Daily Archives: July 23, 2009

How Shall I Tell the Dog – Review

How Shall I tell the Dog & Other Final Musings by Miles Kington

Publication date: July 7, 2009

Newmarket Press, 206 pages


Diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, Miles Kington coped the best way he could. He penned a fanastically wry, witty and comical collection of observations about his situation. The real originality and emotional element behind the book is that each chapter is written as a letter to his literary agent and friend, Gil. Each letter claims another idea for a best-seller book, and each book deals in some way with cancer. The final paragraph on the back synopsis covers the contents fairly well.

His final musings include everything from the irony of 1,000 Places to See Before you Die, and creating a funeral video (“Hello, I’m sorry I couldn’t be here in person with you today”), to the notion of creating cancer language guides (Parlez-vous Cancer?) and the prospect of being outlived by his dog, Berry. Mischievous and utterly original, Kington’s final words are a celebration of life.

I, for one, feel very special at having received this book as part of LibraryThing’s Early Reviews. I wasn’t quite sure what to do with this book when I first started reading. I wanted to laugh at his observations, but then remembered that he had passed away in January 2008, and these were his quirks about his own battles with cancer. I was left quite confused. I loved his wit and comedic timing, but I was incredibly saddened that such a great talent and mind is no longer in this world. I’m definitely adding his earlier works to my reading list. I hope this is a book you all consider picking up next time you browse through your local bookstore.

How Shall I Tell The Dog & Other Final Musings
by Miles Kington
Newmarket Press, 2009
ISBN 1557048417
206 pages


Find this book at your local library