Fifteen million Americans a year are plagued with alcoholism. Five million of them are women. Many of them, like Caroline Knapp, started in their early teens and began to use alcohol as "liquid armor"....
In Appetites, Caroline Knapp confronts Freud’s famous question, "What do women want?” and boldly reframes it....
On September 6, 2007, an African Grey parrot named Alex died prematurely at age 31. His last words to his owner, Irene Pepperberg, were "You be good. I love you"....
Until I Say Good-Bye: My Year of Living with Joy is a moving and inspirational memoir by a woman who makes the most of her final days after discovering she has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)....
This is a powerful true story of one young girl's struggle to survive the state-care-system in the 70s and 80s....
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Gail Caldwell offers a powerful and moving memoir about her coming-of-age in mid-life and her extraordinary friendship with Caroline Knapp....
The author tells the story as told to him of Anne Hobbs, a woman who went to Alaska in the 1920s to teach, but who had trouble due to her kindness to the Indians there....
The Underdogs tells the story of Karen Shirk, felled at age 24 by a neuromuscular disease and facing life as a ventilator-dependent, immobile patient, who was turned down by every service dog agency....
World-renowned as a source of science and soul, Patricia McConnell combines brilliant insights into canine behavior with heartwarming stories of her own dogs and their life on the farm....
In Bones Would Rain from the Sky, Suzanne Clothier takes a radical new direction in understanding our life with dogs...and our mutual love....
After a disturbing email sparks Waite's suspicion that her husband is having an affair, she tries to uncover the truth....
Yes, humans and canines are different species, but current research provides fascinating, irrefutable evidence that what we share with our dogs is greater than how we differ....
An inspiring true story of bravery and faith....
You may not know it, but you've met Augusten Burroughs. You've seen him on the street, in bars, on the subway, at restaurants...
Do dogs love us the way we love them? Berns decided that there was only one way to answer that question - using an MRI machine....
Set in Ireland during the turbulent early 20th century, Patricia Falvey's sweeping novel explores an unlikely friendship between two girls of vastly different backgrounds....
When Abigail Thomas’s husband, Rich, was hit by a car, his brain shattered. Subject to rages, terrors, and hallucinations, he must live the rest of his life in an institution....
Girl Walks Out of a Bar explores Lisa F. Smith's formative years, her decade of alcohol and drug abuse, divorce, and her road to recovery....
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.
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.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
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.
9 of 10 people found this review helpful
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?
5 of 6 people found this review helpful
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
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
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.
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".
Seven hours of self-psychoanalysis by a recovering alcoholic. The dog is just a prop for the author's narcissistic journey.
Everyone Who ever feel the connection need to hear it!
Hillary's performance is excellent !! Sometimes funny and sometimes just...touching
I cried several times. But at the end I felt that I never will be the same,me ,my dog 's memories and my puppie.
Thank you very much!
Very Good!. You've been on your new path for some time now Ms. Knap , as this book was published 1989, if I'm correct. And whatever your doing right now , if // when you read this, that always remember the love and all the gifts this dear friend has awakened inside of you! I truly believe that All of the pets [ and neighborhood furry friends! ha! I Can tell you all of their names because they couldn't tell me their possible others,...so of course, .....I gave all of them a name ..... from Me! We all need one for the chats and hanging out ...ha!, ha! ] I have had ,and have, such great fortune to love, and be loved by, are Gifts from Heaven. I'm also sure in saying, that we both hold close to our heart in knowing, will see them again!. Thanks for sharing a piece of yours
~·~ Take it easy ! ~·~
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.
Brilliantly narrated, profound and humane depiction of the power of the love for, and from, (wo)man's best friend!
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.