By Peter Gethers
(Henry Holt and Co., Hardcover, 9780805093315, 320pp.)
Publication Date: August 6, 2013
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A wise, witty, sometimes heartbreaking love story about a pet doctor who discovers that the best relationships are often the most surprising
Dr. Robert Heller is one of New York City’s leading veterinarians, and his “Ask Dr. Bob” advice column is hugely popular among pet-lovers. Yet Dr. Bob understands animals a lot better than people, and he definitely could use some advice of his own—especially when it comes to his family. His father is angry and controlling, his mother is nearly invisible, and his brother seems bent on destroying not just his own life but the lives of everyone around him. As for Bob’s wife, Anna, she is all but perfect, assuming one can ignore her own colorful but deeply dysfunctional clan. And then, just when Bob thinks he’s figured out what it takes to thrive in the human world as comfortably as he does among cats, dogs, and hamsters, tragedy strikes. How can he go on living when he is suddenly, soul-killingly alone?
In previous books, Peter Gethers has written charming true tales about what a man can learn from a beloved cat. Now he ventures into new territory with a funny, touching novel about a pet doctor who finds out what it means to be human, and what a family must do to truly become a family. Full of unforgettable characters, Ask Bob will remind everyone that sometimes we need a lot more than love to make the world go around—but that love is an awfully good place to start.
Peter Gethers is the author of The Cat Who Went to Paris, the first book in a bestselling trilogy about his extraordinary cat, Norton. When not writing memoirs and novels, he is a screenwriter, playwright, book publisher, and film and television producer. He is also the co-creator and co-producer of the hit off-Broadway play Old Jews Telling Jokes, and one of the co-creators of Rotisserie League Baseball, which begat the fantasy-sports craze. He lives in New York City and Sag Harbor, New York.
"[Gethers has] written thrillers along with best-selling accounts of Norton, his late, lamented cat . . . Now, appropriately for the dog days of August, he’s publishing a first romantic novel called Ask Bob, with dogs, cats, and a veterinarian named Dr. Bob. It’s quirky, heart-stirring, and commercial as all get-out."—Vanity Fair "VF Daily"
"[Gethers] tells this romantic comedy … but he transcends every cliché because he makes Bob a very complicated person with very complicated relationships … You have on the one hand the really brilliant comedy of life in New York now, and also the very serious story of all these things—loss, love, happiness—and how they all mingle and mix… A really, really enjoyable book."—Bill Goldstein, Bill’s Books, NBC New York
"A smart, lively novel infused with romance and heartfelt, real-life complications of family and domesticity."—Shelf Awareness
"A modern tale of betrayal and reconciliation, failure, forgiveness and family . . . Gethers sketches perfectly the character and motivations of Bob’s father and the evolution of Bob’s brother from hero to hustler. . . [A] redeeming story of life and love, loss and redemption."— Kirkus Reviews
"Ask Bob is a celebration of the complexity of human relationships."—Publishers Weekly
"A story about family—human, feline, canine and otherwise . . . In Ask Bob, author Peter Gethers has created a story with immense heart."—BookPage
"With poignant insight into the precarious nature of human emotions, Gethers . . . dramatizes what it means to be vulnerable and how the pursuit of love and desire for renewal can soothe even the most tortured soul."—Booklist
"A touching, funny story about the mystery of love – human and animal – that rings too true."—Carl Hiaasen
"Peter Gethers has written a beautiful, wise and poignant novel about love and loss that will break your heart one minute and have you laughing out loud in the next. Ask Bob is for everyone. There will be a sea of bedside lamps burning long into the night as you root for the broken-hearted to rise again, and you will not be disappointed. I loved it."—Adriana Trigiani, author of The Shoemaker's Wife
"Ask Bob is a funny, smart, charming, and relatable romp—with dogs! I enjoyed every page." —Julie Klam, author of You Had Me At Woof
More than 150 writers from 40 events will gather in New York City for PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature, April 28 – May 4, 2014.
For its 10th anniversary, the festival celebrates those who have dared to stand ‘on the edge,’ risking their careers, and sometimes their lives, to speak out for their art and beliefs. Join us for a wide range of events, including debates, one-on-one conversations, participatory workshops and performances in venues throughout the city. Use the code PEN14 (use PEN2014 for events at The Public Theater) and receive a 20 percent discount on most events. www.worldvoicesfestival.org