Review – The Particulars of Peter by Kelly Conaboy

Posted December 15, 2020 by Carole in 2020 New Release Challenge, Book Reviews / 10 Comments

The Particulars of Peter: Dance Lessons, DNA Tests, and Other Excuses to Hang Out with My Perfect Dog by Kelly Conaboy
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: December 8, 2020
Date Read: December 13, 2020
Length: 256 pages
Source: Publisher
★★★★☆

From one of the Internet’s most original voices, a hilarious journey through the odd corners of obsessive dog ownership and the author’s own infatuation with her perfect dog Peter.

The author met Peter in the spring of 2017. He — calm, puppy-eyed, with the heart of a poet and the soul of, also, a poet — came to her first as a foster. He was unable to stay with his previously assigned foster for reasons that are none of your business, but which we will tell you were related to frequent urination. The rescue needed someone free of the sort of responsibilities that would force her to regularly leave the house for either work or socializing, and a writer was the natural choice. Thus began a love story for the ages.

The Particulars of Peter is a funny exploration of the joy found in loving a dog so much it makes you feel like you’re going to combust, and the author’s potentially codependent relationship with her own sweet dog, Peter. Readers will follow Peter and his owner to Woofstock, “the largest outdoor festival for dogs in North America,” and accompany them to lessons in Canine Freestyle, a sport where dogs perform a routine set to music, creating the illusion that they’re dancing with their owners. From learning about Peter’s DNA, to seeing if dogs can sense the presence of ghosts, The Particulars of Peter will give readers a smart, entertaining respite from the harsh world of humans into the funny little world of dogs.

Readers will accompany this lovable duo through exciting trips, lessons, quiet moments of connection, and probably a failure or two. By fusing memoir and infotainment, The Particulars of Peter promises to refresh the perennially popular dog lit category in a scrumptiously bighearted barnstormer of a book.

My Review
It’s no secret that I love dogs.  There is just something I cannot resist when it comes to these furry little (or not so little) beings.   I am lucky enough to live with three of these wonderful animals and my life revolves around them.  It probably is no surprise that I felt like I needed this book in my life.  I found this to be an enjoyable and sometimes rather humorous book.
This book is a collection of short essays dedicated to the author’s dog, Peter.  The author’s love for her pet was very clear throughout this book.  I was able to relate to so many things in this book.  We have a large collection of chewed up pieces of dog toys in our house, similar to Peter’s.  I haven’t tested the DNA of any of my dogs but I could understand her desire to do so.  All three of my dogs are mixes and one dog is so mixed that the vet told me I could just pick a breed for the chart because she had no idea.  There were also a few things that I couldn’t see myself doing.  Dance lessons would be a prime example.  The world does not need to see me or my dogs trying to perform a dance routine.  
There were some really amusing moments in the book.  When the author described the sweater she bought for Peter and his reaction to it, I couldn’t help but laugh.  I liked the way that she tackled pet psychics and thought it was great that she really explored just about every possible aspect a dog owner might encounter.  There were some more emotional parts of the book when the author was worried about her dog that really hit home for me as well
I would recommend this book to dog lovers.   This is a lighter read that I found quite entertaining.  I am happy to report that the book ends on a very positive note.  I wouldn’t hesitate to read more of this author’s work in the future.
I received a review copy of this book from Grand Central Publishing

About the Author

Kelly Conaboy is a writer whose career includes stints at the Cut, the Hairpin, Gawker, and Videogum. Most of those websites no longer exist. (This is not because of Kelly.) She’s been published by The Atlantic, the New Yorker, and the New York Times. She and her dog, Peter, live in Brooklyn, NY.

Author Links: Website | Twitter

10 responses to “Review – The Particulars of Peter by Kelly Conaboy

  1. I'm definitely drawing the line at dance routines with pets but the rest of it sounds really fun! My mother did a DNA test on one of her dogs and we were expecting it to be all over the place but when the results came in he was just 2 breeds (bloodhound and Great Pyrenees – he's HUGE) and once we knew it was so obvious. Adding this to my TBR!

  2. I think this sounds really good. The dance routines are a no from me. But we are awaiting DNA results and trying homemade food so we are quite focused on Lulu. Excellent review!

    Anne – Books of My Heart