Coming from the library. Wish me luck, swimming up the hypestream.
(UPDATED) I nearly drowned, and headed for shore. Or--should I bring in dogs?--I got this hound that I couldn't abide. It's not one you'd put in a bag and drown, and in fact I'd probably spend a lot of time trying to find it a good home, 'cause a lot of people will really like this mutt.
But I couldn't muster much enthusiasm for it. It's exceedingly pretty, exceedingly being the key word in my dismissal. Just before I gave up, the protagonist heads out one "dark morning" to find a stray dog, and the buildings on the farm "had disappeared, and the woods were a country of the only-near, where the things Edgar saw at all he saw in extraordinary detail and the rest had ceased to exist." A fair claim for the book--which (rightly) should have many people excited, as the book is intently and intensely focused on its world: the north woods (of Michigan, or Wisconsin), the raising and training and relationships of dogs, the speechless yet language-rich world of the mute boy Edgar.
But I felt, as one other reviewer on this site did, without momentum. Even those moments that were truly mournful (an early tragedy) or the sparks of the book's central conflict (with a grim, interestingly-off long-lost uncle) seemed at arm's length, shrouded in mist. Well-described but not well-enough-defined to cut. I found myself counting pages, how many left now?, and then took the 100-page excuse and set it aside....