Shop now Shop now Shop now Up to 70% off Fashion Shop All Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Amazon Fire TV Amazon Pantry Food & Drink Beauty Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Shop now Shop now Shop now

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars9
4.1 out of 5 stars
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
Format: PaperbackChange
Price:£11.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on 7 November 2001
Melvin Burgess' book is a cracking read. It captivated and challenged me at a profound level. However as a father of three children and one of them a teenager, I'm not at all comfortable with recommending it to her or her friends. My misgivings are not based on the gritty style and language or the overt sexual depictions, they are rather based on the vague moral lesson that you can draw from the book. Is life better as a dog or a human? Is it better to live life for sheer selfish pleasure or should we accept that we have a corporate responsibility to one another and therefore are bound to have some restraints on our individual freedom. Furthermore do we not also have a duty to ourselves to practice moral self-restraint for our own physical and psychological well-being? Melvin Burgess at best gives us no answer to these dilemmas, and at worst he seems to draw the uncomfortable conclusion that its fine whatever you choose! Perhaps the lack of moral clarity is deliberate. As a parent however I find it discomforting enough to make me recommend only with caution and disatisfying enough to make me qualify my enthusiasm about the book !
0Comment15 of 16 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 8 January 2006
Melvin Burgess has a fantastic style - he doesnt beat around the bush, he tells it like it is. It is extremely refreshing. He isn't moralistic in the way many other teenage books are - he seems to understand the teenage brain much better than I'm sure many teenagers do themselves.
This book is addressing such a strange concept that when i first picked it up i put it down again - i didnt think it was the sort of book I'd enjoy. But it is really entertaining, easy to read and captivating. It doesn't turn out as you would particularly expect - but that is part of Burgess's charm.
If you read this book, which i suggest you do, you will never look at a stray dog in the same way again...
0Comment5 of 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 2 November 2009
Along with William Sutcliffe, Anne Fine, Louis Sachar , Kevin Brooks and Meg Rosoff, Melvin Burgess is one of a very few people writing for teenagers whose books are guaranteed to hit the right spot when it comes to delineating what life is like for the 13 to 19 year-olds who are his subjects. Of all the genres this is the most difficult to get right when it comes to the realities of life for the average teenager. Writing that tackles difficult questions based on some of the basic dilemmas of modern life is always going to be full of pitfalls - don't assume you know everything, don't talk down, don't patronise, don't moralise. Winner of the Carnegie Medal, Burgess is extremely skilled at what he does.

This book, about a girl who is running wild, who gets turned into a dog, by a magical tramp is funny, sometimes hilarious, but it is also completely honest and comes with a parental advisory sticker because it tackles sex. Yes, readers, dogs have sex in this book. And they like it. Probably, best given to over-14s only, I would suggest. It is an allegory that needs a certain maturity to understand the contrast between a heady lack of responsibility and a need for family and the safety of a settled routine, even if that restricts one's freedom.

Sandra is seventeen when it happens, all the pressures, to be good, to be fancied by boys, to work hard at school, to re-sit the exams she has failed, fall away. The scents and smells of her new senses are heady and exciting, the option to run wild and free in a world entirely newly made is exhilarating and for a while she gives in to the call and runs with the pack, but something keeps calling her back.

The ending to this marvellous book made me laugh out loud.
0Comment1 of 1 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 31 October 2001
Yet again, Melvin Burgess has written an amazing novel. At first I thought it sounded strange, but once I started it I was totally hooked and couldn't put it down. He manages to show how dogs have the same problems as us and also how we have to stand up to the problems, without making it a stupid book. He carefully fiddles with every detail so that you feel the emotions of each character. A wonderful novel by a master with words!
0Comment6 of 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 3 April 2008
This short story is very original and imaginitive. I imagine Burgess' inspiration was the question "Why do homeless people often have dogs?"!
The main character, Sandra is well depicted before and after her transition from human to dog, and Burgess clearly conveys her emotions and her personality.
This book asks some moral questions about life, similarly to Burgess' other more famous book Junk. The reason I gave this story three stars was that the questions it asks make the reader feel really negative. This book makes you feel degraded, especially the ending, which I wont give away.
Its difficult to write about this book without mentioning the ending but I dont want to spoil it.
The book is well written but I wouldnt recommend it as a cheerful read!
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 10 November 2014
Bought as present. Will be loved. Well bought. Good value too. Will buy more I'm sure. Keep up good standard.
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 22 September 2008
I loved junk (the book) as a teenager, and read it many times, but it is only as an adult that I have started to explore some of the authors over works.
Although I do not think this book is as good as junk, it is still pretty well written, and I think that teens will like the refreshingly honest and open approach.
Unlike some other teen authors, Burgess does not shy away from speaking openly about matters such as sex, and he does not preach either - you do nto get the feeling that he is trying to tell you how to behave, something I have seen in some teenage books.
As such, the characters come across as flawed, believable and real.
I would recommend this book to teens, but I still think that junk is a far better novel
0Comment1 of 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 13 May 2015
been after this book for years boss didnt take too long to order LOVE IT
0CommentWas this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 24 January 2002
Ilooked forward to reading this book,but felt that Sandra's transformation occurred too early in the storyline,and we needed to learn more about her life as a troubled teenager first. For me,the parts of the book where she returns home did not work well,and carried the book perilously close to farce. As a Mancunian,I was also surprised by the many inaccuracies in the spellings and use of local names. Sharp and brilliant in parts,but ultimately disappointing.
0Comment1 of 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Customers also viewed these items


Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.