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When Mr Dog Bites [Hardcover]

Brian Conaghan
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
RRP: 12.99
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Book Description

16 Jan 2014

Cool Things To Do Before I Cack It

Number One: Have real sexual intercourse with a girl (preferably Michelle Malloy and definitely NOT on a train or any other mode of transport . . . if it's possible at her house).

Number Two: Fight heaven and earth, tooth and nail, dungeons and dragons that people stop slagging my mate Amir because he smells like a big pot of curry. And, help him find a new best bud.

Number Three: Get dad back from the war before . . . you-know-what . . . happens.

Dylan Mint has Tourette's. For Dylan, life is a constant battle to keep the bad stuff in - the swearing, the tics, the howling dog that escapes whenever he gets stressed. And, as a sixteen-year-old virgin and pupil at Drumhill Special School, getting stressed is something of an occupational hazard.

But then a routine visit to the hospital changes everything. Overhearing a hushed conversation between the doctor and his mother, Dylan discovers that he's going to die next March.

So he grants himself three parting wishes: three 'Cool Things To Do Before I Cack It'.

It isn't a long list, but it is ambitious, and he doesn't have much time. But as Dylan sets out to make his wishes come true, he discovers that nothing - and no-one - is quite as he had previously supposed.

A story about life, death, love, sex and swearing, When Mr Dog Bites will take you on one *#@! of a journey . . .

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing (16 Jan 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408838338
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408838334
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 14.4 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 317,754 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


I loved Dylan Mint. He made me laugh out loud and his tenacity had me rooting for him from the first page (Stephen Kelman)

It's the F-word - funny, foul-mouthed, fantastic! (Charlie Higson)

Conaghan conveys Dylan's quirky worldview with a variety of stylistic tics ... Through harrowing scenes of bullying Conaghan evokes the way in which outsiders in society are often judged negatively by their peers. In the end, Dylan comes to terms with his difficulties and looming death in a fashion that's so surprising and charming it would be hard not to feel a little uplifted (Observer)

Energetic, confident and compassionate ... There's a genuine exuberance about it ... [Conaghan] is one to watch (Scotland on Sunday)

What a rip-roaring ride it is! Sixteen-year-old Dylan Mint has Tourette's Syndrome which leads him to shout unsavoury - and sometimes downright obscene - things in moments of stress. In the back of his mind Mr Dog growls and the more the stress the louder Dylan barks. So if you enjoyed Curious Incident or My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher then keep your eyes peeled for When Mr Dog Bites (New Books Magazine)

I loved, loved, loved this story. Loved it ... I loved Dylan. I loved his mum. I loved his best bud Amir. I loved Michelle Stroppy Malloy. I loved Dylan's incredibly honest and incredibly politically incorrect use of language outside of his Tourette's - it's meaning, not words, that do the hurting ... I won't forget Dylan Mint in a very long time (TheBookbag.co.uk)

Entertaining (Big Issue)

A fun read that still manages to tackle issues of disability, race and poverty (RTE Guide)

Brave and ambitious (Daily Mail)

One of the book's most engaging characteristics, its often hilarious (and often scatological) humour . This is a portrayal of young male bonding, complete with all the lively banter of true camaraderie, at its most tender and affectionate (Irish Times)

Beautifully observed and hilariously uncomfortable ... Mint has a certain charm, and his mangled language and omnivorous approach to slang suggest a lively, inquiring brain (Philip Womack, Guardian)

There is a sense of exhilarating authenticity in the wordplay of this his second novel ... After all When Mr Dog Bites' breath-taking pleasure partly is that it manages to make a difficult subject charmingly feelgood. "Heart: swollen," writes Mint at one point - and I felt that too (Glasgow Herald)

Book Description

Hilariously touching and outrageously unforgettable: Mark Haddon's Christopher Boone meets Holden Caulfield on one *#@! of a journey . . .

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Effing Brilliant! 26 Feb 2014
By C-Dog
When this book was first published, not so long ago, it started a bit of a ruckus in the Daily Telegraph online. There were people who thought that such a book would have a corrupting effect on our children. Apparently, certain readers of the Daily Telegraph knew of the existence of schools (dozens of them, perhaps even hundreds) in which the entire student body was completely unaware of the existence of expletives. Rarified establishments engaged in developing the academic potential of young people whilst simultaneously sustaining an environment functioning parallel to (and yet suffering absolutely no infection from) the real world whatsoever. Institutions where a select few blessed minors are gifted a uniquely blissful incognizance unavailable to the majority of their peers, who must battle through life carrying the terrible burden of a full and clear understanding of the everyday parlance of youth.
It is perhaps unfair of me to doubt the existence of these institutions, many of which clearly did exist in the past (after all why would so many members of the Telegraph's discussion forum be so adamant that this book should come with an age certification at once criminalising its intended readership if they did not?), but I feel that I am in safe territory when I suggest that it is at least possible that the last one of these schools has perhaps long since been bulldozed to make way for affordable housing.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bit sweary 20 Mar 2014
By the lambanana TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
There was a woman on the radio this morning complaining about a syllabus book containing "hundreds of swearwords" and that she didn't want her daughter exposed to such things.

