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Alveridgea and the Legend of the Lonely Dog by Ivan Clarke and Stu Duval

August 13, 2012

Alveridgea and the Story of the Lonely Dog by Ivan Clarke and Stu Duval. Pub. Atlantic Books, 2012.

This is an outstanding novel for a wide range of school years and even for adults. It is a classic and will become as legendary as Lonely Dog himself.

Lonely dog lives in the port of Alveridge which is divided into two sections. The hound dogs who are carefree and casual live in one half and the cats who are conniving and grasping live in the better half of town. The hounds and the cats do not mix but things begin to change.

Lonely Dog as he is to become was born Arthur Snout and was left in a box at the door of the orphanage and grows up as a loner. He is bullied but has a friend in old Rolph Flannegan and a girl dog with pigtails, long legs and limpid eyes called Kelzie. The sketch of her is amazing.

One day while asleep in a motorcycle sidecar Lonely Dog  is taken  to the village green where they are playing blues music. It is a life changing experience and he begins to learn guitar and to write songs. These songs are going to elevate him into the poet of protest and revolution as the hounds try to shake off the control by cats.

Brilliantly illustrated by creator Ivan Clarke and told by master story teller Stu Duval whose command of language will have you laughing out loud. His imagery and metaphor are brilliant. He describes bagpipes as sounding like ten cats in a cement mixer.

Central to the story is music which unifies enemies and gives the book a feel good ambience. The song lyrics and history of music are as interesting as the story of Lonely Dog. In fact they are inseparable.

If you miss this one you will kick yourself.

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