Cover Image: Lucky Dogs

Lucky Dogs

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Member Reviews

Helen Schulman's "Lucky Dogs" is a novel that evokes a wide range of emotions, but it leaves me with mixed feelings overall. I found the description that it was filled with humor but paced as a thriller accurate, and I think it was refreshing to read a book like this one.

Schulman's writing is undeniably sharp and insightful. She brings the characters to life with vivid descriptions and deep introspection, which allows readers to connect with their struggles and aspirations. The characters themselves are well-crafted, each with their own quirks and vulnerabilities.

There was just something that I didn't love, and I think it just was trying to do too much. I appreciated the prose and thought it centered around important topics, but I couldn't help myself from skimming some chapters in the end.

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This was not particularly my cup of tea, but I can imagine a lot of people would like this. I'd recommend it if the synopsis sounds good.

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Although this book is fictional it was inspired by the true events of what Harvey Weinstein did to Rose McGowan. Emotional and witty, a great read that brings awareness to the shit that women have to endure all too often.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for an advanced digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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I think Lucky Dogs takes a very unique and nuanced approach to the #MeToo movement and how women themselves can sometimes feed into being misogynists themselves. I read on not knowing what to expect and genuinely being surprised by some twists and turns. This isn't a light read, but it's a well done read that feels important.

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I really thought I was going to love this book. Lucky Dogs is loosely inspired by and based on Rose McGowan's experiences with Weinstein and the team of spies he hired to befriend, betray and intimidate her into not publishing her memoir about him. A young actress, Meredith, is on the edge of a breakdown caused by the horrific rape and other sexual assault she suffers from a big wig producer she refers to as The Rug, and her inability to cope with the ways in which the industry and everyone around her has epically failed to protect her. She escapes to Paris to hide in a hotel and write a memoir she plans to expose him with while periodically writing thinly-veiled tweets hinting as much.

It's a pretty strong start despite the slightly irritating stream-of-consciousness style writing that jingles erratically around in her brain like loose pocket change. Where this book goes fully off the rails for me, though, is in Part Two of a Four Part novel (no chapters, few breaks, good luck) when out of nowhere you're jarringly thrust into a new POV–second person (the worst POV, imo), a man, in the middle of a war watching his wife get raped then thrown out of their home, from there just trying to survive. NOT the book I signed up to read. Yes, it sort of makes sense and somewhat comes together in the end, this is the father of the woman who grows up to be the spy that befriends and betrays Meredith, but this part, the second part, I can see being a place that a lot of people choose to put the book down and never pick it up again. I wish I had.

But, no, I struggled on through this and then much more pages of tedium and (weirdly) a focus on how this particular woman was as much a villain in the story as the man himself. Which felt, in the end, missing the point of the #metoo movement and just not a narrative I'm interested in following. The other parts are from the POV of Nina, the spy, and then back to Meredith. And I think this would have been a stronger (but still not really for me) book if they just went ahead and scrapped Part Two altogether. Even so, this is a SLOG, and ultimately, has no storytelling payoff worth making it.

If I were you I'd skip it. But, if you don't, I'd truly love to know what you think of it!

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Schulman's writing style and, by extension, "Lucky Dogs" in general could not grab my attention, no matter how important the themes and material are.

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From the opening scene in the ice cream parlor where both of these women are harassed two strangers who form an immediate bond.Definitely based on the # metoo movement not an easy read but kept me turning the pages.#netgalley #luckydogs

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I enjoyed Lucky Dogs by Helen Schulman and would recommend to others. What I liked about it: The premise of the story includes ripped from the headlines true crime elements surrounding the "Me Too" movement, and portrays a depiction of how easily it can be to become a victim. Repeatedly. I also liked the thriller aspect to the book once it got rolling.

I gave this book three stars because because I liked it. Didn't love it. I did like the overarching story line and I really pulled for Meredith as she was continually finding herself in terrible predicaments. I had a hard time with how she responded to both the initial victimization, and the subsequent situation. I wanted her to be a stronger female character. But in reflection, the reality of it is that before all of the attention had been given to sexual abuse, it was terribly hidden, and women didn't feel they could come out with it and fight to the end. So they escaped. In this case, literally to another country. Only to become a victim again. Thank you to Helen Schulman for writing a very open book on abuse that needs to be addressed continually as it is still happening even today after all of the attention, and not sure what that says about humanity.

