I was actually the first meanie to rate this book below three stars on Amazon (I rated it two, to be exact), but I'm honestly surprised at how well received it had been so far. Is it a terrible book? No. It's a bit dry. The author jumps around a lot (from writing about one dog to another) and her transitions are, more often than not, quite weak.
Though Ms. Brottman makes some pertinent observations (about dogs, people, and our relationships with each other), I just feel that this book could do with some reorganization. In addition to her weak transitions from talking about one historical/literary dog for another, the chapters seem mostly nonsensical and her insertions of the story of her own dog (Grisby, of course) are often jarring. Perhaps instead of trying to write a book that was part memoir and part historical/literary study, Ms. Brottman should have focused on one or the other.
Why two stars instead of just one? Well, besides the aforementioned pertinent observations, it is clear that The Great Grisby is well-researched and I enjoyed learning a lot about these "literary, royal, philosophical, and artistic dog lovers and their exceptional animals". 2/5 stars.