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Nose Down, Eyes Up
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"Jimmy, the canine star of Merrill's second fun-loving doggie novel (after "Walking in Circles Before Lying Down"), is the Tony Robbins of the dog world and holds informal seminars with the neighborhood dogs to instruct them in the art of manipulating their human masters (the key, he intones, is nose down, eyes up). Jimmy's poochly wisdom-spot-on and hilarious throughout-is made available courtesy of his owner, Gil, an unlucky in love handyman who learns how to communicate with dogs. This launches the novel's plot, as Gil shoots down Jimmy's idea that he is Gil's biological son. Soon, Jimmy is intent on meeting his birth mother, who happens to belong to Gil's now-remarried ex-wife. A series of setbacks beset the duo, and the tribulations provide lessons in life, love and finding happiness. The conversations with the wry, wise and lovable Jimmy (and his three other oddball dog pals) comprise the novel's heart and comedic through-line-discourse ranges from business matters to why dogs pee so many times during walks. Markoe's hilarious dialogue should be a must-read for dog lovers." "- Publishers Weekly" Praise for Merrill Markoe's Walking in Circles Before Lying Down "A delight . . . Anyone who has ever put words into a pet's mouth will be amused, but perhaps not surprised, by the dogs' views on sex, garbage, fetching tennis balls, toys, and food."-Boston Sunday Globe "We're in prime Markoe territory-small moments with big laughs. The story swings through Los Angeles like a bloodhound chasing down a scent. . . . It's all told with Markoe's trademark mix of dark humor and quirky vulnerability."-Los Angeles Times Book Review "Fun and charming . . . So spin aroundthree or four times, curl up with your four-legged friend and enjoy."-Fort Worth Star-Telegram "Guaranteed to charm dog lovers. Through the cleverly imagined dialogue, Markoe deftly weaves doggie instinct into an insightful tale that's bound to make you laugh out loud."-People (four stars) "The strength of this book lies in the fact that it manages to be both very funny and also strikingly well-written. Markoe is an enormously talented prose stylist."-Chicago Sun-Times "Hilarious doggy dialogue . . . [Walking in Circles] may be [Markoe's] best yet, delivering the drama, dark humor, and dysfunctional characters that have become the author's cachet."-Booklist (starred review)

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