WHAT READERS ARE SAYING
Review by Gyula Sasvari for OnLine Book Club
I must admit that I was not sure whether I was going to enjoy this book while having a glance at its title. However, it aroused my interest because I have always had cats and dogs and I also like reading about them. If you happen to hesitate whether you should read Rooster just like me at first, I would like to assure you that it is worth losing yourself in this beautifully written story.
Edward Pontacoloni seems to know everything about canines and he is an excellent American storyteller who sets his tale in the USA, but follows the traditions of legendary Irish wordsmiths. His brilliant plot has so many twists that you forget to count, which makes Rooster unputdownable. This very American story is about protagonists who do everything morally acceptable to follow their dreams and villains who are archetypes of baddies. At the same time, the real heroes and heroines of the story are their their dogs, who also know what they should do to reach their masters' goals and have their own opinion on anything that happens in this canine fable set in the modern world with the values of the people living in the old wild west.
The writer Ed and his family have to put down their family dog Woodrow. Several months later, they want another furbaby and Ed's son Mike, who reads about a special breed in a book, would like to get a special hunting dog. They manage to find a breeder, whose Lucy has just had a litter and they take home the last of Lucy's puppies with floppy ears, orange fur and yellow eyes. They are not really aware of the little pup's companion, who is a quite uncommon blue talking butterfly that has an extraordinary relationship with the pup to help him. They name their new dog Rooster. Mike intends to train Rooster and it is when he and his father first meet the old field dog trainer Tom Quinn, whose dream is to win a national competition. He works with his brother Liam and his niece Amy. Rooster turns out to be an exceptionally talented field dog and Tom persuades Mike and his family to let Rooster enter field trials. It is when Ed his family get involved in the age-long rivalry between Tom, Liam and another trainer Buck Arness and his scout Tall Charlie Hinkle. From here onwards the extremely professionally edited modern folk tale unfolds just like an old Celtic fairy tale told about the ancient struggle between good and evil at the campfire in the cool breeze, which brings the scent of misty emerald Irish fields to the vast wide open spaces in the United States.
I would say it is one of the most beautiful stories that I have ever read and naturally, I would not be able to say anything negative about it. If you are keen on animals and share my adoration for four-legged furry pets with their pure innocence and their loyalty felt towards their owners, it will not matter how old you are and you will love Edward Pontacoloni's Rooster. I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars.
Rview by Steinkar for OnLine Book Club
Edward Pontacoloni’s Rooster starts with Tom Quinn traveling to North Dakota to train with Duke Arness, an expert in the sport of canine field trials, where pointer dogs sniff out wild game. Duke’s son, Buck, and his friend Tall Charlie resent the disruption of an "Easterner" coming into their camp, so they seek to foil Tom’s success by playing childish pranks on Tom and his horse. However, Tom could not be "culled." He takes the runt of one of Duke’s litters, and he and Pete go to canine competitions across the country. After a tragic fall in a competition, Tom is forced to stop competing and focus on breeding and training dogs. Mike Storey asks Tom to train him and his dog, Rooster, in the sport. Tom doubts Rooster’s potential as a field-trialer because he is an "orange mongrel dog." Eventually, Tom realizes that pedigree isn’t always necessary for success, so he takes Mike and Rooster under his wing to help them become champions. Ironically, the two eventually compete against Tom’s past rivals, Buck and Tall Charlie, and their brutish dog, Red Eyes, who have been known to cheat their way to titles. The story builds to an epic battle of good guys/dogs vs. bad guys/dogs, and the appearance of a "magic blue butterfly sprite" adds a sweet twist to the ending.
I love this book! Pontacoloni has created an artful piece of writing disguised as a sweet little story about dogs. He weaves together factual descriptions of dog trials with the mystical premise of a pooka, "an enchanted sprite from the once long-ago forests of Ireland," and the gentle teasing of a love story. The juxtaposition of these scenes is incredibly elegant. Also, Pontacoloni’s choice of point of view(s) is brilliant. The story is told by Ed as the narrator, a minor character. When Ed is speaking directly to the readers about the story, his narrator’s voice comes through with a casual country twang: "They are pretty familiar with everything that happened, being as they were at the center of it. Well, them and Mike’s dog, Rooster." But in the actual telling of the tale, Ed’s words become poetic prose: "In the wind, the tall plains grasses breathe with waves that lull the eye with their undulations. Flocks of clouds pasture in a sky the color of forget-me-nots." There are also times when he tells the story through the personified voices of the animals and the butterfly and other times when he interjects magazine articles to describe the competitions. Finally, I appreciate Pontacoloni’s subtle use of figurative language. His extended metaphor matching dogs’ temperaments to the postures of chess pieces is especially effective.
