Regular price: $18.19

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

In Pack of Two, the author of the acclaimed best seller Drinking: A Love Story tackles a different sort of relationship. Two-time Academy Award-winning actress Hilary Swank (Boys Don’t Cry, Million Dollar Baby) guides us into the life of Caroline Knapp who, after losing both parents to cancer and breaking off a two-decade long relationship with alcohol in the span of one year, struggles - and succeeds - to redefine her world.

The unlikely solution to Knapp’s task was found in the form of a dog named Lucille. After 18 months of sobriety, she brought home an eight-week old puppy from a local animal shelter, a puppy that became a central force in her life. Knapp brings her fresh insight into emotional and psychological issues to the complicated terrain of human-animal relationships. Along with mining her own experience with Lucille, Knapp speaks to a variety of dog people - from owners to professionals - about this profoundly healing alliance.

Pack of Two is part of Audible's A-List Collection, featuring the world’s most celebrated actors narrating distinguished works of literature that each star had a hand in selecting. For more great books performed by Hollywood's finest, click here.
©1998 Caroline Knapp (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    69
  • 4 Stars
    30
  • 3 Stars
    27
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    5

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    77
  • 4 Stars
    29
  • 3 Stars
    9
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    2

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    59
  • 4 Stars
    29
  • 3 Stars
    22
  • 2 Stars
    8
  • 1 Stars
    3
Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Great narration, moving memoir

The subtitle is very accurate, it's the story of the bond between a woman and her dog and her investigation into that bond more generally because she is so surprised by the dog's impact on her own life.

Very much a book for people who love dogs and have experienced this bond, I don't think someone who isn't a dog lover would find this as interesting as it is for those of us who have found ourselves gobsmacked in adulthood by the relationships in which we have unexpectedly developed with dogs.

The narration by Hilary Swank is excellent, although she does mis-pronounce a word or two that sort of interrupted the flow of the text for me but only because the reading was so good only that mispronunciation made it clear it was not the author reading the book. Otherwise her reading was so sincere I felt the whole time like the author was talking directly to me about the intensity of her connection to her dog.

Caroline Knapp is an excellent writer and her prose distinguishes this book from the plethora of dog books published each year. Sadly, I believe she died soon after this book was published.

Highly recommended for dog lovers and people interested in the bonds people develop with animals.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jami
  • VICTOR, NY, United States
  • 11-24-12

Not what I expected, but really good!

I thought that this would be just a memoir about the author and her dog; while that was certainly a lot of the story, I was happily surprised to hear the psychological aspects of the human and dog relationship. Her life is woven in, as well as her fears and emotions about her dog and others. I could relate to her feelings about her dog, particularly her fear of being left alone once the dog was gone. I had (and still have) similar fears about my dog, so I can definitely relate to that. It was especially poignant hearing the author talking about how she knows the dog will go before her, yet knowing that she died at a young age (early 40s). I don't know if the dog actually survivied her or not, but this part struck an emotional chord with me. I also loved the part where she was examining her life and realized that while it may not be what she or others expected, she realizes that the question to as is: "does it feel right for you?" How true! After reading this book, I intend to read her book about her battle with drinking as well as her friend's book about their friendship and her untimely death. Hilary Swank did an outstanding job with the narration. You can tell that she loves dogs, as there were times in the book where you could tell the emotion was coming through.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Jane
  • bronxville, NY, United States
  • 11-30-12

Intelligent, self-absorbed file a deux

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Interesting and charming when she gets out of her own head and focuses on Lucille, the rescue dog who became the center of this very bright writer's hapless universe.

Would you be willing to try another book from Caroline Knapp? Why or why not?

No, too much carolyn...though she can write up a storm, she is blindingly articulate.

What does Hilary Swank bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

She is a quirky and brilliant actor.

Do you think Pack of Two needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • lauren
  • Cincinnati, OH, United States
  • 12-16-12

I LOVE this story!

What did you love best about Pack of Two?

Everything, but particularly the chapter on dogs as surrogates for women in lieu of having children.

What did you like best about this story?

I can't pick just one thing. It's one of the first non-fiction books I have read in a long while and I was very, very pleased.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Wonderful but Somewhat Sad

This was a fairly short book, and as a devoted dog parent, I found that it went quickly. This audiobook was narrated by Hilary Swank which added a lot to the listening experience. Pack of Two is a very personal account of the author's relationship with her dog, Lucille, and how it enriched and deepened her life. However, it provides both sides of the dog/human bond, including some of the very special benefits as well as darker aspects that, in some unfortunate cases, became pathological.

