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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Run of the Leopard Dogs: How I Escaped Terror, Insanity, Suicide, and a Deranged South Texas Tyrant is a work of non-fiction in the memoir, autobiography, and slice-of-life subgenres. It is suitable for the mature adult reading audience due to some upsetting content concerning death, abuse, and suicide. Penned by author R. H. Edgington, this haunting memoir is a journey through the disturbing and brutal landscape of his past. From a young boy facing a birth anomaly and daily beatings to becoming the sole witness to the death of his first stepfather, Ronnie's life takes a harrowing turn. The narrative unfolds in a small South Texas ranching town, where Ronnie is subjected to the oppressive and brutal rule of a second stepfather, Mitch Teel.
Author R. H. Edgington's storytelling delves into the darkest corners of human experience, exposing the brutality of abuse and the psychological toll it takes. The memoir is a raw exploration of survival, abandonment, and the struggle for self-worth, which is told with nothing held back, bravely and unashamedly so. The author weaves a narrative that, while disturbing, is also a testament to resilience and the power of hope amid hopelessness, striking a good balance between the horror of how evil some human beings really are and how incredibly kind and strong others become as a result. This challenging and well-written work is an emotional journey that confronts the ugliness of humanity head-on. It lingers in the mind, a testament to the author's courage in sharing a story that is both painful and inspiring. The intervention of beautiful saviors, serendipitous inspiration, and glimpses of hope amidst despair add lighter shades and greater complexity to the narrative, and the author’s unique voice endears him to us as we root for his journey toward self-rescue. Overall, I would not hesitate to recommend Run of the Leopard Dogs as a compelling and thought-provoking read that is truly unmissable for memoir fans everywhere.