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Extended Audio Sample Nose Down, Eyes Up: A Novel Audiobook, by Merrill Markoe Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (619 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Merrill Markoe Narrator: David Drummond Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2009 ISBN: 9781400181476
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From the New York Times bestselling author of Walking in Circles before Lying Down comes a hilarious novel about a man who won’t grow up, his confused relationships with women, and his four (talking) dogs.

At forty-seven, Gil is the world’s oldest twenty-two-year-old man. He lives rent-free as a handyman in the LA summer house of a couple of rich retirees who only come out for vacations. Gruff, shrewdly observant, but perplexed and beleaguered by women since his nasty divorce, Gil has been dating Sara, an animal communicator, long enough to converse freely with all four of his dogs (especially Jimmy, the alpha). When Jimmy learns Gil isn’t his biological father, he demands to meet his birth mother, a dog owned by Gil’s sexy ex-wife, Eden, now remarried to a much wealthier man. Then Gil’s employers take their vacation, forcing him to relocate and setting in motion an odyssey that ultimately shines a light on the root of Gil’s problems with women and adulthood by forcing him to move in with his mother.

Filled with the sharp social and sexual insight—and an uncanny understanding of the thought processes of dogs—that have become Merrill Markoe’s trademarks, Nose Down, Eyes Up is a howlingly funny story of love, sex, and the meaning of family.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The conversations with the wry, wise and lovable Jimmy (and his three other oddball dog pals) comprise the novel’s heart and comedic through-line—discourse ranges from business matters to why dogs pee so many times during walks. Markoe’s hilarious dialogue should be a must-read for dog lovers.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Dog-crazy or otherwise, every reader will find much to contemplate and laugh at in this story about human and animal nature, furry or not.”

    Booklist

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alicia | 2/20/2014

    " What a cute book! Another one involving dogs so this is for dog lovers only! Funny and a quick read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mary Lou | 2/6/2014

    " Laugh-out-loud funny in the beginning, this story of a semi-unemployed, forty-something man trying to navigate the firestorm of trouble that is aroused by his chance encounter with his ex-wife in a convenience store in Malibu (all puns intended) loses its way about two-thirds of the way through the book. This feels like a really good sketch the Merrill Markoe came up with for Letterman, didn't get used, but was adapted into a novel. Dog lovers will enjoy seeing the world through the eyes of Jimmy, the alpha dog of the household. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Claire Johnson | 2/2/2014

    " Wow, what a disappointment from an author I really, really like. With an ingenious idea first introduced in her previous book, I was so ready to love this book. Love this book forever. Yes, it was funny (this woman can't help but write funny), but the protagonist was so morally bankrupt that I couldn't in any way be sympathetic to him. He is a lying skank, who is only honest and loving with his dogs. In fact, the novel is populated with some very, very ugly people, and, unfortunately, I count the protagonist as one of them. Yes, it is extremely difficult to write a character with warts that remains sympathetic, but she pushed this character too far. In an attempt to take some of the dross off of his character, she makes the truly nice people in the novel objects of his scorn. What ends up happening is that the reader doesn't like ANY of these characters, with the exception of the dogs. I kept wincing as this jerk kept piling on the lies. After a certain point, these lies were pointless or so self-serving that his abrupt epiphany at the end of the book seemed out of nowhere. This protagonist was surfing very close to the edge of being a sociopath as far as I was concerned, so the resolution of the novel felt forced. This book (as so many others I've read recently) desperately needed an editor. Markoe's humor often walks the line, and an editor would have kept her ON that line, as opposed to what we have here, which is someone who has tumbled over the line and the humor starts to become mean-spirited and more mockery than anything else. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Samantha Hinderman | 1/21/2014

    " This is such a great book. Its cute and a little bit sad, but I really enjoy the book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Linda | 1/17/2014

    " Fun read. Dog lovers would like this one. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cynthia | 1/12/2014

    " Cute, easy read. Not up to par with her better writings. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Deb | 1/12/2014

    " Gil is a 47 year old contractor who has plenty of "women trouble." He also has 4 dogs. Not only are these dogs his best friends, they also talk to him and starts a blog with one of them! At times funny especially when Gil's 47 year old self wrestles with his 27 year old self. The dogs save the book though... Don't read it if you are not a canine lover. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Julie | 1/7/2014

    " Well, I think I enjoyed her other book more. In this one, for one thing, I think the main (human) character is a little to quick to accept that he suddenly can understand what dogs are saying. And the plot wasn't all that enjoyable to me. But not a bad book. Not a great book, either... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Robin | 12/30/2013

