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0300 Il cane alla catena

June 5, 2012
  • Title: Il cane alla catena
  • English Title: The Dog on the Chain
  • Canon: April Evil
  • Language: Italian
  • Country: Italy
  • Format: Paperback
  • Year: 1959
  • Publisher: Arnoldo Mondadori
  • Collection: Il Giallo Mondadori
  • Collection #: 527
  • Cover Price: 150 lira
  • Cover Artist: Unknown


Normally I just roll up a random number to decide which cover to post, but I chose this one in honor of post #300 (woo-hoo!). I just finished re-reading April Evil (yes, in English) after an absence of fifteen or twenty years. Boy, was I surprised by how much I enjoyed this story. My admittedly alcohol-sodden memory had it pegged as “not bad, but it ain’t no Clemmie“, but, like Clemmie, I found myself talking to the characters in the book: “Get away from the window, Toby!” The plot works, the small-town Florida location is realistic (I lived in Florida not long after the novel was written), and the characterizations are quite good; I will point you (again) to Steve’s Scott’s excellent review if you want more detail. Trust me, you do.

Quite a few people feel that some of MacDonald’s earlier works don’t age well. The characters are gangsters, or they talk in outdated slang, or they involve Communist conspiracies, or the car models don’t exist anymore. This doesn’t bother me. I read Moby Dick not long ago; it couldn’t possibly happen today, but that didn’t reduce my enjoyment of the book. Still, reading anachronistic passages can jar you out of The Zone when the book otherwise seems modern. I can safely reassure you that there are surprisingsly few of these moments in this book that was written in the mid-1950s. Yeah, one character drives an ancient Packard and brags that it has 120,000 miles. Other than a couple of items like this, this story could take place today.

Oh yeah, the cover. I know who is pictured in the boat, but I’m not telling! No need to be a spoiler.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. warren shrimpton permalink
    June 8, 2012 2:07 am

    Good stuff ! 300 reached and hope there’s lots more to come. I’ve found a few more to scan and will get on it a.s.a.p

    • June 10, 2012 12:20 pm

      Thanks. I have a couple more to post! I always appreciate your high-quality scans, Warren.

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