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Dog Logic: a novel

by Tom Strelich
ISBN: 978-0-9985073-2-3
Publication Date: October 15, 2017

Price: $24.95

Pages: 395

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Dog Logic: a novel

Hertell Daggett is not what he used to be: once married, once a physicist, and once shot in the head in a New Year's accident. Or possibly 4th of July, he could never remember -- the doctors got the bullet out, but a few specks of copper remained floating in his brain, connecting parts no longer connected in the rest of us, filaments going back to the beginning of time. He remembers the songs of dinosaurs, the dry humor of mastodons, and the rubbery smell of trilobites. He'd once had a future, but now he lives on the outskirts of Bakersfield, a damaged caretaker of a failing pet cemetery.


Hertell discovers a time-capsule, actually a vast time-cavern full of people who've lived beneath the pet cemetery since 1963. They are part of a long-forgotten Government program to preserve Western civilization in the charred aftermath of the massive nuclear war triggered by JFK's assassination–at least that's what their computer simulation predicted. He becomes their shepherd and protector leading the duck-and-cover civilization into the astounding, mystifying, and often dismaying world that has wobbled on without them. Like one of those lost tribes stumbling from the jungle into civilization, only this time it's not the primitives who are overwhelmed by civilization, but very much the other way around, and they will pay for it. In protecting his flock, Hertell finds a love he never quite lost, a past he never quite remembered, and a future he never quite imagined.







Tom Strelich was born into a family of professional wrestlers and raised in Bakersfield, California, and his writing career began on a dare while he was a graduate student in Botany. His plays include BAFO (Best and Final Offer) which was commissioned by and had its world premiere at South Coast Repertory and its New York premiere at the American Place Theatre (APT); Dog Logic, which also had its world premiere at South Coast Repertory and went on to win a Kennedy Center Fund For New American Plays award for its New York premiere at the APT; and Neon Psalms, which won the Dramatists Guild/CBS New Play Award for its world premiere at the Magic Theatre in San Francisco and its New York premiere at the APT. Tom's honors include a National Endowment for the Arts grant for playwrights, the Beverly Hills Theatre Guild Playwright Award, and commissions from South Coast Repertory and the Actors Theatre of Louisville. Tom has one screen credit, Out There (Showtime). For more information about Tom and his work, please visit his website at: https://www.tomstrelich.com




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Praise for

Dog Logic


"Strelich has the dramatist's gift for dialogue, the poet's feel for space and time, and a prophet's vision of history's currents and human folly. Dog Logic is a mordant romp on the fault lines of American progress, at the pace of a drive-in movie. Strelich is a first-class American fabulist."

—Algernon D'Ammassa, Columnist, The Deming Headlight, Deming, New Mexico

"I first encountered Dog Logic as a play I directed several years ago. The expansion into the novel form is impressive. There is a story in Dog Logic that is funny, clever, savvy and wildly unique. What takes place in the book will be memorable for a reader of the novel. It tells a tale that is special, cautionary, sometimes mind blowing, surprisingly emotional and current. There are a collection of unforgettable characters and experiences that make this a great ride."

—Steven Woolf, Artistic Director Repertory Theatre of St Louis


"This book has everything a seasoned reader might desire: powerful, evocative characters worthy of Thomas McGuane, dialogue that is wise, wacky and wonderful, and a plot worthy of Edgar Allan Poe. This is a work for the ages-it is totally aware of where we've been, and it teases us with the mystery of where we might be going."

—Dr. Robert Sanborn


"Writing. American writing. When Tom Strelich hits the page there's good wood on it. With Dog Logic, you're sure to be on an enriching journey that resonates on many different levels. His three plays produced at The American Place Theatre in NYC remain with us and go deep."

—Wynn Handman, Founder, Artistic Director APT


"Tom Strelich’s wondrous new novel, Dog Logic, takes hefty doses of history, science, the assassination of JFK, a mistaken meth lab, a protagonist whose memory stretches through geologic time, and a pet cemetery, and weaves them into a strangely logical tale of love, loss, and what happens when a whole race of beings who have lived underground for generations surfaces. Strelich’s imagination does yeoman’s work in this debut effort while readers get to experience a clashing of old, new, real and fantastic. In the end, it’s all dog logic."

—Marcia Meier, author, Navigating the Rough Waters of Today’s Publishing World, Critical Advice from Industry Experts, and publisher of Weeping Willow Books


...wonderful and evocative. I especially enjoyed [the] sardonic intelligence of the workings and language of the federal and state bureaucracies and the way they think and I found it achingly ironic and painful when played against the simplicity of the hidden community's origins and ethos. The book is eminently readable and I think will appeal to many readers.

—Carol Youmans, 2010 Board of Directors President, The Colonial Players



"When I read a book and don't want to wait to read the next chapter because I'm anxious to find out what is coming next, then I know it's a good one...that's how I found myself reading DOG LOGIC."

—Michael Simmons, founder and artistic director of the Carolina Actors Studio Theatre (CAST)



"Dog Logic is a thinking persons novel with a hahah funny bone and a jazz musicians sense of going left when you expect to be going right. Mr Strelich is a true original."

—Doug Warner, Artistic Director, Next Stage Repertory Theatre