Inflating a Dog

Kraft, Eric. Inflating a Dog: the Story of Ella’s Lunch Launch. New York: Picador Press, 2002.

Reason read: in honor of Kraft’s birthday I started the “series” in February. It is now September and I have reached the final book on my list.

For Inflating a Dog we jump back in time to Peter Leroy’s childhood. His mother, desperately wanting to invent something or be in some kind of business for herself, buys a decrepit clam boat so she can start a floating “elegant excursions” cruise. The only problem is this, the boat leaks. Peter must secretly bail out the boat every evening to keep the old clam boat (and his mother’s dreams) afloat. But Inflating a Dog is also about Peter coming of age and lusting after Patti, his partner in crime.
True to Kraft’s sense of humor, nothing is as it seems. Men walk chickens on leashes and women can sell sandwiches with pastel breads.

Quotes I liked, “Do you want anything? She asked. At thirteen? I wanted everything” (p 20) and “If you are taking notes, jot this down: never buy a boat while you are under the beguiling influence of moonlight” (p 77).

Author fact: at the time of publication Kraft lived with his wife in New York City.

Book trivia: like many of the other Kraft books this one includes photographs and illustrations.

BookLust Twist: from Book Lust in two different chapters, “Eric Kraft: Too Good to Miss” (p 141) of course, and “Sons and Mothers” (p 160 & 161). As an aside, the index misses the 2nd mention of Inflating a Dog on page 161.

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