Truck Dogs

Last updated

Truck Dogs: A Novel in Four Bites is a children's adventure/science fiction novel by Australian author Graeme Base, who is famous for his large picture books such as Animalia . It was published in 2003 and nominated for a CBCA 2004 Book of the Year for younger readers. The novel is supposed to take place in the future, but the setting is ultimately a fantasy world based on a rural desert town (as in the Australian outback or the western United States). All of the characters are caricaturized, anthropomorphic dogs of various breeds, part biological and part machine. Their lower bodies are formed by the chassis and wheels of some kind of modern vehicle, often a truck. Reviewers have referred to the novel as a meeting of The Book of Revelations and Hell. [1]

Contents

The story follows a young dog-vehicle who longs for adventure. He befriends a group of rebellious adolescent dog-vehicles (who are disliked by the citizens of the small town where they live) and an old loner mechanic. They have to choose where they stand when a renegade gang arrives and attempts to steal the town's precious gasoline resources and threatens harm.

The novel includes numerous color plates illustrated by Base picturing the characters and their individual make and model. Base introduces the novel as if it had been told to him by his dog.

Origins

The author states that the main idea for the novel was derived from his childhood observations on the "animal intensity" of trucks and other fast-moving vehicles. [2] During the writing process, the novel had many earlier incarnations, such as a prose picture book, a picture book in the form of a poem, and a screenplay. [3]

Critical response

A La Trobe University review of the book is overall positive, stating that it is an entertaining, with a straightforward storyline and linear plot. [4] The DarkEcho review notes that, since none of the dog/vehicle hybrids or other inhabitants (truck bugs, truck sheep) have limbs, one wonders how they are able to perform the more delicate tasks of running a town. [5]

Footnotes

  1. Jack, Jack. "Our Animal Hell". Find Articles in The Bible. Ny Books. Retrieved 2015-05-01.
  2. "Truck Dogs author Graeme Base talks about his favorite books". Readersvoice.com. March 2004. Retrieved 2008-10-21.
  3. "Ten minutes with Graeme Base". National Museum of Australia. Archived from the original on 2008-08-11. Retrieved 2008-10-28.
  4. O'Brien, Maureen (2004-02-03). "Reviews... Truck Dogs". La Trobe University. Retrieved 2008-10-21.
  5. "Book Review: Truck Dogs by Graeme Base". DarkEcho. Archived from the original on 2008-05-12. Retrieved 2008-10-21.

Related Research Articles

Afghan Hound Dog breed

The Afghan Hound is a hound that is distinguished by its thick, fine, silky coat and its tail with a ring curl at the end. The breed is selectively bred for its unique features in the cold mountains of Afghanistan. Its local name is Tāžī Spay or Sag-e Tāzī. Other names for this breed are Tāzī, Balkh Hound, Baluchi Hound, Barakzai Hound, Shalgar Hound, Kabul Hound, Galanday Hound or sometimes incorrectly African Hound. They have the ability to run and turn well.

Ouida

Ouida was the pseudonym of the English novelist Maria Louise Ramé. During her career, Ouida wrote more than 40 novels, as well as short stories, children's books and essays. Moderately successful, she lived a life of luxury, entertaining many of the literary figures of the day. Under Two Flags, one of her most famous novels, described the British in Algeria. It expressed sympathy for the French colonists—with whom Ouida deeply identified—and, to some extent, the Arabs. The novel was adapted for the stage, and was filmed six times. Her novel A Dog of Flanders is considered a children's classic in much of Asia. The American author Jack London cited her novel Signa, as one of the reasons for his literary success. Her lavish lifestyle eventually led her to penury, and her works were put up for auction to pay her debts. She died in Italy from pneumonia. Soon after her death, her friends organized a public subscription in Bury St Edmunds, where they had a fountain for horses and dogs installed in her name.

Eddie Campbell British comics artist and cartoonist

Eddie Campbell is a British comics artist and cartoonist who now lives in Chicago. Probably best known as the illustrator and publisher of From Hell, Campbell is also the creator of the semi-autobiographical Alec stories collected in Alec: The Years Have Pants, and Bacchus, a wry adventure series about the few Greek gods who have survived to the present day.

<i>The Call of the Wild</i> 1903 novel by Jack London

The Call of the Wild is a short adventure novel by Jack London, published in 1903 and set in Yukon, Canada, during the 1890s Klondike Gold Rush, when strong sled dogs were in high demand. The central character of the novel is a dog named Buck. The story opens at a ranch in Santa Clara Valley, California, when Buck is stolen from his home and sold into service as a sled dog in Alaska. He becomes progressively more primitive and wild in the harsh environment, where he is forced to fight to survive and dominate other dogs. By the end, he sheds the veneer of civilization, and relies on primordial instinct and learned experience to emerge as a leader in the wild.

