Sunday, November 8, 2009

Dominic, William Steig

5 stars
A wonderful tale of life as pilgrimage. Steig once again taps into the realities of human love, longing, and adventure through a cast of animals. This book follows Dominic the dog as he wanders his way through choices and discovery, fiend and friend. A superb tale and very fun as well as insightful read. It includes Steig's great pen and ink illustrations throughout the story.

Here's a taste from the beginning of chapter seven:
"Dominic went out for a long walk and did a lot of thinking. He was still walking when the stars came out. Mournful, he lay down on the ground and looked at the stars. Life was mysterious. Bartholomew Badger had been alive long before there was a Dominic - long before anybody had even thought there would ever be such a dog. Two hours ago Bartholomew Badger was still alive. But now he was gone. There was no Bartholomew Badger; there was only a memory. His turn was over. Dominic's turn was still at the beginning. There were many who hadn't yet even begun to exist, but there they would be, some time in the future, a whole new world of creatures, some important, some not, and many of them wondering about life just as Dominic was wondering now. It would be their turn, and then Dominic's turn would be over. Many of them would think about the past, which was now the present, but by then what was now the future would have become the present. Somehow this kind of thinking made Dominic feel more religious than usual. He fell asleep under the vast dome of quivering stars, and just as he was falling asleep, passing over into the phase of dreams, he felt he understood the secret of life. But in the light of morning, when he woke up, his understanding of the secret had disappeared with the stars. The mystery was still there, inspiring his wonder."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

One of my favourite books ever, at any age. Such a classic with phenomenally rich vocabulary - rare in children's books today.