Good Dogs Don’t Make it to the South Pole by Hans-Olav Thyvold #AtoZChallenge

The Blogging from A to Z April Challenge  is for bloggers who wish to participate by publishing a blog post every day in April except for Sundays. Each blog post will focus on a letter of the alphabet. For example April 1 will be A, April 2 will be B and on it goes. By the end of April, a blog post for every letter of the alphabet will have been posted.

Good Dogs Don’t Make it to the South Pole by Hans-Olav Thyvold


The wisest and most inspiring book on friendship and ageing, written by a dog, that you’ll ever read.

The best thing you can aspire to in this world is company. whether it’s for pleasure of pain, a crowning or an execution; everything is better with company. You might say it all went to hell with Mrs. Thorkildsen, but you know what? It could have been worse, because Mrs. Thorkildsen had me to keep her company. And I had her. That’s what we had in common, her and me, what bound us together. We were company.

The Major, a World War Two veteran, breathes his last. Watching over him are his wife and his faithful companion, Tassen, the story’s narrator, who is, by his own admission, a couch potato and a one-man dog.

After the Major is gone, Tassen and Mrs. Thorkildsen settle into their new life, surrounded by books and stories of the 1911 race between Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen and Britain’s Captain Robert F. Scott to reach the South Pole. Regular visits to the local library and the bar next door provide all types of enlightenment.

However wen Mrs. Thorkildsen becomes ill, Tassen’s world begins to wobble.

Good Dogs Don't Make it to the South Pole

My Thoughts

I picked this book up because the dog on the cover was just so cute and irresistable. At first, I thought it was a lightweight book of cute dog stories, but nothing could be further from the truth.

As Mrs. Thorkildson ages and her health declines, Tassen is by her side, listening to her relate the story ofan expedition to the South Pole and the role dogs played. Tassen thoughts on hearing the story are very funny and yes, exactly what a dog would surely think.

There are so many animal insights in this book, some comical and some sad as he has imagined conversations with himself about what he sees around him and what he supposes Mrs. Thorkildsen is up to.

Even though there is a thread of humour through the book, the story is definitely not light and superficial. As an older person, I could very much identify with the  themes of  ageing, death, companionship and life which as an older person. I enjoyed this book very much.

Translated into English from Norwegian.


‘I love it. If your dog is going to read just one book this year – this is it’ – Tess Erngren

Star Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

About the Author

Hans-Olav Thyvold was born in Norway in 1959. He has published several nonfiction books and also been a journalist, radio host and TV host. In 2017 he published his first work of fiction, Snille hunder kommer ikke til Sydpolen. The novel has now been translated into English and is published as Good Dogs Don’t Make it to the South Pole. Thyvold has previously written and published books about Roald Amundsen as well as Fridtjof Nansen –

First Published in Norway 2017. This edition published in Australia & New Zealand in 2019 by Allen & Unwin. Softcover, 297 pages

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All books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library, unless otherwise stated.

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You can find my other blogs here:
Next Phase In Fitness & Life
and Tracking Down The Family

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3 thoughts on “Good Dogs Don’t Make it to the South Pole by Hans-Olav Thyvold #AtoZChallenge

  1. It is so frustrating that the libraries are closed and I can’t try all these interesting books. I just checked the State Library catalogue to see if they had an ebook of this one but no luck 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah! Just followed up – yes my library has BorrowBox – just did a detour via the Central Highlands library service in Queensland 😉 It is a while since I borrowed an ebook from the local library _ need to try – so have downloaded, signed in and set myself up. They don’t seem to have this book but lots of others – thank you for the tip.


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