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. goodreads
This is such a fun, whimsical story that unfortunately never quite fully delivers on it’s premise.
God is really a 19 year old boy named Bob who basically got the job because no one else wanted it. Bob's a horny boy that falls in love on a whim and creates floods, famine and general world destruction when it doesn't work out the way he wants. Every girl is "THE" girl…..until the next girl.
Despite creating all of the Earth's wonders in six days, it's really Bob's assistant Mr. B that keeps things in order. Mr. B pours through the files, deciding which prayers to answer, which conflicts to interfere in. He tries to direct Bob to do the right thing and take care of all the creatures he has created. That's hard work when Bob confuses Africa with America and instead of stopping a drought in the former, creates biblical floods in the latter.
The pressures are piling up for Bob. He's now in love with a zookeeper named Lucy but doesn't know how to get her to have sex with him without using his Godly sway. No one is helping him anymore and his mom lost his pet Eck gambling. Now the the Goddess Estelle is annoying him while she tries to save Eck.
So far so good right?
There Is No Dog is written in alternating POV's but I felt like I was being told what happened rather than getting lost in the story. The reading experience felt more observational than immersive. The book asks the big questions about God and life but never attempts to make us think any further than if Bob gets the girl and hoping that someone finally smacks that brat upside the head.
Each individual character is interesting, especially poor Eck, a penguin like creature that is the last of his kind (and supposedly quite delicious when cooked - EEP! Poor Eck). I just can't say I was too invested in what happened to anyone.
Rating: 2 out of 4 I didn't dislike the book and I was happy I read it but I can't say it made too much of an impact on me. Which is fine I guess but with the subject matter, satirical elements and the promise of a “darkly funny novel” I guess I was looking for more.
Source: Review copy received at ALA from G.P. Putnam’s Sons (Penguin Young Readers Group)
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