Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Even the dogs are thinkers in He Who Fears the Wolf. A team of police dogs and their handlers close in on the suspect in a bank robbery, and how do the handlers motivate the dogs? With psychology, of course:
"After fifteen minutes the handlers changed places and let Zeb go first. The competitive instinct was immediately aroused, and the dogs intensified their efforts." (The italics are mine.)
It is typical of this novel that Fossum defines even the most minor characters, human or canine, by what they think first, and later by what they do. This, perhaps even more than the sympathetic care givers I mentioned in my earlier comment, is what makes this such a humane and gentle novel, even toward the one character who turns out to be rather unsympathetic.
I don't know what movies Fossum likes, but this novel reminds me of the famous line from Jean Renoir's Rules of the Game: "You see, in this world, there is one awful thing, and that is that everyone has his reasons." At least, it reminds me of the second part of the line.