Robin Jarvis is a British Young-Adult fiction (YA) and children's novelist, who writes dark fantasy, suspense and supernatural thrillers. His books for young adults have featured the inhabitants of a coastal town battling a monumental malevolence with the help of its last supernatural guardian (The Witching Legacy), a diminutive race of Werglers pitched against the evil might of the faerie hordes (The Hagwood Trilogy), a sinister "world-switching" dystopian future, triggered by a sinister and hypnotic book (Dancing Jax), Norse Fates, Glastonbury crow-demons and a time travelling, wise-cracking teddy bear. (The Wyrd Museum series), dark powers, a forgotten race and ancient evils on the North Yorkshire coast (The Whitby Witches trilogy), epic medieval adventure (The Oaken Throne) and science-fiction dramatising the "nefarious intrigue" within an alternate Tudor realm, peopled by personalities of the time, automata servants and animals known as Mechanicals and ruled by Queen Elizabeth I. (Deathscent).

Jon Katz

Jon Katz is an American journalist, author, and photographer. He was a contributor to the online magazine HotWired, the technology website Slashdot, and the online news magazine Slate. In his early career as an author he wrote a series of crime novels and books on geek subculture. More recent works focus on the relationship between humans and animals.

<i>Shiloh</i> (Naylor novel) Naylor novel

Shiloh is a Newbery Medal-winning children's novel by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor published in 1991. The 65th book by Naylor, it is the first in a quartet about a young boy and the title character, an abused dog. Naylor decided to write Shiloh after an emotionally taxing experience in West Virginia where she encountered an abused dog.

Albert Payson Terhune American author and journalist

Albert Payson Terhune was an American author, dog breeder, and journalist. He was popular for his novels relating the adventures of his beloved collies and as a breeder of collies at his Sunnybank Kennels, the lines of which still exist in today's Rough Collies.

Graeme Rowland Base is a British-Australian author and artist of picture books. He is perhaps best known for his second book, Animalia published in 1986, and third book The Eleventh Hour which was released in 1989.

<i>Darkfall</i> (Koontz novel)

Darkfall is a novel by the best-selling author Dean Koontz, released in 1984. The novel is also known as Darkness Comes.

<i>A Dogs Life: The Autobiography of a Stray</i>

A Dog's Life: The Autobiography of a Stray is a children's novel written in 2005 by Ann M. Martin and is published by Scholastic Books. The target audience for this book is grades 4-7. It is written from the first-person perspective of a female stray dog named Squirrel. Ann M. Martin bases her books on personal experiences and contemporary problems or events.

Libby Hathorn Australian childrens writer

Elizabeth Helen "Libby" Hathorn is an Australian writer primarily for children, and a poet who works with schools, institutions and communities. She has received many awards for her books, some of which have been translated into several languages. In 2001 she was awarded a Centenary Medal for her contribution to children's theatre. In 2014 she was awarded the Alice Award for her contribution to Australian literature.

David Conyers Australian author

David Conyers is an Australian author. Conyers writes predominantly science fiction and Lovecraftian horror.

<i>The Last Dog on Earth</i> 2003 book by Daniel Ehrenhaft

The Last Dog on Earth is a 2003 young adult novel written by Daniel Ehrenhaft. It follows Logan, a lonely 14-year-old boy who adopts a dog from an animal shelter and names her Jack. The pair's relationship is soon threatened by an incurable prion disease spreading across the nation. Infected dogs become unnaturally violent and bloodthirsty, culminating in the deaths of several people. As public fear heightens and the government intervenes to control the outbreak, Logan struggles to reform his life and remain with Jack.

<i>The Good Dog</i> Book by Avi

The Good Dog is a children's novel by Newbery Medalist Edward Irving Wortis published under his pseudonym, Avi, in 2001. Written for ages 8–12, the book has been described as having "a very cinematic feel" comparable to the movies The Incredible Journey and Beethoven.

Tim Lebbon is a British horror and dark fantasy writer.

Kōji Ishikawa is a Japanese children's book author and illustrator. His work includes advertisements, magazine illustration, web, character design and book design. In recent years he has made children's books. He lives in Tokyo with his wife and two children.

Anthony McGowan

Anthony John McGowan is an English author of books for children, teenagers and adults. He is the winner of the 2020 CILIP Carnegie Medal for Lark.

Pauleen Bennett Australian scientist

Pauleen Charmayne Bennett is an Australian scientist researching anthrozoology at La Trobe University in Victoria, Australia.