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Finding a book

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I need help trying to find a book, but I don't remember the title or the author. I remember reading a review of it, 10+ years ago where it was highly praised. In the story, there were these super intelligent dogs who were slowly losing their intelligence and were cognizant of this. At one point, they start to pee on the floor like a ordinary dog. I know it sounds stupid, but I think it was aimed at an adult audience. Its pretty hard to find a book, when you don't know the name or title. I've asked the librarian, tried on-line sources, etc... I figured I would just give this forum a shot, for any suggestions on the best way to do this. And, does anybody know how to recognize if a book is a first edition book or not?
post #2 of 6
Sorry I can't help you with your dog-pee book, sounds... interesting. Have you tried abebooks.com? They sell good used books and sometimes have plot descriptions/synopses. I suppose searching for "dog" and "intelligence" is the equivalent of searching for "The The" on a music search engine. As far as first editions, most recently published books will have "first edition" printed right on the page that has library information on it - this doesn't mean first printing, necessarily. Also, there should be a sequence of numbers on that page, like 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1. With each edition, they'll remove a number. So you want the full sequence. Hope that helps, good luck.
post #3 of 6
Amazon.com has a feature in which you can search within the texts of books. I'm not sure what you'd search for (super-intellingent dog urination?), but it might help.
post #4 of 6
Interesting question. My favorite "old book" sites are: Antiquarian Booksellers Association Biblio ABE But those sites don't allow the type of search you need to do, an/or find something only if one of their sellers has the book. I had a quick look at the Library of Congress site: Library of Congrss Catalog at it appears their keyword search might be what you need. FWIW, I tried a couple of combinations and got a story about a girl who took a talking dog from a laboratory, so you might get lucky. Alternatively, the main LOC site http://www.loc.gov/ has a "Ask a librarian" link. Finally, if you recall the source of the review (New Yorker, NY Times Book Review, Granta etc) their research departments might be able to help. Good luck, I'd really like to know how you make out with this.
post #5 of 6
One other thought - you could find some sort of booklover/fiction newsgroup and post the query there: either directly about the subject matter or your "how to find it" question. I don't know any particular newsgroup, however.
post #6 of 6
Maybe the Plague Dogs, by Richard Adams, the author of Watership Down. I started reading it, but never finished it. It may be what you are looking for.
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