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The Dog Says How

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Overview

In this wonderfully original collection of autobiographical stories, popular storyteller and NPR commentator Kevin Kling deftly weaves pitch-perfect scenes of childhood antics and adulthood absurdities with themes of overcoming tragedy, forging lifelong friendships, and living with disabilities in a complex world.
 
In “Circus,” Kling recollects how his love of boats, animals and adventure inspired him to join a traveling circus troupe—but...

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The Dog Says How

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Overview

In this wonderfully original collection of autobiographical stories, popular storyteller and NPR commentator Kevin Kling deftly weaves pitch-perfect scenes of childhood antics and adulthood absurdities with themes of overcoming tragedy, forging lifelong friendships, and living with disabilities in a complex world.
 
In “Circus,” Kling recollects how his love of boats, animals and adventure inspired him to join a traveling circus troupe—but it was the all-you-can-eat buffet that cinched the deal. In “Dogs,” Fafnir, Kling’s new wiener puppy, leads him into the world of show dogs, those resembling “cleaning implements—perfumed, powdered, and pampered.” In the poignant title story, Kling straddles the realm of the ordinary and one rivaling Dante’s underworld as he learns how to use voice-recognition software after his near fatal motorcycle accident.
 These and many more classic and never-before-told tales are collected in The Dog Says How. In Kling’s universe, “the mundane becomes magical, the fantastic becomes accessible and through it all his profound sense of curiosity about the world transforms the everyday to the timeless” (Queen Anne News).

Kevin Kling is a well-known playwright and storyteller, and his commentaries can be heard on NPR’s All Things Considered. His plays and adaptations have been performed around the world. He lives in Minneapolis.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Kling's short but sweet recording is a collection of autobiographical tales relating events of his past with an ear for everyday themes such as friendship, death and disability. His writing is earnest but real and often hilarious; his reading follows suit. The self-deprecating Kling is always looking to draw a laugh from his listeners, but never ignores the message behind each tale. Listeners of all ages will find themselves lured into Kling's ceaselessly funny tales as he expounds on everything from taxidermy to wearing socks with sandals just to annoy people. A Borealis Books hardcover (reviewed online). (Sept.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

As a playwright (Fear and Loving in Minneapolis), humorist, and commentator on National Public Radio's All Things Considered, Kling is well known for his ability to find comedy in whatever life sends his way, first a birth defect, then a motorcycle accident that has limited his use of both arms. The title piece in this debut collection refers to a fight between Kling's cat and dog that causes his voice-activated computer software to respond by typing "How, how, why, why." Many of these 29 autobiographical tales recount childhood escapades with his father as they flew model airplanes or traveled on family car trips. "Dad's Day" shares the mixed-up phrases a neighbor, Mr. Sloan, creates to dispense wisdom, e.g., "It ain't rocket surgery, for crying outside." With Kling's frequent childhood visits to the emergency room, his father offered this wise instruction as Kling went on wild go-cart rides: "Don't get killed just because you know how." The tales range from a long line of family members who have survived lightning strikes to a third-generation farmer who decides to plant a field of sunflowers because he knows he will never be able to afford a Van Gogh. Recommended for all Minnesota libraries and for literary collections in larger public libraries.
—Joyce Sparrow

Minnesota Public Radio
"His compelling stories can be just the jolt you need while waiting in traffic."—Minnesota Public Radio
From the Publisher
"Having grown up in Minnesota, Kling can evoke frigid temperatures in a sentence or two; he's similarly skilled at emotional gear-shifting, drawing laughter just a few paragraphs before eliciting tears in essays like 'Prayer' and 'Rio.' Kling's collection will please any fan of his radio home, or of sister Public Radio programs 'This American Life' and 'A Prairie Home Companion'."—Publishers Weekly
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780873515993
  • Publisher: Minnesota Historical Society Press
  • Publication date: 10/1/2007
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 772,788
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Kevin Kling is a well-known playwright and storyteller, and his commentaries can be heard on NPR's All Things Considered. His plays and adoptions have been performed all over the world. He lives in Minneapolis.
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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 18, 2008

    The Dog Says How - but the cat says why!

    'The Dog Says How' is a fascinating glimpse into the world of Kevin Kling, an NPR commentator and storyteller extraordinaire. The gentle humor with which he tells these stories of his life is refreshing. He intersperses laugh-out-loud funny moments with heartwarming insight about living with disabilities (When you drop a quarter at the bus stop, is it socially aceptable to remove a shoe and sock and pick it up with your toes?). Also included are tales from his childhood (Taxidermy - stuff it with love.) , his friendships, and his family. I wondered how so many weirdly hilarious things could happen to one person, but it has to all be true, its too strange to be made up! The audio version is read by the author himself, making it even better. You've got to listen to this even if its only to learn why the dog says how and the cat says why!

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