I thought, does this woman think that her daughter is not exposed to "swearing". Her school friends must surely let the odd F word slip out?

That woman would not like this book. But I did.

It has a pace and style that I found delightful. I believed in the central character and the dialogue just skipped along.

If you are offended at 'language' then you simply won't like it. However, if you believe that all types of language are part of our communication, then you may find it funny, foul-mouthed but entertaining. I did.

A recommended read.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVED IT!! 10 Mar 2014
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I must admit I had been looking forward to this book for a while particularly because author Phil Earle raved about it on twitter a while back and I am so pleased to say it didn't disappoint. For me it is 2014's answer to The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime

When Mr Dog bites is the story of Dylan a teenager with Tourettes. What I loved about it is how it got me into his head and enabled me to understand a bit more what it must be like for anyone living with the condition. Be warned it doesn't hold back in its language and so I probably wouldn't recommend it for younger teens but it is absolutely perfect for older teens.

I loved Dylan and the way he saw the world. I loved that underneath that shouty exterior once you got to know him a bit better you could see he had brilliant morals and a real heart of gold and I think for me it made me think about the way people like Dylan with invisible disabilities are labelled within society wrongly by people's assumptions.

I loved the messages it had about racism and about family and was utterly hooked to find out where the story was going and what was going to happen next.

An utterly fascinating and engrossing read. I can't recommend it highly enough
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It was okay but... 18 Jun 2014
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I'm a bit torn with this one. On one hand I loved the main character Dylan and his voice is absolutely brilliant - but on the other I felt like nothing much was happening for the first two thirds of the book and I really had to persevere with it. I'm glad I did though because I enjoyed the last third and how it all turns out for Dylan.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tourrettes for beginners 27 Mar 2014
By Donald Thompson VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Brian Conaghan has written a more up to date The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night. The central character, Dylan 'Minty' Mynt attends a special school for 'spazzs' because of his Tourrettes his best mate is Ahmed, a little slow but not stupid. His wish is to lose his virginity, and he wants his dad back from the war. All because he only has months to live. The fact of how he finds out, and the ensuing chaos which follows, form the basis of a good strong storyline for this first effort. Comparisons with the Curious Incident are inevitable simply because of the disability and lost father story, but it goes deeper. Where the Curious Incident shied away from some of the harsher personality effects of the disorder, this book almost glories in it. In at least one episode too much. Everything though is not as it seems. Well handled by the author, and a good read from start to, almost, finish. Target audience is difficult to quantify, but definitely late teens and young adult.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Great, funny read!
This has the tone and style of a teenager and you instantly like the protagonist. I would recommend this highly.
Published 8 days ago by Pen Name
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
An interesting read from a different perspective.......really enjoyed it. Would recommend it to anyone who enjoys something a bit different.
Published 9 days ago by jennifer mason
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!
Brilliant Book, i did not want to put it down. Definitely in my top ten books.
Published 29 days ago by Rhodidodi
4.0 out of 5 stars quirky good read
Quirky and different stick with it a cracking good humoured read about difficult subject matter. Could so easily have gone wrong but handled beautifully I think.
Published 1 month ago by Peter
4.0 out of 5 stars I am still reading it. I bought it because ...
I am still reading it. I bought it because I heard Mr. Conaghan interviewd on NPR RAdio. Since, in days past, I had a child with this syndrome in my clasroom, thought it would be... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Roberta upson
5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly brilliant!
I wanted to read When Mr. Dog Bites from the moment I heard about it, I couldn't wait to read about a main character who suffered with Tourette's syndrome because it's a condition... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Sarah (Feeling Fictional)
2.0 out of 5 stars YA novel about Tourette's that lacks bark or bite
16-year-old Dylan Mint has Tourette’s syndrome, which makes him swear and gives him facial tics. He lives with his mum in Glasgow and attends a special school with his best friend... Read more
Published 2 months ago by I Read, Therefore I Blog
2.0 out of 5 stars Frustrating Writing
When Mr Dog Bites is another book in a line of stories about mentally ill or disabled children over the past few years, following the likes of The Curious Incident of the Dog in... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Carl Spencer
3.0 out of 5 stars Dog The Bunty Killer
When Mr Dog Bites is, essentially, a 'young adult' (hate that term) novel that has been beefed up to senior status with a lot of swearing and references to what mummies and daddies... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Bela Lugosi's Dad
4.0 out of 5 stars Fast-paced and promising debut novel
This debut novel introduces us to Dylan Mint, a sixteen year old with Tourette’s syndrome. He is the first person narrator throughout and his language is peppered with lots of... Read more
Published 4 months ago by L. H. Healy
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