Lily and the Octopus

Lily and the Octopus

Book - 2016
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Teddy is unhappily single in L.A. In between sessions with his therapist and dates with men he meets online, Teddy has debates with his dachshund, Lily, who occupies his heart. Unfortunately, he is also able to communicate with the "octupus" attached to Lily's head, which is soon revealed to be a metaphor for Lily's lethal cranial tumor. As Lily's condition worsens, Teddy faces off with the "octopus", engaging it in a battle of wills that takes on epic proportions. An exceedingly authentic, keenly insightful, funny and ardent tribute to the purity of love between a pet and its human. --
Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, 2016.
Copyright Date: ©2016
ISBN: 9781501126222
Branch Call Number: ROWLE
Characteristics: 305 pages ; 22 cm

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Vilka Nov 14, 2017

Very touching story about an anxiety-ridden middle-aged guy not long out of a bad break-up and now dealing with the failing health of his best friend--his aging dachshund, Lily. Humorous scenes of his mother, sister, close (human) friend, and ineffectual therapist trying to help him through this ... Read More »


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i
iloveseaotters
Jun 30, 2020

I can't do it. I cannot bring myself to read a book in which the dog talks and the term octopus is used for something that has nothing to do with the sea creature. I tried reading two chapters of it, but it's just not for me. And don't get me started on the ending. I read enough spoilers to make me curious about the ending, so I read it and that was enough for me.

t
tobyfear
Dec 28, 2019

Didn't love

a
andreaj3
Oct 04, 2019

I have never felt compelled to leave a comment on a book before this one, but this book was, in a word, beautiful.

Anyone who's ever loved a pet can understand the joy, love, anger, guilt, helplessness and heartbreak that the writer portrays.

The magical realism is a great way to present the (often dark) subject matter in a whimsical and often funny fashion. The descriptions of Lily's voice and personality really made it feel like I knew her. The whole allegory of the battle with the octopus was entertaining and even poetic.

The only thing that kept me from giving this book a 5-star rating was that I found its protagonist to be a bit of an angsty teenager in a middle-aged man's body. He mocks his therapist, snaps at his friends and service people that are just trying to help him, and is not really open to connecting more deeply with his family. I do understand that this is a reaction to what he is going through emotionally, which is undoubtedly challenging, but I still feel for the people on the receiving end of his outbursts. Maybe that's just me, though.

All in all, however, I really loved reading this.

j
jontalk
Aug 14, 2019

Whether dog lover or romantic, this is a story worth reading. A master of metaphor, Steven's storytelling captures your heart. Its a yin/yang balance of heart and sadness combines with reflection on what was and over time, to what's possible. Having recently finished, "The Editor" his latest work, I felt compelled to read this one, and glad I did. A fast read, its lighthearted manner engages the reader as does the dialog with Lily and the Octopus. Highly recommended.

IndyPL_ChaseM Jun 26, 2019

In "Lily and the Octopus," Lily is a dachshund, and the octopus is a brain tumor that sits atop her head. Lily and her owner, Ted, spend their nights playing board games, eating pizza, and talking about cute boys. Their bond is strong until the octopus comes between them.

This book was given to me because I have always grown up with dachshund and currently live with two. The author, Steven Rowley, wrote this book as a way of dealing with the grief of losing his own dachshund, also named Lily. Needless to say, he expertly captures the spirit of how quirky wiener dogs can be - stubborn, playful, loving, sometimes jerky, brave beyond their size... (Dachshund owners will know what I'm talking about.)

The first person narrative might be a little off-putting to some readers, but I felt it reflected the anxiety and desperation anyone would feel watching a loved one go through something painfully tough. The story overall is much like a dachshund - quirky.

m
moaaberg1
May 13, 2019

A well-written book filled with wit, joy, heartbreak and hope. I laughed and cried.

g
goldenbeetle
May 09, 2019

A great book to read on a rainy day.

Tender, sweet, and sentimental.
The protagonist deals with his beloved dog, Lily, succumbing to a malignant tumor and supports her throughout the illness.

Made me shed a couple of tears.

s
snailgem
May 06, 2019

The story was not what I expected. First of all, the octopus was evil. Also, it was a sad story, get the tissue, but very sweet.

f
FabulouslyWeird
Feb 04, 2018

Ted and Lily will grab your heart strings. Within you will follow a journey of true love to the end... and how life goes becomes a battlefield and how life inevitably goes on afterwards. You will not be able to just read and forget this story. Perhaps you will find your own methods to deal with your own octopus' after reading this book.

Vilka Nov 14, 2017

Very touching story about an anxiety-ridden middle-aged guy not long out of a bad break-up and now dealing with the failing health of his best friend--his aging dachshund, Lily. Humorous scenes of his mother, sister, close (human) friend, and ineffectual therapist trying to help him through this most difficult part of his life.
Relatable story for anyone who has ever loved a pet or had to deal with the illness of a loved one.
Now don't cry. ;P

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aemunz
Aug 08, 2016

aemunz thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

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