I found only one negative. The structure of the dialogue between the dogs and the butterfly is inconsistent. Sometimes the animals "speak" using no quotation marks, which I think is very clever because they really don’t "talk" as people do. However, sometimes the dogs' and butterfly’s conversations do get quotation marks, and this disappointed me. I’ve tried to identify an intention for this, but no amount of analysis has helped me find a reason.
I can enthusiastically give this book 3 out of 4 stars. The one minor structural flaw is far overshadowed by Edward Pontacoloni’s literary genius. He has created a deceptively simple tale that rewards thoughtful analysis. I will definitely seek other works by this masterful writer.
This book can and should be read by everyone! Although the figurative language might be lost on adolescents, the plot moves along quickly enough to intrigue readers of all ages. There is nothing offensive and much to enjoy in this novel.
Review by Anne Lucas for OnLine Book Club
Do you love animals? If yes, do you love dogs? If your answer is a yes again, you are going to love our protagonist, Rooster, who is cute, intelligent, brave, perseverant, and fun. But, when it comes to hunting trials, will a dog belonging to a breed that is popularly not known for excellence in this field be able to win the collar? And who is this blue butterfly? Read this book, Rooster: A Field Trial Fable by Edward Pontacoloni, to find out.
When it comes to me, fables and fantasies have always had a special place in my heart. This book has a tint of magic and has been a light yet absorbing read. I loved meeting all the characters, especially Amy and Mike. They bring in the element of the cute, soft, and sometimes awkward young romance. The little points of magic, the first-person perspective of the animals, and Rooster's sublime spirit, won my heart.
The moment the narrator asks the readers whether they would like to have some cookies made me appreciate the author's skills in engaging his audience. Edward Pontacoloni has also used vivid descriptions in the plots of this book, making it a meticulous work of imagery, which made me like his writing style. All these elements together make this book an enthralling read from many aspects.
Reading this book has been enjoyable, and I have nothing negative to say about it. Yes, the parts of some owners being rude to their dogs did make me sad, but it was just a portrayal of the fact that not everyone is a good person. It is nothing but reality, and I cannot count it as a negative aspect of the book.
As I could not find any editorial error, I can say that the author, Edward Pontacoloni, has ensured professional editing for this book. Based on all the things mentioned above that I felt about this book, Rooster: A Field Trial Fable, I give it a rating of 4 out of 4 stars.
I recommend this book to all animal and dog lovers. People who like light reads of magic and fantasy are going to love this book. These pages beautifully bring forward a lesson of never doubting your potential, which I think many people would find valuable for themselves as well as their children. Although this book has no instances of vulgar language or sexual scenes, it does contain some shades of romance. I loved it, but anyone who is not okay with it may want to skip this book.
Avidreader888 for OnLine Book Club
This is a story of boundless love, loyalty, faith and reward. It is a story of man’s best friend being man’s best friend. Rooster by Edward Pontacoloni is a magical book. The book takes us on the journey of Tom Quinn, who is one of the protagonists. He gets involved in the sport of field trialing and develops a deep devotion and love for the animals he works with. Field trailing is an outdoors event where dogs are in competition with one another and their proficiency is tested to locate game birds.
The book also tells us the story of young Mike and his dog, Rooster. Rooster is a well-loved family dog who is content with just having his belly scratched and playing fetch. He is not the traditional field trial dog and no one has faith that he would ever take part in a championship, let alone, win. Mike decides to pair Rooster with the legendary Tom Quinn, in the hopes that Rooster’s skills can be honed. Will Rooster become the great field trialing dog Mike hopes he will or will he become something else entirely?
