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The Dog Dialed 911
A Book of Lists from the Smoking Gun

by The Smoking Gun

      Do you know who investigated author James Frey’s novel claims? The Smoking Gun, founded in 1997, spearheaded that investigation. The Smoking Gun conducts investigative reporting using mug shots, court documents, police affidavits, FBI reports, and other legal documents. In The Dog Dialed 911, the authors of The Smoking Gun website compile silly and outrageous behavior chronicled in cases of fraud, corruption, terrorism, and other legal actions.

Behavior and court documents are categorized under adult entertainment, class clowns, government affairs, freak show, animal planet, law and order, and we the people. Dumb criminals, political leaders, and hot celebrities fill the pages. Readers can find entries like "Eighteen stars behind bars," "Seven of the easiest questions asked on a college final," and "Four weddings and a fingertip."

Do you know how two Colorado bank robbers attempted their escape? Wearing their employee badges when they robbed a local bank, they hopped on a nearby ski lift. Photos of the duo posing with their supposed windfall are included in the book. The book highlights legal activity too, such as name changes. Mr. and Mrs. Schmuck requested a name change to Shelton. Another name change approval turned Ralph Lifshitz into Ralph Lauren - the now famous fashion designer.

Readers will find the book fun and entertaining, though it is not for the faint-hearted. Mundane events are sandwiched among outrageous, immoral, and illegal behavior. Public documents describe swearing, violence, or sex and may not be for everyone. The book is presented with humorous flair. The exceptions are the documents relating to 9/11 and terrorism, which are simply stated. I loved the book as I have enjoyed The Smoking Gun website. I found myself laughing, gasping, and reading entries aloud to my husband. If you enjoy delving into human behavior, you will love The Dog Dialed 911.

The Book

Little, Brown and Company
October 2006
Non-fiction Humor
More at
NOTE: Public documents include explicit content - language, sex, violence

The Reviewer

Jennifer Akers
Reviewed 2006
© 2006