The 101 Dalmatians

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The 101 Dalmatians

by Dodie Smith

September 2015

For whatever reason, this little book took me FOREVER to finish! I do have a lot going on in life, so I’m sure that contributed to it, but I had a hard time getting into and finishing this book. I’m glad I persevered and read through to the end, but I did not really like this one as a whole. There were elements I enjoyed, like a few of the asides to the reader — some were quite humorous! And I’m a sucker for a happy ending, so I loved that this book had a perfectly happy ending in every way. That being said, I didn’t enjoy the style of writing and I think that’s a big part of why I didn’t like the book and why it took so long to finish. The biggest reason for dislike though was the character, Missis. But before I elaborate, a brief synopsis: Pongo and his “pet” human meet Missis and her “pet.” The pairs fall in love and Pongo and Missis have a litter of 15 puppies. A friend of the family, Cruella de Vil, is very interested in buying the puppies (for their coats), but her offer is refused. She kidnaps the puppies one night and it’s up to Pongo and Missis to rescue them. It is a very cute premise and I love the Twilight Barking used by all the dogs in the book. However, Missis is a very silly, not quite “with it,” character and that really bothered me. All throughout the book she’s not smart enough to follow directions, understand certain words, or process what is going on around her. Even though it’s just a dog, I hated reading such a negative slant on a woman’s ability to have common sense and understanding. It wasn’t cute and unfortunately, tainted the whole story for me, even with all the sweet, happy parts. Has anyone else read it and felt the same? Did it bother you as much as me? 😉

All the best, Abbey

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