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Book Reviews

Milt Gross Book Review: "Hound-dog Man, a novel", by Fred Gipson
By Milton M. Gross
Jun 14, 2015 - 1:10:15 AM

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The scenes in Hound-dog Man remind me of what happens in parts of Maine. I found the book to be about a topic I found interesting, a raccoon hunt and other adventures. Milt Gross photo.
Even though I'm no longer a child, Hound-dog Man caught my attention because of the topic, a story of hunting and other outdoor adventures. The fact that it takes places in Texas didn't distract me.

After all, I'm still a boy -- at heart if not in age.

This fiction novel covers a raccoon hunt by Blackie Scantling and two boys, one of whom, Cotton Kinney, is the hero of the story. It also covers home life in the Texas outback, the threats and defeat of a bad guy, a baby being born, and other typical incidents of early-twentieth-centure rural Texas. Gipson wrote it in first person.

Scandling is described on the cover as, "the hero of every man and boy with a touch of wanderlust -- the despair of mothers and daughters and other more practical citizens."

Also from the cover, "Twelve-year-old Cotton Kinney wanted two things more than anything in the world: to get a hunting dog of his own, and to run in the woods along the river with Blackie Scantling after a big Texas boar coon."

The story can be imagined from that cover paragraph. A great kids' story

The author, if the name sounds familiar, also wrote Old Yeller, Savage Sam, and Sounder, which are probably familiar titles.

I'm staying with the cover, because it says it better than can I, "It's an adventure which could be re-created only through the skill and plain good nature of a writer like Fred Gipson. For Gipson has the Twain touch and something of Booth Tarkington and Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings -- and something very special of his own."

Published in 1949 by Harper and Brothers, New York. It's priced by Amazon.com at $15.98 for a new paperback, $2.77 for a used paperback, and one cent for a hardcover edition.

Years ago when I was teaching, I read Gipson's books, and I highly recommend this one if your sense of adventure has remained youthful.

You cannot borrow my copy, which I'm thankful that Dolores found in the town's recycling center.


Milt Gross can be reached for corrections, harassment, or other purposes at lesstraveledway@roadrunner.com.

Milton M. Gross Copyright 2014


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