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Thanks #netgalley for this book in exchange for an honest review. The storyline from the summary is what drew me to this book. I found the switch to the other storyline, in the even chapters, distracting. Perhaps one chapter but not the entirety of the book. I ultimately ended up skimming those chapters and only reading the chapters related to the main storyline.

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After reading this I feel left with a sense that this was missing something. I was so excited when I got approved for this story because the concept really had me interested. I believe the writing was done well. As a woman you want to believe you can trust in other women to not only understand your struggle, but to help you. This story shows us that some women are just as culpable as the men committing the atrocity in the first place.

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This story is heavily influenced by Harvey Weinstein, and the trauma he caused. Very intense, especially when you know the influences. This book is not what I originally thought.

I love dual POV, but did not fully love the way the two POVs worked together.

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Lucky Dogs intersperses the stories of two women who sprang from very different and very traumatic childhoods to what looks like success but is also traumatic. But don't assume that means this whole book is a downer. I happen to be a person who likes books that juxtapose two characters and that have quirky elements to them, so Lucky Dogs worked for me big time! I'm also fine with jumping around in time and place, which this book does as well. If this is not your thing or it confuses you, pass this book to a friend who enjoys great writing that requires the ability to bounce about. It's well worth the ride.

The novel opens with Merry, a celebrity of sorts, thanks to a tv show, very beautiful, hiding out in Paris until the career killing tweet she posted blows over. She had gotten a settlement from a powerful director before women were likely to be believed, but she tweeted something that got his attention in a bad way and he is methodically ruining her. Her agent ditches her. Manager Liz continues to take care of her. In Paris, Merry can barely eat. She is disguised in baggy clothes. While at an ice cream stand, some men hassle a woman who is also in line and Merry takes them on. A friendship with Nina begins and it turns out she might be able to help Merry with her memoir and a platform. Things do not go as planned and off we go, from Part 1 through Part 5 getting the highlights of two very different backgrounds and purposes in life. There is a bit of thriller to Lucky Dogs. Some introspection that has its amusing aspects. Memorably entertaining scenes, such as how Merry leaves her house in Venice Beach with the nasty director at her door. Poor choices are made. Lessons are learned. Not gonna spoil it here. And I found this novel wildly entertaining.

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A fascinating look at violence, gender and women's lives. Really interesting the way the two narratives here intersect and also separate.

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I DNF’d this at 10%. I found the writing and plot hard to follow. There were a few quotes that resonated with me, but not enough to keep reading.

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The writing style just didn't work for me and the pacing was off. This was a novel that I thought had a lot of promise, but it ultimately fell flat for me

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Everything in this book is right. It screams something I would enjoy, so I’m not sure why I didn’t like it so much. I think it was probably right book, wrong time.

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After two weeks, I’m still only 24% through this book, so I’m calling it quits. It’s just not holding my interest.
Thanks to #netgalley and #knopfpublishing for this #arc of #luckydogs in exchange for an honest review.

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This wasn't my favorite, but I've read a lot of similar stories lately (in addition to watching the Oscar winning film centered around the Harvey Weinstein case) so I think I'm just inundated by the horror of this situation.

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I tried to get into Lucky Dogs, but I just couldn't. I appreciated the feminist vibe to the story and how women always seem to be judged harsher than men. However, it just wasn't vibing with me at this point.

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The Story: The book alternates chapters between 2 characters: (1) a young starlet with a lot of money who drinks a lot and is hiding out in Paris writing her memoir; and (2) a husband and wife who live in Bosnia with their young daughter before they are displaced by the war and forced to flee the country. How these two women end up end up together on line for ice cream in Paris while threatened by a leering man….??
Meanwhile the starlet, Meredith is plotting to bring down “the Rug” a man who pressured her into sex for parts. It’s the authors’ take on a Harvey Weinstein type.

My thoughts: The book was well written and I really enjoyed both stories, but there was just something about them that didn’t link up as seamlessly as I would have like. At times it felt like two books bound together that really had nothing in common. I also thought it was a very interesting story (the Bosnia part)— but wished it wasn’t a Hollywood sex for parts type story because I’m not really into books that pull directly from the headlines. Despite all of that, I enjoyed reading it and thought about it a lot after I read it. That’s really the sign of a good book.

Thank you @netgalley and @aaknopf for an e-arc in exchange for an honest review. Opinions are all my own.

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