There were times when I honestly felt sorry for Caroline Knapp because she seemed so needy and isolated. I really love our three dogs and spend a great deal of time working and playing with them, but this author was truly obsessed with Lucille, her only close connection in the world. I was glad she had this wonderful being in her life, a dog she had rescued from probable euthanasia in a shelter, but she seemed so concerned with the possible abnormality of their relationship that I pitied her a little. She gave examples of friends with similar issues, a few of whom were pretty scary. Her own background was quite tragic, involving a lonely childhood, struggles with anorexia, and alcoholism. Her relationship with her dog in her mid-thirties was the first in her life that felt authentic and satisfying.

As a pretty fanatic animal lover myself, I identified with her devotion to her dog, and I enjoyed the book mostly. I only wish her life had been happier in other ways. She died several years after writing this book of lung cancer, and I can't help wondering what happened to Lucille when Caroline was no longer there to care for her. I can only hope a family member or friend has adopted the dog and continued to provide her with the love and devotion she had come to depend upon. We owe our animals that for the many gifts they give us.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

perfect dogwalk listen

had to buy "let's take the long way home" as a follow-up because I needed to know what happened to Lucille after Caroline's death.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

If a dog owns you, you will love this book!

Caroline Knapp is really super at explaining the relationship between dog and owner. I laughed, I cried and I totally related to so much of what she said. She asks the same questions we all ask about this canine relationship and what it actually means in our life and also what it says about us and our ability to form relationships. If you love dogs, you will love this book!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Why I shouldn't ever own a dog

This book demonstrated for me why I shouldn’t ever become a dog owner. Ms. Knapp’s description of the qualities and attitudes a person needs to maintain to successfully train a dog do not mesh with my personal qualities at all.

However, she also sheds a lot of light on the mysteries of why so many people do love dogs, and that is not a bad thing to know, even for non-dog people.

She also shed a lot of light on the psychological aspects of the relationship between dogs and people. It seems sad to me that so many people are so devoted to their dogs because they were abused or neglected by their families.

The narration on this one was absolutely outstanding.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

For dog lovers and Caroline Knapp lovers alike

In true Caroline Knapp fashion this story is detailed and personal, painting vivid pictures that evoke emotion and resonate in my core. Hilary Swank was the perfect narrator - not only flawless in her performance, but exactly what I envisioned Caroline Knapp to sound like many years ago when I read (and re-read multiple times throughout the years) "Drinking: A Love Story".

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

It's not a dog story

Seven hours of self-psychoanalysis by a recovering alcoholic. The dog is just a prop for the author's narcissistic journey.

Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • DebH
  • 07-20-15

Many poignant moments

Would you consider the audio edition of Pack of Two to be better than the print version?

I rate Hilary Swank as an actress and thought she read the book empathetically and with appreciation of the profound relationship we can have with a dog. I cannot comment on whether or not the audio edition could be considered to be 'better' than the print version. An odd question really, as I'm unlikely to both read the print version and listen to the audio version of the same book.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Pack of Two?

One of the most memorable moments in the book for me was the author's explanation relating to the "it's just a dog" comments from non-dog-owneres. In that, just as you cannot truly appreciate the strength of the relationship between parent and child until you become a parent, it is impossible to truly appreciate the same between a person and their dog until you have experienced it for yourself.

Have you listened to any of Hilary Swank’s other performances? How does this one compare?

I haven't listened to any other books performed by Hilary Swank.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

But for the love of a dog. . .

Any additional comments?

I feel that only dog lovers will enjoy this book and be able to appreciate that the dog 'saved' this lady. She was able to find something profoundly special in her life after a lot of heartache. It is so sad to have learned she has now passed away.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • J-P
  • 06-17-15

Look elsewhere for puppy love!

Brilliantly narrated, profound and humane depiction of the power of the love for, and from, (wo)man's best friend!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ms. V. Cistiakovaite
  • 11-24-13

Very VERY Special

I tend to read a lot of quite shallow romantic novels because I find them relaxing so this book is very different from the norm for me but it was such a special book which will stay with me for a long time. I was extremely shocked to find out having finished the book that the author is sadly deceased. It portrays the relationships between people and dogs wonderfully and it is extremely informative and intriguing. A beautiful book. I think I will reread it in the future. It is extremely easy to read/ listen to. I think anyone who loves dogs will love this book.