The Choking Doberman Essay, Research Paper
The Choking Doberman by Jan Harold Brunvand; is a collection of urban legends and their meanings and/or origins. It discusses various urban legends and there apparent meanings. Each chapter provides several versions of a single legend and several other related legends, along with Brunvand s synopsis of each and quotes from people he surveyed.
Jan Harold Brunvand (1933-present) was born in Cadillac, Michigan.
He received his PhD in Language Arts at Indiana University, and went on to teach
English and folklore at the University of Utah (1966). His early publications included
work on Indiana, Utah, and Alberta folklore; in the 1980s he published several
collections of American urban legends, including The Choking Doberman: and other
new urban legends (1984).
A paragraph relating the author s background to the color and flavor of the text in The Choking Doberman would be included here. But the text and/or wording in the book is colorless and flavorless and it exhibits no feeling in the words. It is plain and from all points of view Blah . In fact the most emotion Brunvand uses in the entire book is used in this one sentence: The most fascinating ones I received were the
Mannebach 2 stories that incorporated thoroughly up-to-date references and thus might represent actual new urban legends. (1)
The audience intended for this book is anyone of high school age or older needing research on urban legends (unless your version of leisure reading is passing out over a good book). Also since it was written in the 1980s the new urban legends are no longer new.
Although it is written in a blassiez-faire format, Brunvand did do his homework. The book shows extensive research on its topics and in sense of knowledge it possesses no holes (As far as the untrained eye can see anyway). It is an excellent source of raw knowledge.
Brunvand was complete in his research and it raises only one question. How does the guy sell any books?? He butchers a wonderful topic with an overwhelming barrage of knowledge. It is such a flavorless representation of American Folklore.
He also dwells on the Choking Doberman for several chapters (talk about overkill). For instance, in a chapter about automobiles and RVs, Brunvand states: Seldom is it possible to bring together the amount of evidence I found to show that The Choking Doberman is an old legendary theme (1) That makes the book repetitive and turns away many readers. Brunvand just didn t make sense in doing that.