Scottish Review of Books: My Epileptic Lurcher
Between chapters of My Epileptic Lurcher, the reader finds passages that purport to be the thoughts of a dog written in style which bears a horrible similarity to a kind of convoluted baby-talk. If you can stand these sections, you’ll discover the rest of the book comprises a touching, almost captivating tale of one man and two dogs. Manny Riley has anger problems. We don’t know yet what he was imprisoned for, but we can be sure it was something to do with his temper. His life since prison has taken a turn for the better; he marries the lovely, tolerant, caring Connie and they move out of the city to a small village in the country. When it becomes clear that Connie can’t have children, Manny brings home a puppy, and so begins his love affair with Bailey, he of the book’s title. When another dog is adopted, their family is complete, although Manny continues to have anger issues and the increasingly hostile village necessitates another move. The book’s message is nothing more significant than dogs can make your life a bit better if you love and care properly for them, yet it’s one of the most effortlessly charming books I’ve read in a long time.