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Hell Hound

Narrated by: R.C. Bray
Length: 4 hrs and 18 mins
4 out of 5 stars (18 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"What are the possibilities of my strength? That is a thought I have never had before. What if some morning as the old woman stood at the head of the staircase she were suddenly to feel a weight thrusting against the back of her legs? What if she were to lunge forward, grasping at the air, striking her thin skull against the edge of a stair? What would become of me if she were found unmoving at the bottom of the stairway?"

Such are the thoughts of Baxter, a sociopathic bull terrier on the hunt for the perfect master, as he contemplates the demise of his first victim. The basis for the acclaimed 1989 film Baxter, Ken Greenhall's utterly chilling and long-unobtainable Hell Hound (1977) has earned a reputation as a lost classic of horror fiction.

©2017 Ken Greenhall (P)2017 Valancourt Books, LLC

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The inner dialogue

*** WARNING – SPOILERS ***

So, this was another book I would have otherwise not sought out had it not been for the recommendation of R.C. Bray (narrator for the Audible copy I purchased). His recommendations continue to hold true and I really enjoyed this story. What I intended to be a weekend listen turned out to be only the second book I’ve completed in a single day (easy, given this was a 4.5-hour audiobook).

The idea of different points of view for the story was a welcome change to the traditional stories I have listened to. I loved the POV of Baxter and found myself anxiously awaiting his point of view as he moved from family to family, holding back his contempt for the humans he chose to live with.

Right from the start, I found myself a bit lost during the first family transition as it moved from Ms. Prescott over to his first family. It took me a bit to catch on to what had happened and it was at that point that the sociopathic nature of Baxter came to the forefront. The death of the child, and the method which Baxter planned it out, really took me by surprise. After thinking about it, however, this highlighted a key aspect of pet ownership that I feel many couples don’t think about as they bring a child into the family. What happens when the dog, who received lots of attention previously, stops receiving that level of attention? What goes on in their mind? It was an interesting thought process.

In line with the death of the Baby, there were several dramatic and emotional moments. The incident with Carl and Baxter’s puppies really shocked me. Likewise, the final scene between Carl and Baxter was quite shocking as well as I found myself really battling my feelings.

Ultimately, I feel the title was misleading as this wasn’t really a “hell hound” and more of a dog trying to set itself up with the family life it desired. There were shifting protagonists and antagonists throughout the story.

The final twist at the end really helped wrap the story up and bring you around full circle, to one of Baxter’s initial thoughts.

R.C. Bray did, as usual, a fantastic job narrating this story and his recommendation was well placed. An easy 5/5 story for a unique tale that kept me hooked throughout. I would definitely give this one a listen again in the future.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Dog who is a sociopath turns boy into sociopath

Read this book. A dog who is a sociopath/killer turns a boy into a sociopath/killer.

The ending was amazing, full circle.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Cathryn
  • Los Angeles, California
  • 08-11-17

Excellent Narrative Arc

Great arc sharp characters wonderfully perceptive and very well acted. Meditative and utterly tense simultaneously.

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HORRENDOUS - ZERO STARS

Sick and sadistic doesn't begin to describe the nasty vile savageness of this book. I was expecting a warm light hearted dog story. Instead I got a killer dog and Nazi loving bloodthirsty boy. The book has ZERO redeeming qualities. The child killing and animal violence make me feel physically ill. I AM RETURNING THE BOOK! I do not want the author of such garbage to bet one cent of my money. I only finished it in order to give it an honest review in hopes of sparing someone else the vileness of this garbage.

1 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Hebby~Bookworm
  • 05-17-19

Underwhelming and Bizarre

This book was the strangest I’ve ever read... almost every character, from the old lady, her daughter, Carl’s parents, Veronica’s Dad... they ALL behaved like sociopaths, not just the dog.

There were only about two characters with normal emotions who behaved like real people.

The book was filled with weird ideas, characters thinking bizarre things “I’d rather my daughter get pregnant than my spaniel”, and every single person in the story referred to Baxter as “it”.
I’ve never met a person who refers to their dog as “it”, instead of “he or she”.... let alone an entire town who calls a dog “it”....

Baxter was not scary, not very memorable, I was expecting something more from him being the protagonist, but really he was pretty forgettable.

Beware if you are a dog lover, you aren’t likely to enjoy this book. There are puppies and it ends badly. There is an unpleasant scene where Baxter ‘rapes’ another dog.

And then there is Carl. He is horrible and a little unsettling, but for a book supposedly about a crazy dog, this kid shows himself to be the real sociopath.

Do yourself a favour and if you want to read about a murderous dog, read Cujo.