There is No Dog
by Meg Rosoff
Summary: 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.
Oh how I hate it when a book I've been dying to read turns out to be a disappointment.
I loved the other book of Meg's that I read, How I Live Now - it was original and just…really brilliant and this one sounded awesome and I've been dying to read it for so long so I expected it to be as good as How I Live Now. Alas, it did not live up to expectations. Gutted.
I'd give it an A+ for originality, but a C- for the execution of it and a disappointing D for enjoyability.
It's not so much a problem with the book, I could see why other people could love it, it's more that it just wasn't my kind of thing.
It was written with a lot of switching perspectives (third person), which I have made clear before that I am so not a fan of that. I can't connect to the characters when it's written the way this was and when there is multiple POV's written, I usually latch onto one characters story as my favourite and the rest just drag. That was the case here. I liked the Lucy/Luke element of the story best and the rest of it was just a drag and that sucked big time because the Lucy/Luke thing was really a tiny part of the plot - I think if I counted, probably less than 40 pages would have included interactions with them.
The story really was original but reading it felt like a chore. I didn't particularly like any of the characters and while some books can get by with unlikeable characters, this just was not one of them. They were annoying in the kind of way that I did not want to read about and since this is a book and the point was to read it, you can see how that would be a problem.
Lucy and Luke had their moments and Eck was kind of cute in a pathetic sort of way but I wouldn't go as far as to say I really liked any of them. And Bob was awful, his chapters were almost unbearable to read - same with Mona. Mr B was just dull, his chapters literally put me to sleep a few times (I wish I was joking - although in defence of his chapters, I do tend to read in the early hours of the morning).
I couldn’t stand the Lucy/Bob relationship…not just because he was quite possibly one of the most awful and annoying characters I have ever read (which was done intentionally though), but because it just - eugh. It was insta-love at its very worst. It was never explained if Lucy’s “love” for him was because he used his Godly powers to make her feel that way but I don’t think it was - other peoples reactions to him were kind of the opposite to hers and if he could make her feel whatever he wanted her to then the plot wouldn’t have happened the way it did. It was just - eugh. They make Edward Cullen and Bella Swan look like the epitome of the perfect healthy relationship. Now, again, I think that their relationship was intentionally written to be bad, which is fine, except for the fact that I was stuck reading that nonsense and it just wasn’t enjoyable.
The book is described as being darkly funny and I could see the parts that were supposed to be funny but I didn't laugh once, I'm not even sure it made me smile.
I would recommend the book, if it sounds interesting to you and you like those kind of... "WTF?!" plots, but the book just was not my cup of tea at all. I've seen a bunch of glowing 5 star reviews of it on goodreads, so you may be one of the ones who love it. I wasn't a fan of the writing in it, or the story or the characters.
The only redeemable things about it for me was Lucy/Luke, but there was so little of that it wasn't enough to make me like the book, and the fact that it's original and I appreciate originality. But yeah, it general, it bored me and a book with that kind of plot should not bore me. I would've been way more interested to read a book where she scrapped the whole God element, cut out all the characters except the ones that worked in the zoo and made it a story about Luke and Lucy.
If you haven’t read one of Meg’s books before, I suggest starting with How I Live Now, that one was fab and weird but good weird.