This was the first Stephen Dobyns book I read, and I have since read many others. What struck me most about Cold Dog Soup was that is seemed simultaneously to have the zaniness of a goofy children's book, coupled with a dark, very adult, macabre misadventure. If Maurice Sendak read this, and I were a betting man, I would place a huge wager that he loved this book. Most people in the book behave badly or at least oddly at least some of the time, with, to me, very humorous results. It is not at all PC or sensitive to minorities, and actually, rather offensive, as observed by some other reviewers, but it is still a very good novel. I flashed on Curb Your Enthusiasm just now. If Curb Your Enthusiasm is Seinfeld on an overdose of steroids, Cold Dog Soup is Curb Your Enthusiasm as seen through Edgar Allen Poe and Kafka's perspectives. A movie that Cold Dog Soup reminds me of is After Hours, directed by Martin Scorsese and starring Griffin Dunne. I was glad to have found this book, since it led to the reading of most of Dobyns' novels since then, which has for the most part been a pleasure. Too bad it's out of print.