The positive aspect of this book is that Pontacoloni took care to explain what field trialing is to his readers. He goes into great detail, giving the history of the sport, how it is played and how the dogs are trained in preparation for the sport. I had never heard of field trailing before reading this book but by the end, I had grown to like it. The author placed love and research into writing the book and it shows. The family setting depicted a place of love and warmth and this love was extended to animals. As an animal lover, I fell in love with the book with each turned page. The book also teaches lessons on honor and deception and shows us how far some persons would go just to win.
I could not place my finger on anything negative about the book. It was very well-written and detail-oriented. The author delivered a masterpiece.
Based on the above, I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. The author did a commendable job with his ingenuity. The book was very professionally edited, as I saw only one error. I would recommend this book to animal or animal sports lovers. While the book has a tone which would target teenage readers, adults would also enjoy the read and the warmth of the pages within.
Susan Gibbs for OnLine Book Club
Rooster by Edward Pontacoloni is a heart-warming 109-page tale about a field trial dog named Rooster. He is a lovable dog the author describes as “a mongrel, orange, flop-eared and yellow-eyed.” A field trial is a sport/competition where sporting dogs are judged on their instincts and hunting performance out in the field. Although Rooster is not the typical field dog breed, Mike thinks he has the potential to become a good one. He takes him to Tom Quinn, a successful Irish field trial dog owner. Tom and his niece, Amy, teach Mike and Rooster the art of the sport. Mike takes a shy liking to Amy. What is unique about this story is the talking blue butterfly sprite/pooka (fairy) who hails from the ancient forests of Ireland! She follows Rooster on his adventures and may have some part to play when he faces a formidable opponent named Red Eyes (and his human owners who are prone to cheat.) Read the book to find out what happens!
I enjoyed the author’s pleasant storytelling style. It feels like he is talking directly to his readers over a relaxed cup of tea. The story is quite suspenseful as we don't quite know where it is leading. The author keeps us guessing. The story remains interesting because it switches from Tom’s experiences to Mike's. The narrator of the story changes from time to time. Sometimes, we read the newspaper report of the competition, other times, the dogs lead the story, and sometimes, Mike's father does.
I also appreciated the fact that the author included a bit of history on field trials so that readers can learn about it. It's always good to be able to put things in context. I found it interesting to learn about this sport.
All the characters are likable and easy to picture. Offered just a few words about them, I could imagine them in my mind. I like the cover page picture of Rooster and his supportive friend, Sparky, who is also an amusing character and the author delights us with some of his antics.
Mike’s parents are very supportive of Mike and Rooster. Red-Eyes' owners are amusing and stereotypical as the villains in the story. But this adds to the story’s appeal. The reader will find themselves rooting for Rooster! The story also tells us a little about Mike and Amy’s sweet and slow-moving relationship, so it has a bit of everything/different elements to keep readers satisfied. They can choose to focus on the elements of the story that appeal to them when giving their verdict on the book!
There is nothing I dislike about the book. I think it has all the ingredients of an amusing, engaging story, and for me, it was a bonus to learn something new. I didn’t know anything about field trials before I selected the book.
The book seemed professionally edited as I only noticed 4 small errors. It is an enjoyable book. I am happy to rate it 4 out of 4 stars.
I recommend it to animal lovers, those interested in animal sports, and field trials, and those who enjoy animal stories. It will appeal to older children and adults.
Rooster: A Field Trial Fable by author Edward Pontacoloni is a work of fiction about field trial dogs with a little fantasy thrown in.
When Mike tells his dad that he wants to get a hunting dog he never expects his whole world to change for the better. His dad takes him to see a pup that seems more interested in the strange blue butterfly flitting about his head than his possible new owners. It is almost as if the butterfly and pup are talking to each other. Rooster is not your average field trial dog. He is not a breed that normally makes good hunting dogs. But that won't stop him from going above and beyond and showing everyone that he has what it takes to be a field trial champ.
When Mike takes Rooster to a park to let him run, he runs into Tom who is training his field trial dogs. Mike convinces Tom to help him train Rooster to be a field trial dog. With Tom's expertise and the help of a mischievous blue butterfly/pooka, Rooster soon shows everyone how good a field trial dog he can be.
