From Publishers Weekly
Emshwiller ( Verging on the Pertinent ) stretches a conceit past the breaking point in this uneven allegory. Women are degenerating into various animals, and female animals are acquiring human characteristics. The men are puzzled, but don't much mindg ; animals, they realize, are ideal companions ("Relationships and responsibilities were less confining. After all, they merely involved dumb animals who were not worth consideration, politeness, time, effort, gifts"). Her fantastic premise allows Emshwiller canny and frequently hilarious insights into the damaging sex-role stereotypes both men and women perpetuate (a dog's visit to a psychologist is a highlight). But she juggles too many genres here--the g plot turns on mad scientists, academic conspiracies, formula romances--without sustaining the reader's interest in the central story of human/animal metamorphoses. Eventually the g social critique is swallowed by increasingly silly scenarios.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to the
""A novel about women turning into animals and animals turning into women, perhaps the funniest and the cruellest of her books, a sort of feminist Candide. The kindness of the innocent heroine, Pooch, triumphs over cruelty in the end, which is happy; at least it is if you want it to be. Even Pooch's children turn out well, 'setters, and all male.' Why this book isn't a feminist classic I don't know. Maybe it is. Maybe that's why people haven't heard about it. It should be a required text on Gender in all high schools and colleges."