A Field Trial Fable

Fiction - General
148 Pages
Reviewed on 05/04/2016
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite

A story about sporting dogs and bird-dogs in field trials may sound like a tale for kids, but when it is told by a master storyteller like Edward Pontacoloni, it becomes more than interesting. Rooster: A Field Trial Fable by Edward Pontacoloni features a wide collection of compelling characters, all coming together for the national championships. On one hand is the group of Tom, Mike, and Rooster, and on the other is the dare-devil Red Eyes, a dog that can play pretty rough and that won’t let anyone get ahead of him. Red Eyes has been trained by rough and unforgiving men like Tall Charlie and Buck Arness, and it can be said “like owner like dog” of this team. With this cast of characters a story unfolds that will become a roller coaster ride of excitement and entertainment for the reader.

Pontacoloni knows how to seduce readers and he does so without warning. The writing is polished and it reads sweetly. The descriptions are terrific, vivid, and captivating. For instance: “Of the pups, the black-eared one fell to Tom to handle, likely because the others felt that the pup held no promise; it was unruly, its tail curved and angled at eleven o’clock, but it was a strong and vigorous dog, full with the desire of a desperately hungry forager. “ (p. 6). It will be hard to read Rooster without falling in love with the lyrical style. The author writes beautifully and with confidence. Some of the descriptions are terrific, but even when detailed, it never feels boring. The author's voice comes across in a unique, clear and powerful way.

It takes an intelligent mind to conceive a gripping tale, but it takes genius to make it interesting, and Pontacoloni has got both. His work is hilarious, engaging, and absolutely entertaining, plus the author has got this unique way of saying things that will leave a smile on the faces of readers as they turn the pages. The story is well thought-out and, at every turn, the reader looks forward in anticipation to what happens next. Rooster offers many inspiring and invaluable lessons on friendship and courage.

Anne-Marie Reynolds

Rooster: A Field Trial Fable by Edward Pontacoloni is the story of Rooster, an orange dog with floppy ears and yellow eyes. It is the tale of Tom Quinn, an Irish field trailer, of Michael, a teenager, and Amy, Tom’s niece. And there’s Pooka. Pooka is a beautiful blue butterfly, a sprite from the fairy lands. All of them have a dream, a dream of a national field trial championship, a competition that is tough, a sport of snarling competitors, but one thing stands in their way – Red Eyes. Red Eyes is a devil dog, made that way by Charlie Hinkle and Buck Arness. Both of them are bringing Red Eyes to the national competition to face off against and beat Rooster, Mike and Tom. Who will triumph on the day and who will slink home with their tail between their legs?

Rooster: A Field Trial Fable by Edward Pontacoloni is a fanciful tale and a good read. This is an excellent story with no loose ends. The plot is tightly wound and follows a natural course; it is an original story line, written in a language that is easy to understand but compelling all the same. The characters are well developed, giving readers ample opportunity to get to know them. Mr. Pontacoloni has a real way with words, a way of writing that draws the reader gently into the story and holds them there until it is finished. This is the kind of story that will appeal to adults and older teens who have a love of dogs and field sports. I think that all who read it will thoroughly enjoy it; I know I did!

K.C. Finn

Rooster: A Field Trial Fable is a short fiction tale by author Edward Pontacoloni. The central character of this charming tale is the title’s Rooster, a so-called ‘mongrel breed’ dog whose premier goal in life is to succeed in the sport of bird dog field trials. Teenagers Michael and Amy adore Rooster and are keen on allowing him to achieve his dreams in the sport, accompanied by Amy’s Irish uncle, Tom Quinn. Tom’s beliefs are where the fantasy element of the story really comes to life, for his faith in sprites and leprechauns – particularly a certain shimmering creature named Pooka – is what he hopes will bring Rooster luck. And Rooster will need it, for the enemies he faces are not above cheating and turning to dark means to get what they want: the National title.

As a reader who had never even heard of bird dog field trials before, I found the whole sport fascinating and inspiring from the first moment. There is a clear kinship and care for animals at the fable’s heart, which is sure to please readers of all ages. Edward Pontacoloni writes with authentic character voices, and his prose is simple but direct, never veering too far from the important details of the tale. For a short piece of only 150 pages, Rooster: A Field Trial Fable packs in a rich cast of characters and a lot of plot per page. Villains Charlie and Buck were particularly enjoyable to read about, and the novel reaches a fulfilling conclusion, but also leaves you wanting a little more.

Rabia Tanveer

If there ever was an amazing story featuring a dog, it is Rooster: A Field Trial Fable by Edward Pontacoloni. Oh man, I am a sucker for awesome pets, and this novel has an awesome pet in spades. Rooster is the tale of a man, Tom, who plans on winning the National Championship one of these days. He is a strong believer in sprites and fables and I loved that part about his personality.

Tom has the dream of making it big in the National Championship of Field Trailers. His assistant, Michael, and his niece, Amy, want exactly what he does. Their amazing, appealing and grinning “mongrel breed” Rooster might just make their dreams come true with his determination and speed. However, their way to success is not that easy. Buck Arness and Tall Charlie Hinkle are not above sabotaging Tom and his team to win the National Championship. Can Rooster win despite a formidable and clearly talented adversary? Only time will tell.

Rooster is such a good boy. I loved him and I loved everything he did. I loved reading about his relationship with Tom; and of course, with Michael and Amy. He kind of reminded me of Marley from Marley and Me. The characterization was spot on. And just don’t start me on Pooka, because I can go on for hours about that beautiful blue butterfly. I think this is one of those novels that children and adults will both enjoy.

Tracy Slowiak

In Rooster: A Field Trial Fable by author Edward Pontacoloni, readers will find a story that is both delightful and adventurous, and with a main theme that is not necessarily common in fiction; that of the life of those who participate in field trials, both dogs and their humans. Rooster, the dog protagonist of the story, is a flop eared, yellow-eyed “mongrel breed” with a whole lot of heart, and perhaps just enough skill to make the dreams of his handlers, the experienced Tom Quinn, Tom's niece Amy, and a teenager, Michael, come true. Their greatest adversary is the dog Red Eyes, who is filled with cunning, and his handlers, Buck Arness and Tall Charlie Hinkle. Their greatest match up will be at Nationals. Does Rooster stand a chance? You'll have to read the book to find out!

I very much enjoyed Rooster: A Field Trial Fable. Author Edward Pontacoloni has done a great job in creating characters, both dog and human, that his readers will connect with, relate to and care about, thinking of them long after the story is done. The story is fast paced and full of action, and readers will find themselves eagerly flipping through the pages, completely engrossed in this tale. Any reader who likes an interesting read of fiction, but perhaps especially those who have an interest in dogs and field trials, would love this book. I am pleased to recommend Rooster: A Field Trial Fable, and I look forward to reading more from author Edward Pontacoloni as soon as possible!