When I started reading this book I was unsure what to think. I honestly came close to not continuing to read it. I am extremely glad I decided to give it a shot though because it turned out to be such a charming story. I love how the author writes from a narrative point of view as if he is telling a tall tale over an open fire. Before this book I did not even know there was such a thing as field trialing. But the author was able to describe it in such a way that anyone can understand. I also loved how the author mixed the fantasy aspects into the story so seamlessly. I am so in love with this story!
I found no errors in this book, which leads me to believe it has been exceptionally well edited. I was unable to find a single thing about this book that I did not like. I felt like I was right there watching the story unfold. Due to the exceptional work put into this book, and how much I loved it, I give it a solid 4 out of 4 stars rating.
I recommend this book to all audiences. It would be a great read for any age. It was such a charming story, if you need a little bit of adventure with a fairy tale twist then this is the book for you.
Mariel Sophie for the OnLine Book Club
In Rooster: A Field Trial Fable by Edward Pontacoloni, Tom Quinn has his heart set on studying the life of a 'field trialer' and his sights are on learning from the best. On arriving in the Wild West, he devotes his early days to training, under the guidance of Duke Arness, a champion handler and breeder of English pointers, before returning to his home in Massachusetts. When Tom rescues a pup from the cull to become his own trial dog to train, he lays his destiny before him - to participate in the American Nationals.
Unfortunately, when an unexpected accident puts an end to him competing personally, he focuses on breeding trial dogs under the name of Quinn Kennels. This is how Tom has a great fortune in meeting Mike and his dog, Rooster. Although not a pointer or a setter like Tom’s kennel dogs, Rooster displays a flair and a desire to become a trial dog and Tom can’t resist developing his education with his dogs and simultaneously teaching Mike the ways of a handler. Will Rooster succeed and gain a place in the trials? Does he have what it takes to stand against one of the most ruthless dogs? Or will they refuse him entry, due to his lack of breeding? Read the book to discover more!
I initially wanted to read this book because I was drawn to the cover; as a huge dog lover, my heart leapt! On perusing the description, I became further intrigued. All I needed was to read the wonderfully penned introduction, and I was hooked. Drawn not only to the beautifully descriptive writing style but also as my family have a rescued pointer (albeit a French pointer), I can relate to the physical aspects of the dogs when they 'come to point'. As soon as I discovered Rooster in the story, I sensed a tangible undercurrent that sent tingles through me for what was to come - would he or wouldn’t he succeed?
Edward Pontacoloni has created a wonderful piece of fiction that makes your heart overflow. It’s such a feel-good read. Rooster is one of those books that remains with you when you have finished the read with a contented sigh. It is more than a book featuring dog trials, it’s a sense of rooting for the underdog (literally). In between the pages, the reader explores a snippet of fantasy, a sense of the unknown, and the hope that magic exists in this world to move things along the rightful path.
My favourite part of the book is difficult to choose, but I particularly liked the added touch at the end of certain chapters. It comes in the form of a discussion between the narrator and the reader as if the story is being narrated to you, only you, seated in front of a fire with a warm drink. I also appreciated the images included that evoke realism in the tale. There are no negative aspects to address.
Edward Pontacoloni has a keen sense for a plot, characterization and storytelling. With a story that actively engages the reader, including the narration of the animals, it builds up to a satisfying answer to the primary questions. The book is well written, with just a few grammatical errors. It seems professionally edited.
A satisfying short story, I gladly rate it 4 out of 4 stars.
I recommend this book for animal lovers and readers who enjoy a touch of the fantastic.
Reviewed by Kimball Hunt, Poet at #Dobbsowen
[Reading Rooster is] an experience that is steeped in the magic of decency; delivered in a voice wizened by having come through the “lockstrife, cow’s thistle, and sneezeweed”; an assuring and needed voice confirming that rascality indelibly stamps features with a scowl that would scare a coyote; and that ethics will prevail so long as we stand willing to pose “all in order” and maintain a “staunch find”.
