Lucky 7: Why Dogs Chase Cars

“This is not your mother’s Southern fiction.” - Candler Hunt, Olsson’s Books and Records

 

It’s your last chance to take advantage of this month’s set of Lucky 7 e-books, only $1.99 through August 31st. While there’s still time, let’s take a closer look at one of the selections - George Singleton’s Why Dogs Chase Cars, a collection of stories that capture both the hilarity and the beauty of the South.

 

These fourteen funny stories tell the tale of a beleaguered boyhood down home where the dogs still run loose. As a boy growing up in the tiny backwater town of Forty-Five, South Carolina (where everybody is pretty much one beer short of a six-pack), all Mendal Dawes wants is out.

It’s not just his hometown that’s hopeless. Mendal’s father is just as bad. Embarrassing his son to death nearly every day, Mr. Dawes is a parenting guide’s bad example. He buries stuff in the backyard—fake toxic barrels, imitation Burma Shave signs (BIRD ON A WIRE, BIRD ON A PERCH, FLY TOWARD HEAVEN, FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH), yardstick collections. He calls Mendal “Fuzznuts” and makes him recite Marx and Durkheim daily and befriend a classmate rumored to have head lice.

Mendal Dawes is a boy itching to get out of town, to take the high road and leave the South and his dingbat dad far behind—just like those car-chasing dogs.

But bottom line, this funky, sometimes outrageous, and always very human tale is really about how Mendal discovers that neither he nor the dogs actually want to catch a ride, that the hand that has fed them has a lot more to offer. On the way to watching that light dawn, we also get to watch the Dawes’s precarious relationship with a place whose “gene pool [is] so shallow that it wouldn’t take a Dr. Scholl’s insert to keep one’s soles dry.”

To be consistently funny is a great gift, but to be funny and cynical and empathetic all at the same time is George Singleton’s special gift.

You can buy Why Dogs Chase Cars at AMAZONBARNES AND NOBLEINDIEBOUND, APPLE, and POWELL’S BOOKS.

 

“Singleton creates a dead-on portrait of the way we carry our childhoods into adulthood and how, despite vows to leave small towns, we can end up back home, still running, like stray dogs hoping a passing car will stop and give us a ride somewhere else.” - Booklist

 

 

 

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