Title: Hell Hound
Author(s): Ken Greenhall
No. of pages: 150
Publication date: 1977
Date read: February 10th 2018
‘What are the possibilities of my strength? That is a thought I have never had before. What if some morning as the old woman stood at the head of the staircase she were suddenly to feel a weight thrusting against the back of her legs? What if she were to lunge forward, grasping at the air, striking her thin skull against the edge of a stair? What would become of me if she were found unmoving at the bottom of the stairway?’
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. This first-ever reissue includes a new introduction by Grady Hendrix.
The concept of this book was really interesting – one of the POV’s was the dog’s, Baxter’s – and it was worked out really well! Besides Baxter’s POV there’s also the POV from the people he lives with and other people in town. Just like me, these people are curious what the dog might be feeling or thinking about. We, as in humans, like to think that we know what goes on inside an animal’s head, but in this book most of the people are far from right! Which made me look at the dogs I pass each day very differently … (they’re still cute though)
And man, did this book make me feel uncomfortable every now and then! Don’t get me wrong: I don’t like it when people are killed in books (secretly I do geheh), but when animals get killed? That’s when you’ll see me cry or hear me shout “NO” over and over. And although Baxter’s quite a vicious dog I couldn’t help but feel sorry for him in the end.
As I mentioned earlier, there are a lot of different POV’s in this book, but it wasn’t hard to understand who’s who and it wasn’t confusing at all! You get to read from the view of a lot of people in the small town, so you get to know Baxter from many different perspectives. Great, great book!