Saturday, January 14, 2012

There Is No Dog by Meg Rosoff

Planets are won or lost in the galactic poker games of the gods in Meg Rosoff's There Is No Dog... which is how a dyslexic adolescent god named Bob came to be in charge of Earth, a "tiny, unproven" planet, "badly positioned -- miles off the beaten track in a lonely and somewhat rundown part of the universe."

Bob was lazy, but he could be creative when the mood struck him. "And, boy oh boy, did Bob go to town on the creatures. He put spines on some, and strange colours on others; he added feathers and scales and sometimes feathers and scales; savage teeth and beady eyes on some, and sweet expressions and razor-sharp claws on others. Some of the fowl were lovely to look at, with long graceful necks and luxuriant plumage, but others had the most idiotically large feet, or wings that didn't work. [...] And then Bob went on to create every creeping thing, and some that leapt and climbed and slithered and tunnelled as well, and he told them to be frantic and multiply, which they did by the most gobsmackingly weird mechanism ..."

Skip forward many millenia, to find that Bob has mostly lost interest in his Earthly creations. Except for a certain young woman, a human. Lucy is a zookeeper in contemporary England. She has no idea what she is in for when her world's god decides to come wooing.

There Is No Dog is imaginative, playful and witty. Highly recommended for Grade 7 through to adult.

Readalikes: The Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams; Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips.

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