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Monday, October 10, 2011

Review: There Is No Dog by Meg Rosoff

My friend, a devout Catholic, saw me reading this book and told me "that book might be banned". Truthfully, I see nothing wrong with reading this book. Sure it talks about "God", and what would happen to the world if he was a teenager, but I find that concept immensely intriguing. It's a funny, amusing read that kept me on the throes of laughing almost every second while I was reading it.

Title: There is No Dog by Meg Rosoff
Pages: 240
Release Date: August 23rd 2011
Published by: Puffin
Source: Publisher (Thanks Tina!)
Buy: Amazon | Book Depository

Summary (from Goodreads):

What if God were a feckless teenage boy named Bob?

‘You can’t leave Bob to run the planet on his own.’
‘He is God.’
‘He’s not much of a God.’

In the beginning, Bob created the heaven and the earth and the beasts of the field and the creatures of the sea, and twenty-five million other species (including lots of fanciable girls).

But mostly he prefers eating junk food and leaving his dirty clothes in a mouldering heap at the side of his bed.

When Bob plays with mortals, millions die. And every time he falls in love, earth erupts in natural disasters. So humankind is going to be very sorry indeed he ever ran into a beautiful, completely irresistible girl called Lucy. .

I had to sort it out with myself and think that Bob, God, is a worker. He creates planets, watch over them, oversee and make creation of all kinds, shapes, sizes and color. And he's supposed to take care of all of them. But what if this creator is a temperamental, hormone driven, tantrum prone, spoiled brat, selfish and a self-centered teenager named Bob? See I can make a list of adjectives that will describe Bob, and it's going to be a long list, not all of them pleasant. That's how unlikeable and incorrigible he is.

There Is No Dog throws in a lot of interesting scenarios about "God". According to Mr. B, Bob's assistant, the world ended up the way it is, crappy and messed up, because it was only made in six days. It was a result of a God's laziness that's why there were unnecessary, useless things that should not have been made. Mr. B is fed up with Bob's attitude, having stayed with him for 10,000 years wherein nothing has changed. And now Bob has set his eyes on Lucy, the most beautiful girl he has ever seen. But everyone knows it's not a good idea for Bob to pursue Lucy. Even his mother, a chronic gambler and a notorious Goddess named Mona, says so. Because when a God like Bob falls in love, the world experiences disasters one after another.

I've taken in everything about this novel literally. It was entertaining to see the world the way Meg Rosoff made it, because of how it makes sense. I've set aside any prejudice against the story and took it just as it is. People do not like, heck, they lost their confidence in Bob because he couldn't be bothered to grant wishes or hear prayers. All he does is lay in bed all day, do irresponsible things like forgetting to turn off the tap that results in a massive flood. He lets his mother gamble off his pet, Eck, who he considers a "thing" to be eaten by another God, and again he doesn't care if he gets eaten. For Bob, everything is a joke. He has no other use for humans other than entertainment and sex. If it was you, will you believe in that kind of a God?

There Is No Dog is a challenging novel. It makes you think of a lot of what ifs. Maybe that's why prayers are unanswered, why there's chaos everywhere, because the one that's supposed to take care of Earth is not doing his job. Maybe God isn't perfect. Maybe he's just like us. Maybe worse than us. That tragedies happen because of the rashness of one person. But what was Mr. B for then? He's the guy who cares about what happens to the planet and all of Bob's creations. And why Bob when hardly anyone believes in him anymore? It's a bit frustrating to see how Bob didn't become the God that he's supposed to be. A moment of brilliance and that's it, no more. It's like he's the problem, and the "management's" solution was to get rid of him. No punishment, instead he was praised. And as for poor Lucy, love came and went for her just like that. A naive human whose emotions were toyed with and forgotten.

Meg Rosoff's novel is hilarious. I say this as a compliment as it is a book that would make your eyebrows raise to the roof. If you do not have a sense of humor, this book is not for you. But it's really worth the read for the curious and for those whose ideas about the world and faith enjoyed being challenged once in a while. It's a skeptic book that will make you think. I daresay it's also a brave portrayal of life, love and the universe.

Believe me when I say you wouldn't become a heretic when you read this book. The literary world has some wonderful books that will shock us once in a while, I think this book is one of those.

Content (plot, story flow, character):

Shining: Worthy of a Goddess' Love!

Book Cover:
I think I get it why the title is "There Is No Dog".

I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


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