The Michigan Dog Man

A Diary

Fiction - Science Fiction
166 Pages
Reviewed on 09/01/2021
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Foluso Falaye for Readers' Favorite

The Michigan Dog Man knows nothing of his parents and lives his days alone. As a being that dwells in darkness, his life is simple and free of vain pursuits. His hideous, monstrous appearance keeps him away from public places for fear of being shot. No one knows if the Michigan Dog Man is actually real, and the knowledge of his existence might not be received with the most welcoming reactions. However, a need to connect with people and have genuine conversations and relationships drives him to approach a professor of music from the University of Michigan. How will the introduction of the Michigan Dog Man to the world of humans be accepted? They say with great risk comes great reward, but are things going to turn out the same for our protagonist in The Michigan Dog Man by Scott Devon?

Scott Devon gives us a touching and heartwarming look into the life of an intelligent and aware legendary creature. The Michigan Dog Man is written in a diary format, and all the events are seen from the protagonist's point of view. It was pleasing to read about the protagonist's love for music and books, and I was excited to see the names of some of my favorite creators and discover more. The messages in the book are profound and definitely worth bookmarking. Also, I fell in love with the characters and wished I could read more about the fantastical creature who has a lot to teach humans about sustainability, friendship, and making the best of life before one's time is up. If you enjoy books that make you feel good and warm inside, you will love The Michigan Dog Man.

Lesley Jones

In The Michigan Dog Man by Scott Devon, Michigan Dogman is half-man and half-dog. He is close to 8 feet tall, weighs 500 pounds, and lives a solitary life in a cave in Northern Michigan. His existence is not known for sure and has become the subject of hearsay and mythical tales. Michigan doesn't know if he would ever be accepted by society so for now, he educates himself by the newspapers he finds when he ventures out, protected by the darkness of the night. He discovers the presence of a professor of music named Dr. Jamesman, living in a remote cabin on Lake Superior, and longs to reach out and make his acquaintance. Michigan is scared but the thought of continuing his lonely reality to hard to bear. He must risk everything and face mockery, rejection, or attack so he can live like a normal person. But will his dream turn into a nightmare? What if the professor betrays his trust and invites the outside world into his life of solitude?

The Michigan Dog Man by Scott Devon is such an intriguing and multi-faceted plot. Michigan Dogman is an inspiration to mankind. His philosophy towards the environment, nature, and humanity is absolute perfection. He does not think of himself as a victim and only wants to give love and kindness if others would just see past the outer exterior. Michigan's plight could be shared by many who feel they live on the outskirts of society, never fitting into conditioned expectations, looks, opinions, and behavior. He is a true advocate for peaceful and non-judgemental co-existence. His first letter to the professor was quite emotional to read but the friendship he forms with him is strong, unwavering, and heartwarming. Michigan makes some profound statements as he views the world around him: "This world had an undefined beauty, for those that could see it." The storyline is poignant and sophisticated and I never once lost interest. There are also wonderful insights into politics and human behavior too. This quote by Michigan was one of my favorites: "We concern ourselves with serial killers, but to me, the most affected are ones that are dictators or presidents who killed millions in the name of their ideology." The entire storyline puts into perspective your own personal thoughts, feelings, and emotions and makes you ponder how your actions could unknowingly affect others.

Tammy Ruggles

The Michigan Dog Man: A Diary by Scott Devon is an interesting and witty take on the mythical legend of The Michigan Dog Man. Similar to Bigfoot and other creatures that have reached an iconic status over the years, The Michigan Dog Man is the subject of this novel. But Devon has cleverly decided to do something different with it: He writes AS the Michigan Dog Man, which indeed makes for a most intriguing work of fiction.

As you read, you find yourself strangely empathetic with this dog/man creature and his philosophy, and Devon is skilled at bringing you into the Dogman's mindset, making this tale convincing and entertaining; warm and funny. His official title is The Legend of Northern Michigan, but it was later known as Michigan Dog Man. Those who have heard of this mythical beast but may not know all of the details will enjoy the backstory and history of how he/it came to be. For example, the first sighting or mention of this half-dog/half-man was in the year 1887, and Dogman supposes he could be a descendent of that creature. I did get a sense of playfulness or tongue-in-cheek, and then some thought-provoking observations, and it's through Dogman's narrative that we learn some interesting tidbits about the people and culture of the area and locals.

He also muses about the interest and celebrity status that has grown around him over the years--a novelty song was written about him in the '80s--which has made him a cultural figure ripe for folklore status. It's refreshing to know that Dogman doesn't take himself too seriously, even if he is serious about life, people, and the wider world. There is more to this creature than you might think, but I won't spoil it for you. You'll just have to become acquainted with him yourself. If you're looking for a funny, introspective take on a mythical legend, check out The Michigan Dog Man: A Diary by Scott Devon.

Vincent Dublado

The monster has always been a subject in science fiction and fantasy genres made even more popular by Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Author Scott Devon understands that monsters do not always come with a terrifying nature in order to be interesting. In The Michigan Dog Man: A Diary, he creates a unique and interesting creature that is half canine, half-human. No, he is not a werewolf that bays at the moon. He is simply an imperfect creature whose origin is unknown. But unlike other monsters, his human side has made him passionate about self-learning and he has taught himself how to read. Finding a remote cabin, he becomes a friend to its owner, a retired academic, who becomes his mentor in the process. The Michigan Dogman wants nothing more than self-actualization rather than just staying alive and avoiding capture. But will the gift of mentorship and technology fill the void in his life, or will he yearn to be left alone once again, and live like Henry David Thoreau?

As a character, the Michigan Dogman is a study of contrast. For a hideous-looking creature that stands at eight feet and weighs 500 pounds, he is gentle and thoughtful. Of course, this is justified by his human side, but the whole issue is whether or not Scott Devon has created a monster or a man. This creature, who soon goes by the name of James Goodman, is filled with pathos. His thirst for knowledge and human contact is understandable because his loneliness eats at him the way termites gnaw upon wood. He addresses existential concerns with affecting imagery much like Shakespeare’s Caliban. Written from the Dogman’s point of view, The Michigan Dog Man: A Diary goes straight into indulging you on what goes on inside the head of this unfortunate being. The effects of this story register well, and it deserves the verdict as a must-read.

Rabia Tanveer

The Michigan Dog Man - A Diary by Scott Devon is the Michigan Dog Man's story as he shares details about his life of anonymity. It is the story of the Michigan Dog Man, an imperfect monster that people feared but were fascinated by. Close to 8 feet tall and weighing more than 500 pounds, the Michigan Dog Man tried to stay away from humans so as not to draw attention to himself. He spent his life being in awe of nature and taught himself to read and write. He started his diary where he wrote down what he thought, how he decided to leave his cave one day and decided to live a life worth living. It was his love of books that dared him to dream and write his book. What would you do if your favorite author turned out to be the mythical Michigan Dog Man?

The Michigan Dog Man - A Diary is a fascinating look at the folklore of the Michigan Dog Man. Not many people are aware of this myth, and maybe some have heard about the song, but this book would be a great way to introduce the mystery behind Michigan Dog Man. The narrative is exciting and was simply far too immersive for me to put the book down. The short chapters and the story's steady, fast pace make it easier for readers to finish this book in one sitting. The twists and turns Scott Devon adds to the story are entertaining. However, what stands out about this story is the descriptions. The author outdid himself with the descriptions. You can almost hear the Michigan Dog Man's voice, feel his emptiness, and his desperation to live finally. It is a perfect companion novel for a rainy day.