Book Review: There is No Dog by Meg Rosoff

Synopsis:  God is a nineteen-year-old boy who ‘s real name is Bob. He was given the job of creating and maintaining earth with the hope he would grow into the position, but hasn’t. Bob is still like any other teenage boy with a short attention span, little forethought, and an obsession with girls. Whenever Bob falls in “love” disaster follows.  Unfortunately, Bob met Lucy…

Author: Meg Rosoff is an award-winning novelist who lives in London, England. Her first young adult novel was published the same week she was diagnosed with cancer. That novel has been optioned for a film and is currently in pre-production.

Writing Style: Advise students are always given is to “show not tell”, yet this book seemed a little more on the “tell” side of things. The story seemed to stay very on the surface of the action, rarely ever creating an emotional risk or development in the characters.

Point of View: The story switched between most of the characters in the novel, sometimes quite suddenly with no indication of the coming change.

Plot:  This book reminded me of flipping through channels on a television. You see tidbits of various characters and their life without ever finding the depth to them or what is happening.

Location: This novel takes place everywhere and nowhere. It does not specifically say where the people are living, other than on earth. Nor am I certain where Bob lives –on earth, in heaven, or somewhere in between. Occasionally, there are scenes from other unknown places in the universe, including a gambling hall.

Character: It doesn’t say much for the novel when you favourite character is someone’s pet.  Eck is the last of his kind, a creature with intelligence and feeling and even a sense of humour. Eck is treated rather abysmally by nearly everyone and, oddly enough, is the only character that the reader feels for.

Romance: Bob’s idea of love is taking the stereotypical teenage boy’s lust to the extreme end of the spectrum, which makes things a bit more humorous and drives what little action there is due to the side effects of his obsession with Lucy.  The readers spends most of the novel hoping Bob learns how to love, and through this becomes a proper “God” that would benefit earth.

Quote: Life’s pleasures were so simple, really. It was all a matter of appreciating what you had –and knowing that things could always be worse.

The Verdict: It is an interesting novel that, I feel, did not live up to its full potential; I was expecting something a little more “Joan of Arcadia” (tv show) with emotional depth and humour. I was far more interested in making my own Eck, than reading the book.

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Author: JaimeKristal

JaimeKristal is a freelance editor and writer. She started her book review blog "Tales of a Booklover" for the enjoyment of sharing her love of reading.

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