What if God were a teenage boy?

There is no Dog by Meg Rosoff

Penguin, 2011 

Meg Rosoff has been one of my favourite writers for young adults since the clever and moving How I Live Now and the utterly sublime What I Was. Even though I have read and admired her previous works, I was totally unprepared for the genius of this particular book. It is many things: existential, slightly surreal, exceedingly funny, moving and definitely controversial.

The premise of There is no Dog is that God is a self-centred, sex-obsessed, lazy and unmotivated teenage boy named Bob. (Did I mention that he is also dyslexic?) Bob’s performance as God is clearly lacking, given the dire predicament of planet Earth, and it is left to Bob’s assistant administrator, the long-suffering Mr. B to solve the myriad of problems and prayers that cross his desk on a daily basis. Throw Bob’s love interest into the mix, the beautiful but mortal zookeeper Lucy, and the planet doesn’t stand a chance with God’s unrequited love sending the weather patterns into huge disarray.

With a beautiful subplot involving Bob’s pet Eck, the penguin-like creature Bob’s mother gambles away to another god in a poker game, there is plenty of pathos and action to keep the pace moving along in this intriguing story.

There is no Dog is a sophisticated, intelligent and quirky young adult novel which will challenge and mesmerise readers of all ages. Guaranteed to become a set text in classrooms everywhere, it will generate lively discussion and stay with the reader long after the final chapter has been read.

Recommended for ages 14+

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Filed under Boys fiction, Girls fiction, Reviews, Young adult

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