Re: Craphound

I, Row-Boat” was so enjoyable, it reminded me to look for more from Cory Doctorow, and I went all the way back to his first professional sale, “Craphound.” This story is available in a variety of formats, from hard-copy to podcast, and they all start the same:

Craphound had wicked yard-sale karma, for a rotten, filthy alien bastard.

The narrator, Jerry, is just as eponymous as his alien friend and rival. They are true lovers of the wonderful crap you can find in yard sales, second-hand stores, and best of all, volunteer fire department’s ladies auxiliary rummage sales. As they spar and find yet more craphounds, the story of full of detail, from listening to Bogey phone in his performance for the radio play of the African Queen (I’ve heard it; it’s sad.) to the trunk filled with cowboy memorabilia that nearly ruins their friendship. Of course, we all know this isn’t crap at all but cultural treasures from our past. Or something like that.

One thing I noticed about the telling of the story is I found it a bit of a slow start, not really coming alive until Jerry and Craphound find the magical goods inside the “cowboy trunk.” The trunk is only briefly mentioned in the first paragraph, leaving you wondering what it is, as the story drives along through the scene-setting and the rummage sale. You’re a couple pages in when you get that first payoff of seeing the trunk open.

After that, just enjoy the ride, pardner.

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3 responses to “Re: Craphound

  1. Arrr! Boxes of treasure! Arrr!! And only a few days after International Talk Like A Pirate Day! Arrrr!

    I love boxes of treasure! I love Pandora*!

    My favorite story with boxes of treasure in it was a novel by Andre Norton called “Judgment on Janus.” It’s well worth a re-read, especially since it’s recently been reprinted in a single volume with its sequel, “Victory on Janus.” Admit it, you loved these two when you were a teenager. You’ll still like them, although as an adult you’ll be wondering just how the Iftin went extinct the first time while their trees lived… and you’ll wonder if the Iftin were/are just pawns of the Mirror of Thanth.

    *Does anyone else on this side of the Atlantic remember a TV show called “The secret diary of Adrian Mole?”

  2. I know I read Witchworld and I vaguely remember something with intelligent cats that I think was by Andre Norton, but I somehow escaped getting sucked in to her oeuvre. (Wow! the online spellcheck knows how to spell oeuvre!)

  3. Intelligent cats: “Breed to Come” by Andre Norton. Not one of my favorites of hers, I recommended it to you because of your affinity for cats*. Meow.

    I read the first Witch World book, didn’t like it., and so did not read any of its many sequels.

    Of her other works, some were good, some I didn’t particularly like.

    To you, I’ll recommend another book by Andre Norton: “Moon of Three Rings.” Check it out at your local public library, and read it. C’mon, it’s as good as anything you’ve reviewed in your blog to date. Promise. Don’t stop to analyze the the angles in the sky at which the rings must appear, just enjoy the story.

    *Full disclosure: At present I have two cats, Junior and Regulus. Both are all black. Over the years I’ve had the good fortune to name a great many black cats (thanks to the prolific breeding of the descendants of one tom that was dumped across the street in 1990). I’d never, though, thought about naming any “Halloweenie.” LOL.