"The story of a dog who thinks he's a man... or a man who thinks he's a dog."

One of the favourite books of my youth, Fluke, a masterful tale written by James Herbert, still captivates me to this day. Fluke was first published in 1977 by the New English Library.

Fluke is a dog, or to be more exact, a crossbreed, a mongrel. The book begins with the small fragile puppy opening his eyes for the first time, getting his first glimpse of the world around him. Right from the start, Herbert engrosses you in deep, vivid descriptions, with seemingly scary accuracy of what it would be like to look at the world from a dog's perspective. Certain events and sightings trigger memories in Fluke's brain, causing him to remember the tiniest parts of his previous life, and, from that, his journey begins to piece together his existence as a man.

One of Herbert's earlier books, it strays away from his usual horror novels, such as The Rats series, The Fog and The Survivor (although, interestingly, Fluke is classed as a ficticious horror), and is instead a heart-warming, thought-provoking, and highly enjoyable read.

A film adaptation was released in 1995, featuring Matthew Modine (as Fluke), Eric Stoltz, and the voice of Samuel L. Jackson. Although it failed to portray some of wonderfully deep writing of Herbert, it managed to keep the gripping storyline. Maybe I'm just a softy and like to watch cute doggies run around.

There is one thing that disappoints me about the book, however:

"The characters and situations in this book are entirely imaginary and bear no relation to any real person or actual happening."

I hope that the book only has to state that for legal reasons.