BEST BOOK BY A LOCAL AUTHOR - 2008
The Dog Says How, by Kevin Kling
There's no doubt that monologist and NPR contributor Kevin Kling knows how to spin a compelling story. And there's no question that his life provides more than enough drama for a book. Still, the question remained: Could Kling turn his signature style into a compelling read? The Dog Says How not only proved that he could, but provided one of the best reads in recent years. Like his storytelling performances, The Dog Says How is somewhat elliptical, returning time and time again to the motorcycle accident that seriously injured Kling and to his long road to recovery. Yet this isn't a schmaltzy "by your bootstraps" kind of book. Kling deals with the accident the same way he deals with his childhood, his life in Minneapolis, and his acting career—with pointed honesty and great humor. In one piece, the simple joy of a Minnesota snow day turns dark as Kling suffers a concussion. Kling's grandmother comes to his rescue and shares stories with him all night to keep him from falling asleep. Not the usual pattern of a childhood memory, but one that is strikingly honest and warm. Just like the rest of Kling's book.