Yes, to any god who may question me regarding what I know. Yes to any god that might feel threatened by another claiming credit for creation. Eddie Pontecoloni. He’s a creator. So, Yes indeed. I’ll stand by him. And say to those threatened gods: Yes! Yes almighty! Yes, there is among us, a “coarse-haired, orange dog with long floppy ears … as if conjured by whimsy.” I’ll swear to what he accomplished and confirm that it cost me a half dozen tissue bearing witness to some of all that dog and his people had to live through. And give thanks in abundance that they succeeded.
I don’t know about the [narrator's offered]chocolate milk. I thought this was a book that did just fine with a jigger of 17 year McCallum poured through a pint of Switchback Ale.
Confirmed Amazon Purchaser:
A fun read. As I was reading it I felt more like someone was in the room telling me a wonderful story.
A must read for any dog lover. It is a delightful mystical tale. Each time I experience a blue butterfly in our garden it serves as a reminder of Rooster!
Reviewed by Tom Word for American Field:
Rooster is a delight. It's charm grows on the reader with each turn of the page.
The title character is a Spimone Italiano, a versatile hunting breed that points on land and retrieves on land and water, recognized by the AKC in 2000. Noted for stamina and a kindly disposition, it sports a wiry rough coat from yellow to brown mixed with white (Rooster's is orange).
As befits a fable, the book's human characters range from devious and dastardly to wise and kind. So do its canine characters, a big intimidating pointer named Red Eyes, hare lipped and ornery and adept at stealing points, and the smart, devoted Rooster (so named after the John Wayne character). They become rivals. A
blue butterfly plays a special role in Rooster's behalf. To tell you more would spoil your fun, which builds by the fast moving chapter.
The author's prose is polished and playful, as befits a fable. He reveals a sense of humor and would surely make a boon companion on a grouse hunt in his native up-state New York, where he practices law. He has also published The Adventures of Firstyr the Younger, Bed Time Stories for Young Lawyers, in prose and poems, a fun read as well.
Review by Sam for Amazon.
This is a great first write for this novice author. His writing got easier and flowed better as the story unfolds. This little gem would make a great Disney or Pixar film. The story reminds me of " babe " if you like uplifting fantasies and the triumph of the " under DOG " give this first time author a read and learn about the wonderful world of field trials, which I knew nothing about.
Kirkus Indie Review 02/14/2017
Pontacoloni (The Adventures of Firstyr the Younger, 2008) offers a fable about the rise of an underdog in hunting dog competitions.
One summer in the 1950s, Tom Quinn travels to North Dakota to train with Duke Arness, a man well-versed in the sport of canine field trials, which involve pointer dogs locating wild game. Duke’s son, Buck, and his friend Charlie, often give Tom a hard time – but he holds his ground and learns all he can from Duke. Tom goes on to become a field trial champion himself until a fateful accident leaves him with a broken hip; he then stops competing but continues as a dog trainer. Decades later, 16-year-old Mike Storey becomes acquainted with Tom and soon takes an interest in the sport. The only problem is that Mike’s dog. Rooster, isn’t a pointer – he’s a funny-looking Spinone pup, labeled by others as “that ‘orange mongrel dog.’” Tom also doubts Rooster’s potential as a field-trialer, but once he sees that the dog has a knack for it, he takes Mike under his wing to help them become champions. The story comes full circle when the two eventually compete against Tom’s childhood foes, Buck and Charlie, and their menacing dog, Red Eyes. What makes this novel such an engaging read is Pontacoloni’s ability to transport readers into the story with lucid details, a mix of realistic and fanciful narration, and a pervading tone of reminiscence, as if the author is telling a captivating tale around the campfire. Readers may find it slightly difficult to keep track of all the characters at the beginning, but things become clearer as Pontacoloni fully develops the different players. The plot will be most engaging to those who are already familiar with field trials, but others will find that they quickly make sense of the sport as the story goes along.
Delightful, inviting storytelling that will effectively immerse readers into the world of field trials.
