Such are the thoughts of Baxter, a sociopathic bull terrier on the hunt for the perfect master, as he contemplates the demise of his first victim. The basis for the acclaimed 1989 film Baxter, Ken Greenhall's utterly chilling and long-unobtainable Hell Hound (1977) has earned a reputation as a lost classic of horror fiction.
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By Melissa and Josh on 28-07-17
The inner dialogue
*** WARNING – SPOILERS ***
So, this was another book I would have otherwise not sought out had it not been for the recommendation of R.C. Bray (narrator for the Audible copy I purchased). His recommendations continue to hold true and I really enjoyed this story. What I intended to be a weekend listen turned out to be only the second book I’ve completed in a single day (easy, given this was a 4.5-hour audiobook).
The idea of different points of view for the story was a welcome change to the traditional stories I have listened to. I loved the POV of Baxter and found myself anxiously awaiting his point of view as he moved from family to family, holding back his contempt for the humans he chose to live with.
Right from the start, I found myself a bit lost during the first family transition as it moved from Ms. Prescott over to his first family. It took me a bit to catch on to what had happened and it was at that point that the sociopathic nature of Baxter came to the forefront. The death of the child, and the method which Baxter planned it out, really took me by surprise. After thinking about it, however, this highlighted a key aspect of pet ownership that I feel many couples don’t think about as they bring a child into the family. What happens when the dog, who received lots of attention previously, stops receiving that level of attention? What goes on in their mind? It was an interesting thought process.
In line with the death of the Baby, there were several dramatic and emotional moments. The incident with Carl and Baxter’s puppies really shocked me. Likewise, the final scene between Carl and Baxter was quite shocking as well as I found myself really battling my feelings.
Ultimately, I feel the title was misleading as this wasn’t really a “hell hound” and more of a dog trying to set itself up with the family life it desired. There were shifting protagonists and antagonists throughout the story.
The final twist at the end really helped wrap the story up and bring you around full circle, to one of Baxter’s initial thoughts.
R.C. Bray did, as usual, a fantastic job narrating this story and his recommendation was well placed. An easy 5/5 story for a unique tale that kept me hooked throughout. I would definitely give this one a listen again in the future.
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By Cathryn on 11-08-17
Excellent Narrative Arc
Great arc sharp characters wonderfully perceptive and very well acted. Meditative and utterly tense simultaneously.