Plaskin lives in a high rise in Battery Park City in Manhattan. He works as a journalist, author and interviewer. He has tried having a dog as a pet before, but it wasn't a good fit. When he meets Katie, he know she is 'the one'.
What separates this book out from being just another I love my dog story' is the unique 'family' unit that created as a result of Katie's interaction with Plaskin's high rise neighbours. Pearl and Arthur are an older couple in their eighties. Childless,with not close family nearby, they too had had a cocker spaniel as a pet. Katie soon becomes the bond that unites Glenn, Pearl and Arthur. They become surrogate grandparents to Glenn, as well as Katie - looking after her through the day and when Glenn is away. Katie is also the catalyst for another relationship. Single dad John and his son Ryan end up moving into the same hallway and building as Glenn, Pearl and Arthur. Ryan and Katie become fast playmates, John and Glenn great friends and Pearl (grand) mothers them all.
I listened to this in audio format and was happy to see that the reader was the author himself. Plaskin has a calm, moderated tone of voice. Once in a while I did become irritated with the inflections he placed or the laughter he inserted - it seemed a bit canned and forced. While the beginning of the book does follow Glenn's professional life as it involves Katie going on some celebrity interviews, those aren't the chapters I enjoyed the most. Rather I enjoyed the day to day interaction of the hallway. Over the course of Katie's lifespan - almost 15 years, there were good times and bad, all dealt with as a family. Most notable was 9/11.
Without giving away the entire book, I applaud Plaskin - his dedication to his family is commendable. You can find "Katie" on Facebook and on Glenn on Twitter.
Thanks to The Hachette Book Group I have three audio book copies of Katie Up and Down the Hall to giveaway. Simply comment to be entered, please ensure I have a way to contact you, either through email or your blog. Open to US and Canada, no PO boxes please, one winner per address. Ends Sunday December 5th at 6 pm EST.