Reviewed by Tom Gugliotti for Amazon:
This review is from: Rooster: A Field Trial Fable (Paperback)
How many times have you thought: "if only my dog could talk"? Well, maybe dogs and other critters do talk - they certainly communicate with each other well enough. "Rooster" brings us into that special clan of four legged creatures - and one blue, winged creature - with a warmth and insight on the world not as we see it, but as "they" see it. We learn a lot about "field trials", man's best friend, family values, perseverance and "straight-shooters" - not just from our human players in this fable, but from Rooster, Sparky, the blue Pookah and even the sinister "Red Eyes". We get to "listen in" on what these creatures have to say to each other. Yes, this is a fable, but just maybe after reading this delightful story you will believe in "Pookahs", too. "Rooster" is an easy read, which quickly paints the background picture of sporting dogs field trials - a sport probably not known to many but one you will want to know more about after reading this book. All the elements of a good story are here- character development, the great outdoors, a clash of values, and good versus evil, as told from a glowing campfire. Rooster is a good ole dog, a true friend. We can learn a lot from Rooster. Spend a few minutes sitting near the warm campfire with Rooster, Sparky and the. Pookah. You'll be glad you did.
Reviewed By Romuald Dzemo for Readers’ Favorite
A story about sporting dogs and bird-dogs in field trials may sound like a tale for kids, but when it is told by a master storyteller like Edward Pontacoloni, it becomes more than interesting. Rooster: A Field Trial Fable by Edward Pontacoloni features a wide collection of compelling characters, all coming together for the national championships. On one hand is the group of Tom, Mike, and Rooster, and on the other is the dare-devil Red Eyes, a dog that can play pretty rough and that won’t let anyone get ahead of him. Red Eyes has been trained by rough and unforgiving men like Tall Charlie and Buck Arness, and it can be said “like owner like dog” of this team. With this cast of characters a story unfolds that will become a roller coaster ride of excitement and entertainment for the reader.
Pontacoloni knows how to seduce readers and he does so without warning. The writing is polished and it reads sweetly. The descriptions are terrific, vivid, and captivating. For instance: “Of the pups, the black-eared one fell to Tom to handle, likely because the others felt that the pup held no promise; it was unruly, its tail curved and angled at eleven o’clock, but it was a strong and vigorous dog, full with the desire of a desperately hungry forager. “ (p. 6). It will be hard to read Rooster without falling in love with the lyrical style. The author writes beautifully and with confidence. Some of the descriptions are terrific, but even when detailed, it never feels boring. The author's voice comes across in a unique, clear and powerful way.
It takes an intelligent mind to conceive a gripping tale, but it takes genius to make it interesting, and Pontacoloni has got both. His work is hilarious, engaging, and absolutely entertaining, plus the author has got this unique way of saying things that will leave a smile on the faces of readers as they turn the pages. The story is well thought-out and, at every turn, the reader looks forward in anticipation to what happens next. Rooster offers many inspiring and invaluable lessons on friendship and courage.
Ed, It was a fun ride for me. The only fable I ever read to the finish was Animal farm, but your work makes me want to read more. You write beautifully and with confidence. Some of your descriptions are terrific, and even when you are detailed, it never feels boring. I wondered what it would feel like talking personally to you. Yes, your voice comes across in a unique, clear and powerful way. Good luck on this lovely one.
Reviewed By Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers’ Favorite
Rooster, A Field Trial Fable by Edward Pontacoloni is the story of Rooster, an orange dog with floppy ears and yellow eyes. It is the tale of Tom Quinn, an Irish field trailer, of Michael, a teenager, and Amy, Tom’s niece. And there’s Pooka. Pooka is a beautiful blue butterfly, a sprite from the fairy lands. All of them have a dream, a dream of a national field trial championship, a competition that is tough, a sport of snarling competitors, but one thing stands in their way – Red Eyes. Red Eyes is a devil dog, made that way by Charlie Hinkle and Buck Arness. Both of them are bringing Red Eyes to the national competition to face off against and beat Rooster, Mike and Tom. Who will triumph on the day and who will slink home with their tail between their legs?
Rooster, A Field Trial Fable by Edward Pontacoloni is a fanciful tale and a good read. This is an excellent story with no loose ends. The plot is tightly wound and follows a natural course; it is an original storyline, written in a language that is easy to understand but compelling all the same. The characters are well developed, giving readers ample opportunity to get to know them. Mr. Pontacoloni has a real way with words, a way of writing that draws the reader gently into the story and holds them there until it is finished. This is the kind of story that will appeal to adults and older teens who have a love of dogs and field sports. I think that all who read it will thoroughly enjoy it; I know I did!
