A Boy and his Dog at the End of the World is a touching coming of age story. Yet it is more than this – it is dystopian fiction of a post-apocalyptic world that I can sadly imagine happening. This is the scary thing about this novel. With subtle but very poignant messages of how we live today including our addiction to the internet and our excessive use of plastic, this is a clear reminder not to take our world for granted. It is us and only us that will be the cause our demise.
You had an internet. You lived in a web that linked you with all the answers that ever were, and you carried them everywhere with you in a glass and metal rectangle that was pocket-sized but could talk to satellites. You never needed to be stupid, or not know things about everything.
We’re out here on the wrong side of a dying world trying to piece together the story of what’s happened
Yet A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World is a hopeful novel.
It is set in the future when the world has ended; a soft apocalypse leaving a vanishing few all alone, stuck here on the other side of it.
Griz is one of the vanishing few. Along with his family and his beloved dogs Jess and Jip, Griz lives an isolated, sheltered existence on an Hebridean island off the coast of what used to be Scotland. This future world is now empty with Griz telling us “In my whole life, I haven’t met enough people to make up two teams for a game of football. The world is that empty.”
When Brand, a long-haired bearded traveller arrives on the island and steals Griz’s dog, Griz has no choice but to chase Brand across to the mainland to get his beloved dog back. In his pursuit, Griz looses his childhood innocence but discovers so much more.
I loved Griz – such an endearing character full of fight, empathy and goodness. Controversial I know, but I also loved Brand. He added a raw vitality to the story that I thought was so human and real. Excuse my language, but Brand is a cheeky bastard and I loved that.
The opening of this novel sets the scene beautifully and really drew me in. I also absolutely loved the last 100 pages or so, especially as these pages possess two almighty twists that evoked so many emotions in me. Just sheer brilliance.
The ending is very poignant and so touching. It is also a strong message to be self compassionate and remind ourselves that we are all human, that we make mistakes; and that is completely fine. The very last line in the novel is full of such emotional meaning connected to the whole story; it is truly beautiful.
However I did struggle with the middle part of the novel. It is extremely detailed, which is great. Yet for me, I felt it was far too detailed – so much so that I caught my mind wandering to other things on many occasions. Hence I think it took me a lot longer to read this book than I normally would take.
But I’m so glad I stayed with it as this novel is full of meaning. I love my proof copy with little teasers. Hidden inside its pages I found postcards written with very intimate messages. Now that I have read the book I fully understand why the postcards were there for me to find. That really resonated with me.
Thank you to Tracy Fenton from Compulsive Readers for inviting me to take part in the blog tour.
I’m glad I chose to #FollowGriz. You can too as A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World was published on 25 April 2019.
You can also read the reviews from my fellow book bloggers who are also part of this blog tour. To find out more, see below.