In November 2014 there appeared Arturo Pérez-Reverte’s latest book on the Spanish market, Perros e hijos de perra [Dogs and sons of bitches], 152 pages.
From the publisher’s summary:
“I’ve had five dogs. There is no quieter and more pleasant company. There is no touching loyalty like that of his/her attentive eyes, his/her licks and his/her close and humid truffle. Nothing so amazing like the extreme insight of an intelligent dog. There is no better remedy for melancholy and loneliness than his/her faithful company, the security that he/she would die for you, sacrificing him-/herself for a pat or a word.”
Bloodhounds trained by people with no scruples, a one-eyed and worthy Mexican pooch, a Brazilian fila that wasn’t an assassin, Jemmy and Boxer who crossed Death Valley with the Light Brigade, the skinny bastard of the battle of Rocroi, or Sherlock, the dachshund of strong hair and solid silences; these are some of the protagonists of the [roughly 20] articles written by Arturo Pérez-Reverte between 1993 and 2014, that have been collected in this anthology, illustrated by the painter Augusto Ferrer-Dalmau.
“No human being equals the value of a good dog. When a nobel and valiant dog disappears, the world becomes darker. Sadder and dirtier.” A. P. R.
From the author’s official website:
Hard, unforgiving and often angry in his articles, in these “canine” texts emerges a more tender and affable Pérez-Reverte, who appreciates the animals he has lived with or gotten to know and returns to them the same loyalty and affection he received from them, but still gives fuel to some of their owners who don’t know the words “love, selflessness and loyalty.”
… passionate dog glosses which oscillate between admiration for the faithful animals to outrage about those who torture, abuse or neglect them. Stories that are either creepy or move to tears…
Pérez-Reverte is thundering with rage when he speaks of dogs abandoned in ditches, greyhounds hanging from a rope or animals eaten away by mange, terror and wounds after being abandoned, when they are no longer the puppies that entertained the little ones whom nobody taught responsibility for a pet. “Grandpa is put into a nursing home, and the dog is taken to a distant place, the door opens and he/she is told to run.” …
Not such light-hearted reading as one could imagine at first glance… and not to imagine what could happen if Pérez-Reverte put his formidable writing skills into the service of human rights, world hunger, or Syrian (Palestinian, Sudanese…) refugees.