in all fairness though, i didn’t really have a lot of time to read during the last couple of weeks. life had been pretty hectic since i wrote about THE LOST LANGUAGE. but still, i couldn’t help but be a little disappointed with the KATIE book.
this is why we must never have expectations. i started reading KATIE thinking that it was about a dog that binds five people together. and she does, in a way. but i thought the book was more about finding family amongst friends.
in KATIE, glenn plaskin, the author, recounts his sixteen years with his dog and how katie helped him create a family out of the tenants in his battery park city apartment. and while it is katie who, indirectly, gets him to connect with these people, i think it’s the author himself who becomes the tie that binds the people in his anecdotes together.
unlike MARLEY & ME which focuses on the antics of the titular dog, and how it affects its author’s life; KATIE is more autobiographical for the author, with anecdotes about how the titular dog affected each one of them. because aside from katie going from one apartment to another, and aside from being herself, she never really does anything out of the ordinary.
KATIE: UP AND DOWN THE HALL is more about the people who become part of katie’s life, than about katie and how these people came to revolve around her. why do i say this? because i was moved more by the chapters about the people, than the anecdotes about katie.
you can really see the love the author has for the people in his life.
you can also get a sense of his love for katie too. but, i think, because you never really get to know the author, you don’t really feel for him, or for his connection with katie. i would’ve said the book wasn’t good, but it is. especially during the chapters when he writes about the people who lives in his floor, the relationships they nurture, the sadness that comes to their lives…
glenn plaskin writes exceptionally well when he’s writing about other people. but when he starts to go on about katie, that’s when the book begins to lose my attention.
i guess that’s why it took me a couple of weeks to get through the first half of the book. because those were the chapters that really centered on katie. when he started talking about the people in his apartment complex, the relationships he had with them, and the tragedies that came their way, that’s when the book became really interesting.
now, would i recommend the book? yes. i think it’s a good book that has a great handle on human interaction and relationships. but for people who are expecting a book about a great dog? i would rather you read MARLEY & ME instead.