Writing a book review of a 32 page picture book may seem a little strange, but then again 32 pages of images of bulldogs PhotoShopped into idyllic garden settings is also a little strange.
As a matter of public disclosure, let me state for the record that personally, I prefer dogs to cats, hands down. For those of you who have the preference the other way around, this book is not for you. For those who find the LOL cats internet trend interesting, but prefer dogs to cats, then this book has the potential to be of interest to you.
For people who have never spent any time with a bulldog up close and personal it is easy to understand the aversion to these dogs. Their appearance on its own is not necessarily the most attractive, especially when compared to most any other breed of dog.
However, those who have known or owned a bulldog know the great personality and endearing mannerisms that these tough-looking dogs can manifest. Also, those who have seen the clip out there of the skateboarding bulldog video have also sampled of the special aura of the bulldog.
I met my first bulldog in the past six months. I met the second bulldog I have ever known in the same household where I had the great opportunity to read Bulldogs in Bloom. I was visiting my wife's grandmother. The dog's name was Chiquita. The book was on the coffee table. Needless to say, it was a rather quick read.
The copy of Bulldogs in Bloom that I was reading was purchased for a very low price at the local Big Lots store. The price paid there was very commiserate with the actual value of the book. (Unless your are a collector desperately needing this book to complete your collection, then the prices on Amazon may be too high).
This book is the perfect thing for an infatuated bulldog owner. It is especially well suited for old ladies and little kids. It has kitsch written all over it.
The pages of the book are filled with nonsensical collages of bulldogs in cottage and countryside garden images. The dogs are placed in strange positions and set in disproportionate scale to the surrounding environment. Sometimes the head of a bulldog is pasted onto an object in a garden to become the new face of that object, sometimes the head is placed in such a way as to make it seem as though the dog is inside a vase of other space peering out.
Below each photo is a quote that somehow contains the phrase "Bulldogs in Bloom." Some seem to be famous quotes with some of the original words replaced by the catch phrase of the book (see previous sentence). Perhaps all of the quotes are famous quotes thusly altered, but if that is the case many of them were rendered/butchered beyond my ability to recognize the original.
As for the quality of work in altering the photos, many times the rough edges seem to remain. The book gives off the sense that a high school student working as a summer intern was turned loose with some stock photos of bulldogs, gardens, and countryside homes and stuck in front of a computer with PhotoShop. The supervisor showed the kid how to use the lasso tool and cut and paste and gave the kid 2 days to finish. If that is not actually the case, then I submit that the makers of this book grossly overspent on the production given the quality of the final product.
All of the above being said, while this book will never rise above the coffee table book level, it would make a great foundation for a bulldog lovers website. I am sure there are many creative bulldog lovers who would easily be able to create photos of this same genre that equal or surpass the images in this book. If you are aspiring to create the next LOL cats type pet fixation internet craze, then this book is sure to be full of good inspiration for you!
FYI it took you longer to read this review of Bulldogs in Bloom that it would have taken to read the entire book.
by Cameron Hatch
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