Monday, 22 August 2011

Review: There is No Dog - Meg Rosoff


Published: August 4th 2011, Puffin
Pages: 243 pages, hardback
Series/standalone?: Standalone
Acquired: Kindly sent for review by the publisher

Summary (from Goodreads): Meet your unforgettable protagonist: God, who, as it turns out, is a 19-year-old boy living in the present-day and sharing an apartment with his long-suffering fifty-something personal assistant.

Unfortunately for the planet, God is lazy and, frankly, hopeless. He created all of the world's species in six days because he couldn't summon the energy to work for longer. He gets Africa and America mixed up. And his beleagured assistant has his work cut out for him when God creates a near-apolcalyptic flood, having fallen asleep without turning the bath off.

There is No Dog is a darkly funny novel from one of our most delightfully unpredictable writers.

My review: There is No Dog is definitely one of my most anticipated books of 2011. I first heard about it at the Penguin Media Presentation back in January and have been counting down the days ever since. I received a copy from Penguin a few weeks ago (thank you - I was getting desperate!) and devoured it instantly.

The first thing that hits you about There is No Dog (aside from the fact it's by Meg Rosoff and will therefore be fantastic, whatever is contained inside) is the stunning cover art. It's absolutely beautiful and is truly one of my favourite covers of the year. So shiny. I love it.

And now onto the most important part, what's inside the cover. It's clear from the summary that There is No Dog is one unique novel and is does contain a whole host of weird and wonderful things, though at its core is a love story. A love story between Bob and the human girl he obsesses over, the love between Mr B and Earth, between Estelle and Eck. And so it goes on. In There is No Dog we see so many different kinds of love explored and, honestly, I think love is what Meg Rosoff does best.

The characters in There is No Dog are just great. Bob is so hateful - a lazy, spoiled boy with a real sense of entitlement. However, I couldn't bring myself to dislike him. While he wasn't my favourite character in the book I was certainly fond of him by the end of the story. In terms of my favourite character it's got to be a toss up between Mr B and Eck, both sweet, long-suffering and hilarious in equal measure. I would love to see Eck brought to life in a Pixar movie!

I don't want to give away too much about the story - I went in pretty much blind and I think that's the best way to enjoy this novel. I'm sure a lot of you reading this are Meg Rosoff fans already so won't need any persuading but if you haven't managed to read one of her books yet - dooo it. Although I'd suggest starting with How I Live Now; it will change your life, I promise.

I'm actually seeing Meg at the Bath Festival of Children's Literature in a few weeks (David Almond and Melvin Burgess are on the same panel - I KNOW) and I'm ridiculous excited to meet her if there's a signing after. Actually, maybe there isn't a signing! Maybe I'm getting my hopes up over nothing. Either way, even if there is a signing I know I'll very meekly push my books across the table and stand there red-faced and silent... Inside I will be screaming 'HOW I LIVE NOW CHANGED MY LIFE, YOU ARE A GENIUS.'

First line: 'Oh glorious, most glorious glorious!'

Rating:
Plot: 5/5
Writing: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
Cover: 4/5
Total: 17/20 (A)

5 comments:

  1. Ahhh, I'm so jealous that you get to meet her! And also that you're in the UK for this book's release... I don't think it will make it over here for a while.

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  2. I didn't think this one came out until September. I must be going mad. I must read it soon.

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  3. Did you not talk to her at the Media thing? One of lovely publicists introduced her to me and I was awestruck. Can't wait to read this one :) I wish I'd bought tickets to that Bath event though, that sounds incredible..

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  4. Brilliant review - thank you so much for bringing it to my attentiion :D

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  5. I loved this book and have just posted a review of it myself. It was just so well executed, but no surprise there. Incidentally, I got my copy of How I Live Now signed by Meg a few years ago... I'm very rarely lost for words but I have to admit to just mumbling something about her being amazing and scurrying off...

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Thank you kindly for the comment, you sweet thing.