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The Man Who Talks to Dogs, by Melinda Roth "The Hidden Hero"
a Book Review By Matt Thomson
Buy this book at Amazon.com
The Man Who Talks To Dogs, written by Melinda Roth, grips the heart of the reader and forces a genuine reaction that combines feelings of joy and sorrow. Roth introduces us to Randy Grim, a man living in St. Louis who she interviews for the Riverfront Times. The book is an in-depth look at Grim’s attempt to rescue dogs in dire need of help. But Roth gives the reader more. She is able to incorporate the necessary factual information that allows a person with no prior knowledge of the subject to truly appreciate what Randy Grim is able to accomplish. I’ve loved dogs for over twenty years and had no idea of the conditions that exist for stray dogs in this country. Roth’s political background emerges in her informative and statistical data. She supplies the reader with this knowledge at the perfect juncture throughout the book. She then provides Grim’s tale, with a tender, yet courageous tone that is able to capture the passion and emotion that consumes Randy, and convey it to the reader.
One of Melinda Roth’s most powerful weapons is her devotion to detail. She succeeds in allowing the reader to feel each intended emotion. Roth makes you able to hear starving dogs whimper, and then see the look in their eyes when safety finally cradles them. She does this with vivid comparisons. Her metaphors and similes paint pictures in the reader’s mind, and sing songs for their hearts. There is absolutely no doubt that after reading this book, you will change on an emotional level. The next time you see a dog or group of dogs trotting slowly down the sidewalk you will think about this book. About Randy Grim, and his Messiah-like mission to rescue helpless and depraved animals.
So who is Randy Grim and why is he going around saving
dogs? That seems to be what everyone asks before reading this book. I
can tell you that he is a simple, yet somewhat anxious man who is only
doing what comes naturally to him. He’ll tell you himself: “I’m
not perfect, but I know that if it wasn’t for the dogs, I would
have ended up a lost soul with a bleak life. No one requires an epiphany
to follow whatever their passions might be. They just have to pay attention
to all of the little pieces, to their own life puzzle, and make sure that
what isn’t missing is compassion” (Randy Grimm). Even if you’ve
never had a pet this man’s story will touch you, and Melinda Roth
brilliantly portrays scene after scene of his life with a gentle warmth
that will make you cry, and a heroic strength that will brighten your
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