25 January 2013: 4.19 off 6,300 ratings, 1,100 reviews (high review to rating ratio).
argument for 3 stars:
#compared to works dealing with war, revolution, "my dog" is an insignificant topic, no matter how remarkable the dog
#personality of writer seems weak; at times dog even seems to look down on writer's character
#this has been done; e.g., "where the red fern grows" "shiloh" "the art of racing in the rain"
arguments for 4 stars
#Kerasote handles his love/sex life, and has comments to make about politics/power and so covers the "big two," sex and power, that a "epic work" needs to cover
#relatively tight writing; no filler
clearly a high 3 (or a very low 4). not essential to a library; not a lifetime "must read;" but also lacking huge flaws. readable; a quick read.
3.99 on ibooks for 350 pages or so (an unnecessary index at the end adds to page count), so "social service" pricing.
general usefulness: to fill a four-hour train ride, to represent writing outside one's normal interests
general unusefulness: to add meaningfully to your life, to reread