OK, stay with me here. The Dogs of Babel, by Carolyn Parkhurst, is a novel about a man whose wife dies under what he considers mysterious circumstances, though the police ruled it an accident. The only witness to her death was the couple's dog. The bereaved husband's solution? Teach the dog to speak so he can hear the pooch's eyewitness account. And it's not a comedy, it's a drama!

I read the book a few years ago and thought it was a terrific examination of the grieving process, obsession, and learning to face reality. I had no problem buying the basic premise of a guy wanting to teach his dog to speak. But how will all this translate to the big screen? That question is about to be answered, as Variety reports a film adaptation has been fast-tracked.

The director will be John Crowley, a Tony-nominated stage director who also made 2003's Intermission (starring Colin Farrell), and the current Miramax release Boy A. The screenplay is being written by Jamie Linden, who wrote We Are Marshall and the upcoming Nicholas Sparks adaptation Dear John. The Dogs of Babel has some complex subject matter that's going to be hard to pull off in a visual medium, and I'm guessing the Nicholas Sparks book, um, doesn't -- so we'll see how Linden handles the transition. Crowley seems to be a capable director, at any rate, and Boy A (about a man who committed a murder as a child being released from prison) deals with sensitive subjects, too.

Anyone else read Dogs of Babel? What do you think of a movie version? Can they pull it off? If your dog could speak, what would it say to you? Mine would say, "I wish you didn't walk around the apartment naked so much." My dog is a total bitch (in the zoological sense).