Synopses & Reviews
In this wonderfully original collection of autobiographical stories, popular storyteller and NPR commentator Kevin Kling deftly weaves pitch-perfect scenes of childhood antics and adulthood absurdities with themes of overcoming tragedy, forging lifelong friendships, and living with disabilities in a complex world. In “Circus,” Kling recollects how his love of boats, animals and adventure inspired him to join a traveling circus troupe—but it was the all-you-can-eat buffet that cinched the deal. In “Dogs,” Fafnir, Kling’s new wiener puppy, leads him into the world of show dogs, those resembling “cleaning implements—perfumed, powdered, and pampered.” In the poignant title story, Kling straddles the realm of the ordinary and one rivaling Dante’s underworld as he learns how to use voice-recognition software after his near fatal motorcycle accident. These and many more classic and never-before-told tales are collected in The Dog Says How
. In Kling’s universe, “the mundane becomes magical, the fantastic becomes accessible and through it all his profound sense of curiosity about the world transforms the everyday to the timeless” (Queen Anne News
Kevin Kling is a well-known playwright and storyteller, and his commentaries can be heard on NPR’s All Things Considered. His plays and adaptations have been performed around the world. He lives in Minneapolis.
"A playwright and regular contributor to the popular newsmagazine-style NPR show 'All Things Considered,' Kling hems close to his wry on-air delivery in these 29 short essays, ruminating on a variety of topics including a life-altering motorcycle accident, his congenital arm disability and a favorite dog. Among these, Kling's childhood memories stand out; 'View from the Card Table' remembers an eventful Christmas at the Klings, touched by a child's rumination on the puzzle of the Savior ('And Jesus came down, and we all went crazy like cats') and the threats of impatient grandparents: 'In my day, you kids ... hickory sticks ... woodshed ... G. Gordon Liddy' sic. Other childhood highlights include taxidermy class ('Mr. Damyanovitch taught through a method called: love.') and the time he and his dad were struck by lightning. Having grown up in Minnesota, Kling can evoke frigid temperatures in a sentence or two; he's similarly skilled at emotional gear-shifting, drawing laughter just a few paragraphs before eliciting tears in essays like 'Prayer' and 'Rio.' Kling's collection will please any fan of his radio home, or of sister Public Radio programs 'This American Life' and 'A Prairie Home Companion.'" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"[Y]ou cannot help but like him: buying art for the first time as a grade-schooler, making friends with that old lady at Christmastime, convincing his Boy Scout troop to tackle a homemade taxidermy project whose centerpiece is three squirrels playing poker around a log." Minneapolis Stat Tribune
Kevin Kling, best known for his popular commentaries on National Public Radio's All Things Considered
and his storytelling stage shows like Tales from the Charred Underbelly of the Yule Log
, delivers hilarious, often tender stories to readers everywhere with his first book, The Dog Says How.
Kling's autobiographical tales are as enchanting as they are true to life: hopping freight trains, getting hit by lightning, performing his banned play in Czechoslovakia, growing up in Minnesota, and eating things before knowing what they are. In "Circus Tale," Kling recollects how his love of boats, animals, and adventure inspired him to join a traveling circus troupe — but it was the all-you-can-eat buffets that cinched the deal. In "Hockey Hair," Kling spots old pals from his hometown who sport mullet-like haircuts, spurring him to unlock doors to his past. In the comical yet poignant title story, Kling straddles the world of the ordinary and one rivaling Dante's inferno as he learns how to use voice-recognition software after a motorcycle accident.
In Kling's classic and never-before-told stories, "the mundane becomes magical, the fantastic becomes accessible and through it all his profound sense of curiosity about the world transforms the everyday to the timeless" (Queen Anne News, Seattle).
In his first book, Kling, best known for his popular commentaries on National Public Radios "All Things Considered" and his storytelling stage shows like "Tales from the Charred Underbelly of the Yule Log," now delivers a collection of hilarious, often tender, autobiographical stories.
About the Author
Kevin Kling is a well-known playwright and storyteller, and his commentaries can be heard on NPR's All Things Considered. His plays and adaptations have been performed around the world. He lives in Minneapolis.