The Wolf in the Parlor

“Just exactly what is a wolf doing in my parlor?” Science journalist Jon Franklin spends nine interesting CDs (I listened to the audiobook) answering this question in the frame of evolution.

I would have given The Wolf in the Parlor five stars on (I gave it 4), but IMHO, the book didn’t get personal soon enough. Instead of chronicling the history of his employment and laying out his credentials as a science journalist, he would have captivated the reader and hooked us for the ride much earlier if he had begun the story with the scene in which he proposed to his girlfriend and she responded, “Does this mean we can get a puppy?” As the book stands, I listened to an entire CD asking all the while, “What does this have to do with dogs?” and “Where are the dogs?” The photo of the old man and the puppy, a snapshot of an archeological dig, is an interesting hook, but I wanted something more personal.

I’m glad I stuck it out. The book delivers both scientific information and memoir in a sweet balance. For the the evolutionarily-minded dog-lover, it’s a good story. [Note: The subtitle of the most recent edition of this book has been changed. The book I listened to was subtitled, “The Eternal Connection Between Humans and Dogs.” The newer subtitle is, “How the Dog Came to Share Your Brain.”]