Synopses & Reviews
A moody Labrador and his insecure human take a funny, touching cross-country RV trip into the heart of America's relationship with dogs.
"I don't think my dog likes me very much," New York Times Magazine writer Benoit Denizet-Lewis confesses at the beginning of his journey with his nine-year-old Labrador-mix, Casey. Over the next four months, thirty-two states, and 13,000 miles in a rented motor home, Denizet-Lewis and his canine companion attempt to pay tribute to the most powerful interspecies bond there is, in the country with the highest rate of dog ownership in the world.
On the way, Denizet-Lewis — known for his deeply reported dispatches from far corners of American life — meets an irresistible cast of dogs and dog-obsessed humans. Denizet-Lewis and Casey hang out with wolf-dogs in Appalachia, search with a dedicated rescuer of stray dogs in Missouri, spend a full day at a kooky dog park in Manhattan, get pulled over by a K9 cop in Missouri, and visit "Dog Whisperer" Cesar Millan in California. and then there are the pet psychics, dog-wielding hitchhikers, and two nosy women who took their neighbor to court for allegedly failing to pick up her dog's poop.
Travels With Casey is a delightfully idiosyncratic blend of memoir and travelogue coupled with an exploration of a dog-loving America. What does our relationship to our dogs tell us about ourselves and our values? Denizet-Lewis explores those questions — and his own canine-related curiosities and insecurities — during his unforgettable road trip through our dog-loving nation.
"New York Times Magazine writer Denizet-Lewis spent four months driving around America with his Labrador mix Casey to paint a portrait of Americans and their love affair with dogs. The result is an engaging account that covers the gamut, from aggressive dog owners at an NYC dog park, ruminations on how dogs get their names (a surprising number are named after Grateful Dead songs), San Franciscans who practice yoga alongside their dogs, and the curious Black Dog Syndrome, which makes it much harder for black dogs to get adopted from shelters. It's not all sweet anecdotes and wagging tales: Denizet-Lewis has some hard questions for Ingrid Newkirk, head of PETA, regarding their high number of euthanizations, and his account of time spent in the euthanasia room at a shelter in Texas is rough going, but these and other stories are part of the picture as well, and each of Denizet-Lewis's subjects are treated with compassion. Comparisons to John Steinbeck's Travels with Charley are obvious, but this is an entirely different and equally rewarding piece of work that expands with each page without losing its narrative thread or the reader's interest. Agent: Todd Shuster, Zachary Shuster Harmsworth Literary. (July)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"A thoroughly engaging and often hilarious investigation of the therapeutic nature of our relationships with dogs."
"This sprightly, entertaining travelogue should find a delighted readership."
"Here's a book you'll want to dog-ear....Recommended reading."
About the Author
Benoit Denizet-Lewis is a writer with The New York Times Magazine and an assistant professor of writing and publishing at Emerson College. He is the author of America Anonymous: Eight Addicts in Search of a Life, and has contributed to Sports Illustrated, The New Republic, Details, Slate, Salon, Out, and many others. Denizet-Lewis lives in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts.