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There is No Dog Hardcover – Aug 2 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday Canada (Aug. 2 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385668295
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385668293
  • Product Dimensions: 14.6 x 2.5 x 21.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 363 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #529,728 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

There Is No Dog is a funny, dark, incisive and ultimately somewhat hopeful treatise on the best and worst parts of being human.”
The Chronicle Herald (Halifax)

“Prose that is heart-warmingly lyrical. . . . Rosoff shows remarkable insight into the far-from-smooth course that young love and young sexuality can take.”
The Irish Times

“Tart, satirical, a work of unrelenting humour and a creative energy that rivals even that of its main character . . . Rosoff’s take on the mess that’s the world, the erratic weather of global warming, the painful wonder and glorious despair of metaphysics, lust, romance and natural disaster is elegant, biting, articulate and vivid. It races along at a sustained pitch of attitude and hyperbole, as much a study of adolescence as it is of parodic theology. Original and highly entertaining.”
Toronto Star

There Is No Dog is [Rosoff’s] best yet, for its laugh-out-loud hilariousness.”
Newsday

About the Author

MEG ROSOFF was born in Boston and now lives in London with her husband and daughter. Her debut novel How I Live Now was an ALA Best Book for Young Adults, winner of the Michael L. Printz Award, and nominated for the Orange Award for New Writers. Her second novel, Just In Case, won the 2007 CILIP Carnegie Medal and was an ALA Best Book for Young Adults. What I Was, Rosoff's third novel, was shortlisted for the 2008 CILIP Carnegie Medal.

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Format: Hardcover
It turns out that the reason the earth has problems is that God, supreme and almighty creator, was handed the job by his mother, who won it in a game of cosmic poker.

This is the glorious, zany, and often dark conceit of There Is No Dog, by Meg Rosoff. Our God, Bob, is an eternal teenager who sleeps late, mixes up Africa and America and then blames the subsequent droughts and floods on his non-existent dyslexia, and tends to fall in love with beautiful human girls, generally with disastrous results. He's taken care of by his majordomo, the mild-mannered and long-suffering Mr. B.

As the book opens, Bob falls for Lucy, a mortal assistant zookeeper, and his hormones jack into Earth's weather systems and create meteorological havoc. In the meantime, Bob's pet Eck (described as a sort of penguiny creature with a long snout who eats as though his stomach has no bottom) ends up on another deity's menu. Mr. B decides that at long last, he's had enough and puts in his resignation, leaving the fate of the planet in the hands of a kid who has flashes of brilliance but mostly insists that all the bad stuff that's happened as a direct result of his negligence, his whims, or his deep misunderstandings about how things should be, is simply not his fault!

Overall, this story delightful. Rosoff's writing style is reminiscent of Douglas Adams at his most tongue-in-cheek, and she pulls of the surreal with grace and ease. And this book has Eck, who is just marvelous. When we see the world through Eck's eyes, his infinite capacity to forgive and love underscores all of the problems with his owner.

All of the characters are well crafted. You want to smack Bob for his teenaged stupidity, give Mr.
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Format: Hardcover
The premise is a simple one: What if God were a teenage boy?

In the hands of any other author, the book would have been gimmicky, silly and slapstickish. But There Is No Dog is by the amazing, surprising and delightful Meg Rosoff, so we know that we're in for a treat.

In There Is No Dog, God is indeed a teenage boy. He watches over Earth with the help of Mr. B, his tired and somewhat frustrated by his assistant. Mr. B. Has reason to be frustrated, for there are many things wrong with the way God has been running things.

After winning Earth in a poker game, Mona (a Goddess of some renown) hands the job of God over to her son who is insolent, spoiled and not all that brilliant. He created the earth in six days because he was too tired and lazy to take any longer with it.

Mr. B has been left to clean up the mess, one prayer at a time. But there is only so much he can do. For answering one prayer might affect the schism of things in another way. Cure one child of rabies and perhaps the stock markets crash? Help one girl's dying mother and maybe the polar ice caps dry up? And the fact that God (whose name is Bob) created mortals in his own image is most troubling to Mr. B. How can a planet filled with insolent, greedy, intolerant boobs like Bob possibly survive?

However survive it must, even if God doesn't want anything to do with it. He is currently obsessed with a young mortal girl named Lucy, an assistant at the zoo. He loves her. He wants to marry her. He wants to have sex with her; and preferably not in the form of a swan this time. God isn't too sure what he was thinking when he did that.

When their courtship begins, strange things begin to happen.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 27 reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Dog spelled backwards is God Aug. 21 2011
By Jamieson Wolf - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
The premise is a simple one: What if God were a teenage boy?

In the hands of any other author, the book would have been gimmicky, silly and slapstickish. But There Is No Dog is by the amazing, surprising and delightful Meg Rosoff, so we know that we're in for a treat.

In There Is No Dog, God is indeed a teenage boy. He watches over Earth with the help of Mr. B, his tired and somewhat frustrated by his assistant. Mr. B. Has reason to be frustrated, for there are many things wrong with the way God has been running things.

After winning Earth in a poker game, Mona (a Goddess of some renown) hands the job of God over to her son who is insolent, spoiled and not all that brilliant. He created the earth in six days because he was too tired and lazy to take any longer with it.

Mr. B has been left to clean up the mess, one prayer at a time. But there is only so much he can do. For answering one prayer might affect the schism of things in another way. Cure one child of rabies and perhaps the stock markets crash? Help one girl's dying mother and maybe the polar ice caps dry up? And the fact that God (whose name is Bob) created mortals in his own image is most troubling to Mr. B. How can a planet filled with insolent, greedy, intolerant boobs like Bob possibly survive?

However survive it must, even if God doesn't want anything to do with it. He is currently obsessed with a young mortal girl named Lucy, an assistant at the zoo. He loves her. He wants to marry her. He wants to have sex with her; and preferably not in the form of a swan this time. God isn't too sure what he was thinking when he did that.

When their courtship begins, strange things begin to happen. Driven by the lusts and feelings of a teenage boy, the weather starts to be affected by Bob's wants and desires. Snow falls one day to be replaced by floods the next only to be replaced by sunshine. And then the rain begins to fall.

Earth is under siege by the weather and by Gods emotions. Mr. B is desperate. As floods begin to sweep across Earth, he begins to wonder, if he doesn't fix this mess, who will? While God is off following is pecker to prettier pastures, who will look after those that are on Earth?

Told with a deft hand and a keen eye for detail, Meg Rosoff has written her best book yet. It is also her funniest. I never thought a novel about God, religion, the fate of the human race, beliefs, creationism and love could be funny, but There Is No Dog is downright hilarious.

The joy of a Meg Rosoff novel is that you never really know what kind of story you're going to get. In How I Live Now, three young children must survive an apocalyptic world. In Just In Case, a young boy creates a new image and changes his name from David to Justin but is deterred by Fate. What I Was, we are treated to a love story of sorts that takes place at a boys boarding school where no one and nothing is as it seems. In The Bride's Farewell, a historical novel, Pell leaves on the day of her wedding to discover herself, only to discover that some things about herself she already knew. In Vamoose, a young girl gives birth to a moose baby and has to come to terms with her non-human child.

Rosoff never writes the same thing twice and is constantly surprising and constantly delightful. The surprises and delight are even more so in There Is No Dog. And though the novels that came before it are all gems of particular hues, There Is No Dog shines brightest for me. It's funny, ingenious, captivating and wonderful.

What is truly captivating about the novel is how human the immortal characters are. Rosoff shows us through plight, clever word play and everyday situations that even the divine can be human. Is it a commentary on religion and spirituality? Is it a commentary on what humans do to the world, the plight of the environment and the animals that live within the world? Perhaps.

But even more so, it is about the faith that we must have in each other and the belief in miracles that keeps us whole and positively brimming with life.

Now that is something worth reading about. All I can say is: Read this book. It is beautiful, witty, funny, delightful and wonderful in every way. Read this book and believe in the possibility of miracles.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
More Grown up than YA Feb. 16 2012
By KSluss - Published on Amazon.com
I am a card holding member of the community of adults, have a child and a house to prove it. Still, I like a lot of YA novels. I think a good book transcends age goups and genres. There is No Dog is one of those books. And, honestly, if this book is really "Young Adult" then I think the "Adult" part is literal. The main characters are not high schoolers, but are independent, job holding, apartment renting adults. When the book description says Bob is a sex crazed teenager, take that literally. Except, Bob is God and "teenager" is a subjective term for him. I wouldn't recommend this to a "young adult" under the age of 16, possibly older depending on how open minded mom and dad are about the birds and bees.

In the end, the message of this book was positive. I consider myself a believer. I attend church and have since I was a child and don't go just for community or socialization. I actually think God exists. I wasn't offended by the various concepts of God presented in this book; I can't speak for the more devout or fundamentalist-- they strike me as lacking the funny bones and suspensions of disbelief necessary to appreciate this book. I am often mistified by the way the world turns. Sometimes it does seem that God is petulant, moody, and self centered. Sometimes it seems he is a being of remarkable ingenuity and moments of grace and wisdom. Just like Bob.

Funny, insightful, charming. I really recommend this book to YAs and grown-ups too.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Try this on: God as a teenaged boy Jan. 26 2012
By Maggie Knapp - Published on Amazon.com
What if God were a sulky, hormonal teenage boy? Meg Rosoff heads down a very different path from her previous books, and imagines a world where Earth was won in a poker match, and entrusted to the care of teenaged Bob (with the help of long-suffering and wise Mr. B). When Bob gets a crush on beautiful Lucy, his moods are mirrored in unpredictable weather, though it seems that his heart is in the right place most of the time, and he doesn't mean any harm. This is a wry and sarcastic book, with a main character who is struck me as self-centered and annoying. My guess it you'll either like it a lot, or not at all. Fans of Terry Pratchett's DISCWORLD books seem like a likely fit to enjoy this book.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Truly A One of a Kind Read June 13 2012
By weathered1 - Published on Amazon.com
Of course, there are innumerable texts - historical and contemporary, fiction and nonfiction, etc. etc. - discussing and exploring the nature of God, but, as the subject line of this review reads, this book is truly one of a kind. God has been described by myriad people as everything from benevolent to vengeful, but to the best of my knowledge, this is the first time He has been embodied in the form of a teenage boy, and an utterly realistic teenage boy, at that.

In this book, Bob is petulant, arrogant, and not exactly the brightest bulb in the chandelier (though he is not without rare and brief flashes of genius). He is also singularly obsessed with girls and sex, falling in love (or lust) time and time again, with natural disasters being the evidence of the end of each affair or infatuation. What I thought was a very interesting (maybe even inspired) choice by Ms. Rosoff is that, while he, his words, and some of his actions may be funny, he is not what I would call all that likable, as he ranges from being lazy and utterly self-absorbed, to doing things that are completely despicable and inexcusable. He is, after all, omnipotent, and when that unimaginable power is unleashed as a result of a temper tantrum or thwarted desires, the results are not pretty; in fact, they can be deadly and even catastrophic.

Bob and his shenanigans are balanced out by a cast of characters that is colorful, to say the least, and includes but is not limited to: Mr. B, the long-suffering man behind the throne, as it were, who has been tasked with cleaning up Bob's many, many messes; Mona, Bob's mother who has a penchant for gambling and drinking; Lucy, the newest object of Bob's affections, who is a very authentic girl who longs to fall in love; Eck, Bob's pet, who has his own thoughts and feelings (and unceasing desire for food); and Estelle, who is kindness (and cunning) personified, who becomes Eck's savior, pardon the pun. Some of these characters are more well-drawn than others, but each and every single one of them is funny in wildly different ways, and each contributes something worthwhile to the story (particularly Mr. B and Eck, in my opinion). In fact, I have to say that I officially adore Eck and want one of my very own.

This book is not meant (I don't think) to be a profound statement on God, Creation, or anything along those lines. What it is, is remarkably entertaining. Truly, though this phrase is used far too often nowadays, it is literally laugh out-loud funny at many points from beginning to end - the snark in this is off-the-charts, and Ms. Rosoff utilizes sarcasm and dry wit to great effect. It is also provocative in that it takes these extraordinarily lofty concepts and themes, turns them on their heads, and frames them in a fresh, even bold way that is, without exaggeration, a true delight to read. I loved it, and to all those who may be reluctant to give books that are categorized in the Young Adult genre a chance, I would urge them to give this one a read, because it's one of the most unique, entertaining books that I've read in a very long time.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
full of hope, wisdom, the miraculous, and a pleasant outlook for living life April 5 2012
By H. Frederick - Published on Amazon.com
"Perhaps the way to succeed 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."

You know God? He's kind of a dick. It's not all his fault though, he's incredibly spoiled, and his mother won this planet for him ages ago in a poker game, even though he was completely unqualified for the job. He's only 19 after all, and like most teenagers, he mucks a lot of things up. People created in his own image? What was that about? Tying the weather to his emotions? Probably not the best move. And the duck billed platypus just had to be the product of boredom and alcohol. Luckily, Mr. B is always about to wade through the paperwork and attempt to keep some order. This is next to impossible, however, when Bob (that's God) decides he's in love with (another) human girl. He won't be happy until Lucy loves him back, but how can he expect her to fall for him when he's himself?

It is rare that one book can make so many different factions equally happy. There Is No Dog will satisfy optimists, pessimists, atheists, religious people (okay, maybe it'll insult quite a few religious people, but personally I loved it), etc. Basically, it's the perfect book for that old question--"Is the glass half empty or half full?"

Okay, okay, maybe There is No Dog isn't really the book for everyone. It's very quirky, whimsical, and off-kilter. Some people might deem it just plain weird. But me? I loved it. The spirit of it reminded me very much of some of my all time favorite reads, like Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett's Good Omens or Douglas Adams's Long, The Dark Tea-Time of the Soul. The entire time I was reading I was thinking `Jim Dale needs to do this audio', as the tone reminded me very much of the narration to Pushing Daisies.

I adored the writing style of this book. It's written in third person omniscient perspective, in which perception flits from character to character in a way that many readers find unnerving, but I personally enjoy very much when done well. In There is No Dog, it was done very well indeed! We get to see into most of the character's thoughts at some time, including into Eck's, which was one of my favorites. Eck is a furry penguiny ardvarky creature, who despite being an animal has some very real concerns about life (his in particular). The characters are divided between the immortal, and the mortal, the practical, and the impractical, and I liked that the lines weren't always cut and dry the way one would expect. I particularly loved that while Bob was seemingly the main character, he was so unlikable. We have zero invested in him or his success, and as such, get to love and cheer for so many of the other wonderful characters around him. I mean, how often do you find yourself actively cheering for the downfall of your protagonist?

While There is No Dog may have presented some questions about religion, it was ultimately a book about faith. It was full of hope, wisdom, the miraculous, and a pleasant outlook for living life. It was full of rich characters who were both selfish, romantic, goodhearted, and fun, though yes, it was a little weird too.

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