Praise for Off the Leash
“A wonderful, engaging, surprising book. It’s what I’ve walked past all the time without having noticed until now, since my dog is from Hammacher-Schlemmer. It’s also any dog’s dream of how to be written about, and a real squeak toy love fest of a memoir by displacement, in which social form, social interaction, and the vicissitudes of the social order are convincingly examined and explained via the presence of a wet snout.”
- Ann Beattie
"Your local dog park is a world on to itself — full of laughs, drama and life's revelations. Matthew Gilbert's new book captures it all delightfully and astutely"
- Claudia Kawczynska, editor in chief of The Bark
"The love story of a man, his new dog and the freedoms they both discovered through their relationship with each other... Gilbert explores many aspects of the dog-park environment … Young dogs, old dogs, sick dogs, doggy toys, aggressive dogs and their owners, who refused to apologize for any fights, and humans who acted as ventriloquists for their dogs—all played a role in transforming Gilbert from a work-at-home critic, sheltered from the world by a screen, into a man devoted to his dog and his dog-loving friends. A lightweight, humorous tale of a new dog owner and the friendships he formed at the dog park."
- Kirkus Reviews
"An honest, funny and heartwarming tale about the love between a man and his dog. Gilbert's quirky cast of characters--both human and canine--will be familiar to anyone who's logged serious hours in the dog park."
- J. Courtney Sullivan, New York Times bestselling author of Maine and The Engagements
“Dog Park People are one of the most committed, loving and often neurotic subcultures in the booming companion animal world, Matthew Gilbert has written a wonderful man-and-his dog books that takes us inside a year in this quite wonderful, funny and sometimes poignant universe.”
- Jon Katz author of Second Chance Dog: A Love Story
“Move over Tulip, there's a new dog in the park. Matthew Gilbert's Off the Leash is wry, warm, and witty enough to rival J.R. Ackerly's classic, My Dog Tulip. Canine characters and their humans are observed with just the right blend of skepticism and compassion, and Gilbert's relationship with Toby is one of the more convincing love stories I've read in a long while.”
- Stephen McCauley, author of The Object of My Affection and Insignificant Others
“Dog enthusiasts will flock to this entertaining account of an unlikely canine lover’s ascent into full-fledged member of the neighborhood dog park…. Any dog owner who has ever steeped foot in the local dog park will recognize these types, and Gilbert is an adept storyteller, adding just enough intrigue…to keep the pages turning.”
- Publishers Weekly
“As the TV critic for the Boston Globe, Gilbert has a fine nose for observing, reporting, and navigating this territory. And in this, his first book, he has created a witty and memorable read that will delight and enthrall off-leash readers everywhere.
- The Bark