Monday, February 13, 2017

The Dog Who Was There by Ron Marasco

Book description:

No one expected Barley to have an encounter with the Messiah. He was homeless, hungry, and struggling to survive in first century Jerusalem. Most surprisingly, he was a dog. But through Barley’s eyes, the story of a teacher from Galilee comes alive in a way we’ve never experienced before.

Barley’s story begins in the home of a compassionate woodcarver and his wife who find Barley as an abandoned, nearly-drowned pup. Tales of a special teacher from Galilee are reaching their tiny village, but when life suddenly changes again for Barley, he carries the lessons of forgiveness and love out of the woodcarver’s home and through the dangerous roads of Roman occupied Judea.

On the outskirts of Jerusalem, Barley meets a homeless man and petty criminal named Samid. Together, Barley and his unlikely new master experience fresh struggles and new revelations. Soon Barley is swept up into the current of history, culminating in an unforgettable encounter with the truest master of all as he bears witness to the greatest story ever told. 

My review:

  Prior to reading this, I read a similar book. It also was about a dog who met Jesus.....and I struggled to get through the book. It was OK.... and just OK. I picked this one up without very high hopes of enjoying it much, and found it to be a great read. I had no problem getting into it, and hated to put it down when constraints of time and work came up.

  The book is told completely through the eyes of a small dog, and it is a very entertaining tale. We have no idea how an animal thinks, but I thought the author did a great job of giving a dog's eye view of life in Jesus' time, and what it is like to be a dog.

 I like happy books, and there were some sad moments in the book. I don't want to give spoilers, but I'll just say the poor dog shouldn't have gotten too attached to any of his owners.

 Most moving were the moments of Jesus' walking to Golgotha and the crucifixion scene. I honestly feel it gave me a fresh and different look at the events of Good Friday.

 I'l be honest... I am not a dog lover, but I found myself really liking the dog in the story, cheering for him, feeling bad for him, and happy at the ending I was hoping for and that did happen. This is a very unique Biblical fiction novel, but is one worth reading and one that anyone will enjoy.

I was given a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review.

About the author:

Ron Marasco is a professor in the College of Communication and Fine Arts at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. His first book, Notes to an Actor, was named by the American Library Association an "Outstanding Book of 2008." For the past five years he has taught a very popular course on the subject of grief using film, theatre, literature and oral history as a way to study this often intimidating subject. He has acted extensively on TV―in everything from Lost to West Wing to Entourage -and appeared opposite screen legend Kirk Douglas in the movie Illusion, for which he also wrote the screenplay. He has a BA from Fordham at Lincoln Center and an MA and Ph. D. from UCLA. Brian Shuff is a writer from Mesa, Arizona, who now lives in Los Angeles where he is at work completing a book of short stories. His mother died when he was eight years old, giving him a life-long interest in the subject of grief. Along with Ron Marasco he has written a screenplay based on Louise Hay's groundbreaking book, You Can Heal Your Life that will premiere in 2011. He and Marasco are also working on a dramatic adaptation of John McNulty's book This Place on Third Avenue.

The Dog Who Was There is available from Thomas Nelson Publishing.

Thanks to Litfuse Publicity for the review copy.