    " This was a good book to quickly read in between reading meatier ones... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Roberta Kublin | 11/7/2013

    " Funniest Book I've read in a long time "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Gilbride1013 | 11/6/2013

    " I thought it would be hilarious with the talking dogs and everything...but Gil was kind of a depressing guy and I thought it was a little shallow. I guess I need to go back to chick lit :) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michelle Mac | 11/3/2013

    " Great book to read if you own a dog! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Krista | 11/1/2013

    " Funny,funny,funny. If you are a dog lover you will like this book. If you talk to your dog(like I do) you will probably love this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Camilla Whitright | 10/31/2013

    " So far very funny. I like it "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Staci | 10/16/2013

    " Good, easy read and fun for the true dog lover. The highlight is Jimmy and the other dogs. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Susan | 9/6/2013

    " Have a slight problem with female authors describing sex from the male point of view and vice versa .... but she nailed the human-dog relationship. Especially liked the conversations among the people and dogs. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Amanda Sellers | 4/19/2013

    " I simply detested this book. The main character is a putz. You realize this within the first few pages. I have no problem with books that have a goofy, impossible premise. But when the characters are also impossible to enjoy, so is the book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tim | 1/15/2013

    " A good read, not great but worth the time. I kept reading expecting to hear some great life analogies, and I guess there were some but not enough in my opinion. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jessica | 1/10/2013

    " The characters in this novel, both human and canine, are flawed just like your own family. Markoe focuses on Gil's discovery of his own flaws as he finds out what, and who, is truly improtant to him. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marisa | 2/17/2012

    " Such a cute, funny book! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Coki | 1/11/2012

    " Listening to. -- I kept thinking it would get better - there would be more -- but no. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jan | 12/3/2011

    " Fun, quick read. Love how she gets into the heads of dogs. Laughed out loud in several places. Great book for dog lovers. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joclyn | 12/1/2011

    " This is like a "Golden Book" for adults! Jimmy, Cheney, Dink, and Fruity are the heros of this book, to bad thier human is such a loser. (four stars) "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lynn | 9/1/2011

    " I read this because my husband bought it for me. It was ok...a cute thing to read in the pool. Really the dogs save it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amycwilloughby | 5/17/2011

    " Great book. A must read for anyone with a dog :-) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Camilla | 4/25/2011

    " So far very funny. I like it "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Staci | 4/22/2011

    " Good, easy read and fun for the true dog lover. The highlight is Jimmy and the other dogs. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Linda | 2/20/2011

    " this was a hoot! Being a dog owner I could realte to a lot of the book and it made me wonder what my dogs Marlene and Mickey do to maipulate me!!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jackie | 1/15/2011

    " I lost my daschund of 14 years about 1.5 years ago. Oh boy, did this book make me miss him so deeply! I loved all the dog interactions. Gil is a bit of a loser, though, and that made it hard to fully fall in love with the book! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cathy | 12/27/2010

    " A talking dogs with their owner type of book...cute and humorous at times. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Susan | 12/6/2010

    " Have a slight problem with female authors describing sex from the male point of view and vice versa .... but she nailed the human-dog relationship. Especially liked the conversations among the people and dogs. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Samantha | 10/26/2010

    " This is such a great book. Its cute and a little bit sad, but I really enjoy the book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Garth | 9/9/2010

    " main character is a friggin train wreck "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeff | 9/7/2010

    " Enjoyable fluff. In the noire genre but doesn't take itself too seriously. The fun is the premise that the dogs conspire to manipulate their owners . . . and what the dogs have to say. The human characters are typical Merrill Markoe: neurotic, semi-dysfunctional, and mostly likable. "

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About the Author
Author Merrill Markoe

Merrill Markoe has won a number of Emmy Awards for her comedy writing on Late Night with David Letterman. She has written for numerous publications, including Rolling Stone, New York Woman, the New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times, as well as television shows, such as Moonlighting and Sex and the City. Merrill is the author of several books of humorous essays and the novels It’s My F—ing Birthday and What the Dogs Have Taught Me. She is also coauthor, with Andy Prieboy, of the novel The Psycho Ex Game.

About the Narrator

David Drummond has made his living as an actor for over twenty-five years, appearing on stages large and small throughout the country and in Seattle, Washington, his hometown. He has narrated over thirty audiobooks, in genres ranging from current political commentary to historical nonfiction, fantasy, military, thrillers, and humor. He received an AudioFile Earphones Award for his first audiobook, Love ’Em or Lose ’Em: Getting Good People to Stay. When not narrating, he keeps busy writing plays and stories for children.