If Only You Knew How Much I Smell You: True Portraits of Dogs

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9780821224977: If Only You Knew How Much I Smell You: True Portraits of Dogs
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This collection teams up dog portraits by Valerie Shaff and verse by humorist Roy Blount Jr., to give an original portrayal of what dogs really think.

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Review:

Who hasn't put words into their mutt's mouth? From "yes, the chicken-flavored treats are my favorite," to "no, I'm not quite ready for my bath," all dog devotees are guilty as charged--although not all do it in such a hilarious and endearing manner as writer Roy Blount Jr. and photographer Valerie Shaff in If Only You Knew How Much I Smell You: True Portraits of Dogs. Blount, humorist and author of Be Sweet, brings us closer to "understanding the 'inner dog'" through his use of Doggerel, a uniquely Blount brand of verse with the "canine measure somewhere between ordered and free." The effect of this puppy poetry--when paired with Shaff's truly remarkable duotone photographs of mixed and pure breeds--is comic genius. A Boxer coyly stares into the camera wondering, "What does that mean, 'expensive shoe'? / I ate it because it smelled like you," while a chubby-tummied bulldog declares "Good stick. / Got a good stick. / A real / good / Stick. / Getting all the good / Out of this good / Stick / That's in / This / good / Stick." You'll never be able to resist this entertaining and affectionate look at our canine friends as "they ponder the confusions, certainties, pangs, and pleasures of a dog's life."

About the Author:

Valerie Shaff's photographs have appeared in the New Yorker, Paper, Good Housekeeping and Martha Stewart's Living. Roy Blount, Jr. is one of America's best-known humorists. Author of twelve books and contributing editor of The Atlantic, he writes a regular column for Men's Journal, The Oxford American and has done so for many others.

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Valerie Shaff, Roy Blount
Published by Bulfinch (1998)
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Valerie Shaff; Roy Blount
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