I went to the library and got a heap of books out in preparation.
They were heavy. And got me thinking that maybe I’ve overestimated my ability. I told the kids at work my cannonballa plans, and they were horrified. Bo-0k? Mouths dropped. Eyes stared.
THERE IS NO DOG
Publishing date: January 24th, 2011
Don’t put this book down. Even if you do find you can tear yourself away from it at mealtimes or to go to the toilet, don’t. Someone else will pick it up out of sheer curiosity, begin to read, and you will never see it again. Such is the power of Meg Rosoff’s darkly funny ‘There Is No Dog’, which tells the tale of a young man named Bob. He’s a simple teenage boy, with all the associated problems – girls, hormones, girls, terrible mum, girls, and being God.
Yes, ‘There Is No Dog’ turns centuries of theology on its head and places a teenage boy in charge – and thanks to Rosoff’s talent, it suddenly starts to look entirely possible that, if we do have a creator, he is indeed a young man like Bob. Wouldn’t that explain a lot? Rosoff’s God falls in love with a girl named Lucy, a zookeeper described as ‘as perfect as a rose’, holding out for her one true love. When Bob hears Lucy’s simple prayer regarding this matter, he falls for her almost instantly. However, this isn’t the first time for Bob, and his personal secretary Mr. B dreads the consequences of Bob and Lucy getting together. It turns out that God’s feelings have a drastic impact on the world and its inhabitants, and it’s left to Mr. B to try and salvage things while Bob stops at nothing to get to Lucy.
It’s not purely about Bob, Lucy, and Mr. B, though. Bob’s mum plays a large role – the story of how Bob came to be God involves her – and a subplot regarding Bob’s pet brings in two more characters, each with their own agendas. The plots twist around each other, and Rosoff expertly draws and develops each character. There’s also a deeper side to the humour, giving you something to chew on long after the story is over; questions regarding our creation and our beliefs.
‘There Is No Dog’ will have you as soon as you start it. It’s required reading for those who like their books to have big ideas and an even bigger sense of humour – but it’s perhaps summed up best in this sentence from Mr. B: “Perhaps the best way to proceed is to think of life on earth as a colossal joke, a creation of such immense stupidity that the only way to live is to laugh until you think your heart will break.”