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Extended Audio Sample Dog Years: A Memoir, by Mark Doty Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,297 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Mark Doty Narrator: Mark Doty Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Why do dogs speak so profoundly to our inner lives? When Mark Doty decides to adopt a dog as a companion for his dying partner, he finds himself bringing home Beau, a large golden retriever, malnourished and in need of loving care. Beau joins Arden, the black retriever, to complete their family. As Beau bounds back into life, the two dogs become Mark Doty’s intimate companions, his solace, and eventually the very life force that keeps him from abandoning all hope during the darkest days. Their tenacity, loyalty, and love inspire him when all else fails.

Dog Years is a remarkable book: a moving and intimate memoir interwoven with profound reflections on our feelings for animals and the lessons they teach us about life, love, and loss. Mark Doty writes about the heart-wrenching vulnerability of dogs, the positive energy and joy they bring, and the gift they bear us of unconditional love. A book unlike any other, Mark Doty's surprising meditation is radiantly unsentimental yet profoundly affecting. Beautifully written, Dog Years is a classic in the making.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Life affirming, lyrical, and profoundly affecting…Only Mark Doty could have written a dog book...that covers so much ground.”

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • “A tender reflection on love and loss, this is Marley & Me for the cerebral.”

    People

  • “Doty pays loving tribute to two retrievers…Dog Years is a warm, thought-provoking discourse.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “Lyrical and sensitive…Doty poetically expresses what many have felt but few can articulate.” 

    USA Today

  • “This is Doty at his best....Doty does in fact make the unsayable sayable, bringing the ungraspable within our reach.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “A wounding yet arresting memoir about living with his dogs…Doty’s gorgeous prose and piercing meditations...are simply sublime.”

    Washington Post Magazine

  • “Potent and expressive...The weight of Doty’s adoration for his pets is expressed with...eloquence throughout.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “Tender and amusing…Doty brilliantly captures the qualities that make dogs endearing.”

    New Yorker

  • “Doty is at his best…exploring the mirrorlike quality of a dog’s gaze or the inextricable duality of hope and despair.” 

    New York magazine

  • “A meditation on how we can live with hope…Dog Years wrestles with the Big Questions.”

    Houston Chronicle

  • “Elegant and elegiac.”

    Booklist

  • “In a blend of memoir, literary criticism, and reflections on dogs and death, Mark Doty recounts the making of his human-canine family…Doty’s reading has a singsong quality…[which] complements the lyrical tone of this work.”

    AudioFile

  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Laurie | 2/19/2014

    " I am so appreciating this book....it travels familiar paths for me of strong connectedness to dogs and some of the places the author lived as well....a poet writing prose is so satisfying; a blending of both really seems to work here. He hones in on the descriptions of his dogs perfectly, even to the shape and smell of their ears. I am enjoying listening to his book being read in his own voice too. I highly recommend this book to true dog lovers. Finished the book, and it just got better and better as it neared the finish. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Catherine Sutthoff Slaton | 2/16/2014

    " Doty shows his mastery of lyrical prose to weave a wonderful story wrought from the lives of two dogs, two partners (one deceased from AIDS) and 9-11 New York. I can only speak as a dog lover - I found it difficult to put this book down and always had it in my bag should I be able to steal a minute or two to lap up more pages. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Jennifer | 2/12/2014

    " This is a really lovely memoir, but so sad. It's about, among other things, how when his partner died of AIDS, the author entrusted his will to live to his two dogs. In caring for them, he was able to go on; but then they begin to age and he must face their deaths as well. It's a life-affirming book, but it made me cry seven or eight times. Beautifully written. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Rebecca | 2/11/2014

    " The most beautiful book about dogs I've read. "

  • > Show All
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About the Author
Author Mark Doty

Mark Doty’s books of poetry and nonfiction prose have been honored with numerous distinctions, including the National Book Critics Circle Award, the PEN/Martha Albrand Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, and, in the United Kingdom, the T. S. Eliot Prize. In 2008, he won the National Book Award for Fire to Fire: New and Selected Poems. He is a professor at the University of Houston, and he lives in New York City.