ascribes emotions to these animals without making it too corny, which is a real downfall in children's stories.

     Anyway, it's a great read, and one I've sort of felt I ought to try since I enjoyed her other work. So, I'm glad I got an opportunity through the book club.


Carrie said...


I have laughed at so many of the puppies' antics. Esp. at the part where Lucky shouts out to the other puppies not to bite Cruella because she tastes bad.

We haven't found Cruella too unbelievably scary.

And you SERIOUSLY have to overcome your dislike of Disney cartoon classics. :P

Yay for reading again!!

BerlinerinPoet said...

Yeah, it's so great! And I loved Pongo and Misses's interactions. How she's just a wee bit concerned about Perdita. And Pongo asking Misses if he looks fit still. I thought that was pretty funny.

I guess just in comparison to the movie I was surprised by how scary she was.

Shonya said...

I'm finally catching up with the RtK bookclub and getting my own post written, so had to run around and read what everyone said.

We found it absolutely delightful! So many fun plays on words and phrasings and rich characterization!