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Being a Dog Is a Full-Time Job is an all-new collection of Peanuts strips, filled with the timeless humor that has gained a daily readership of 200 million worldwide.
Filled with a year's worth of strips, this book from cartoonist-philosopher Schulz is certain to top the list of his smashing volumes. The world's most famous beagle works hard in his job as a dog, as portrayed in the pages of this humorous yet thought-provoking strip.
Posted October 24, 2000
I've never been one to subscribe to the theory that waiting for a good Peanuts book is akin to waiting for the next Salinger or Pynchon fiction; there are those who would take it further, stating that Schulz's aggressive 'take-it-or-leave-it' style smacks of Mailer's 'The Naked and the Dead'. As for me, I approach each new Schulz tome with caution, knowing full-well that I may very well be swept away in the fury and angst of the Land of Round-Headed Children. The storyline is complex, even moreso than the previous book in the 'Full-Time Job' series ('Being a Fussbudget is a Full-Time Job'). Fortunately, the focus is mainly on Charlie Brown, and his relationship with his sister, Sally. While Schulz hints at more than a brother-sister union in several of the pages, he leaves the reader more often than not spiderwebbed in confusing details: Is it important for the reader to know that Sally's teacher requires the children to sing about handguns in class? Will the ordinary reader understand Brown's despair at being asked to play toadie to Lucy Van Pelt's place-kicking charade? At one point in the book, Brown turns to the reader and mutters, 'Rats,' when asked if he would have preferred being born into a line of royal blood in Swaziland during the 1930s. Whence 'rats'? Brown is clearly being given the opportunity to open up to the reader, but instead bemoans all that discourages him through the single word mentioned. By leaving it up to the reader to decide, Schulz actually does a disservice - he has been encouraged in personal correspondence to provide a foundation for Brown's (and, to a lesser extent, Linus Van Pelt's) disillusionment with all that is childlike, but instead he chooses the simplistic (some would argue 'sophomoric') literary ploy that has all too often frustrated this reviewer. This will definitely not be the last Peanuts book I purchase. Schulz is too fine a craftsman with the pen for me to give up hope at this point. I am hopeful (as we all should be) that he will be a bit less careless with our thirst for enlightenment in what makes these children tick, and not blithely fill the pages with annoying and misleading details that are never re-addressed later in the book. I give this book 3 stars, albeit with a degree of hesitation that it might be too high a rating.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.