Reviewed By Tracy Slowiak for Readers’ Favorite
In Rooster, A Field Trial Fable by author Edward Pontacoloni, readers will find a story that is both delightful and adventurous, and with a main theme that is not necessarily common in fiction; that of the life of those who participate in field trials, both dogs and their humans. Rooster, the dog protagonist of the story, is a flop eared, yellow-eyed “mongrel breed” with a whole lot of heart, and perhaps just enough skill to make the dreams of his handlers, the experienced Tom Quinn, Tom's niece Amy, and a teenager, Michael, come true. Their greatest adversary is the dog Red Eyes, who is filled with cunning, and his handlers, Buck Arness and Tall Charlie Hinkle. Their greatest match up will be at Nationals. Does Rooster stand a chance? You'll have to read the book to find out!
I very much enjoyed Rooster, A Field Trial Fable. Author Edward Pontacoloni has done a great job in creating characters, both dog and human, that his readers will connect with, relate to and care about, thinking of them long after the story is done. The story is fast paced and full of action, and readers will find themselves eagerly flipping through the pages, completely engrossed in this tale. Any reader who likes an interesting read of fiction, but perhaps especially those who have an interest in dogs and field trials, would love this book. I am pleased to recommend Rooster: A Field Trial Fable, and I look forward to reading more from author Edward Pontacoloni as soon as possible!
By Amazon Customer on November 1, 2017
Format: Kindle Edition Five Stars
"Rooster is a well-crafted story which illustrates some of the best and worst of both mankind and our canine companions. Pontacoloni captures much of the emotion of a young man growing up connecting to his hunting dog. Throughout Mike's journey he learns quickly that there are trustworthy, beautiful souls as well as untrustworthy and selfish individuals that will stop at nothing for the prize. A must read for anyone who values the human/canine connection, competition, and a great story!"
Hunting trials. Dogs. A blue butterfly. Pookas. A little romance. You'll find all that and more in Rooster: A Field Trial Fable by Edward Pontacoloni.
Rooster is a breed of dog that isn't usually good for hunting, at least not in competition with setters and pointers. Mike, his owner, is a young man who knows little about hunting, dogs, or field trialing. Luckily, though, he runs across Tom Quinn, who knows everything there is to know about the subject. It doesn't hurt that a beautiful girl works with Tom training dogs. At first, Tom doesn't think much of Rooster; but, with the help of a blue butterfly, Rooster shows potential, even as a "mongrel breed." Will Tom be able to make something out of Mike and his dog?
When I read the description of this book, I was a bit concerned. I know nothing about hunting dog trials, and it seems odd to add in fairies or sprites. I was pleasantly surprised, though, and I found myself glad to have picked it up.
The author made the book accessible to all by not being too technical with the details. Everything is explained in terms that the average person can understand. The reader might even learn a thing or two by the end of the book.
Furthermore, Mr. Pontacoloni allows the dogs to speak for themselves at various places in the novel. This was my favorite part of the book. It really helped me to picture the personality of Rooster and the other animal characters. It was especially poignant because we get the same events from two different perspectives - animal and human. This is reason enough to recommend the story.
The book is told by a narrator close to the story. It honestly felt like talking to a friend and getting a firsthand account. At one point, the narrator even asks the reader if he or she wants a glass of chocolate milk or a cookie. It made the story personable, engaging, and light-hearted.
That's not all, however. The author has vivid descriptions that allow the reader to have an immersive experience. For example, "...all along adjacent fallow fields of the stubby remains of last year's corn, the color of ocean driftwood..." It's a well-written story.
There were only a few small issues. First, there are a lot of characters introduced early on in the story, and it takes some time to get to know them all. Secondly, I didn't know who the narrator was right away. I would've liked it if the narrator introduced himself earlier in the story.
Since my complaints were minor and didn't interrupt the flow of the story, I give Rooster: A Field Trial Fable 4 out of 4 stars. It would be appropriate even for younger audiences, like middle schoolers, to adults. If you enjoy animals and flights of fancy, this is for you. If you're looking for something more intense and suspenseful, you'll want to skip this one.