By Wayne Smith
Thor immediately suspects there is
something wrong with Uncle Ted when he comes to visit. He seems different,
but Thor can’t place it. Uncle Ted may be a threat to the family, and
Thor is going to keep an eye on him, because only Thor can stop Uncle Ted.
Only Thor suspects the truth.
Ballantine Books, 232 pp, 1992
Thor is a four-year-old German Shepherd.
That is the interesting premise of Wayne
Smith’s novel. It is told almost entirely from the perspective of the
dog. I realize this device has been done before, but this is the first
I’ve seen it used in a horror novel.
As a horror novel, it’s fairly
conventional, well written but nothing new. The appeal of this book is
definitely the point of view. I gained some insights into why my two
golden retrievers act the way they do! Dog lovers would enjoy this. My
wife liked it, and she’s neither a big reader nor a horror fan, but
I must say one thing. A blurb on the
back cover says that this book is “Recommended for Young Readers by the
American Library Association.” What are these people smoking? Yes, kids
would enjoy the dog thing, but the book has profanity throughout, and even
a brief but mildly explicit sex scene. It’s hardly suitable for young
readers. I wouldn’t give it to my niece to read, or younger nephew. How
can they say a book with such features is okay for young people? Shame on