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|Print List Price:||£7.99|
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The Last Dog on Earth Kindle Edition
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This story is told from two different viewpoints: a mongrel dog named Lineker and his owner, Reginald Hardy.
Lineker swears a lot, and some readers may not approve of this, but I thought it worked well and added rather than detracted from my enjoyment of the story. Obviously nobody knows exactly what it’s like inside a dog’s brain, but if a dog of Lineker’s personality were to use human words, then he would use the f-word and the c-word without compunction, in particular with regard to cats, squirrels, foxes, and disagreeable humans. Even though he relates his insights and his plot narration in the English language, I would not class this as an anthropomorphic exercise. He is always very much an authentic dog of huge personality. Also, I felt that the author obviously knows his dogs well; he includes a great deal of interesting background information about their relationship with humans from the earliest times, when wild dogs first became domesticated.
Reginald worked as an electrician before the apocalypse, which comes in useful for fixing his recalcitrant generator, as well it equipping him with a skill that post-apocalyptic society can use. The trouble is, he’s a loner who can’t abide any sort of physical contact with other humans, even a quick handshake; thus, the fact that the majority of people have left London and that he has the immediate neighbourhood all to himself, is a total boon, and he’s not in a hurry to leave it, until a starving orphan girl turns up on his doorstep, refuses to leave, and then asks for his help with something that involves him having to leave his flat. Lineker and the girl bond straightaway, and so it’s two against one when it comes to the final decision about this.
What follows is an adventure to end all adventures, triggering a roller coaster of emotions. I found myself laughing, near to tears, my stomach in knots, breathless with anticipation, and, most important of all, I really cared for the three main characters. As for the baddies, they were spit-worthy and you wanted the worst for them. At the same time, you could understand their motivation, however twisted it might seem.
A highly recommended read (except for those who belong to the anti-swearing brigade!).
First of all, the characters are beautifully realised, well rounded and believable, and as the story progressed I found myself caring more and more deeply about their fates. The story centres around a man and his dog, hanging on to existence in a crumbling tower block after London has been abandoned. The character of Lineker the dog pulls you into the book, with his lively persona and quirky narration. I found myself captivated by the way a dog's perpective is portrayed here. And then there is his 'master', Reginald, a complex character and not so easy to like at first. But as the tale developed, and details of his past were revealed, I found myself warming to him tremendously. Other than this central pair, the book is populated by a host of other characters, both major and minor, (and I won't go into detail here...read the book and meet them yourself!) all of whom elicited an emotional response from me, so vividly were they portrayed.
The novel is beautifully woven, alternatively told from the viewpoints of Lineker and Reginald, drip-feeding us glimpses of the past so that we develop a greater understanding of the present. The plot is fast moving and the narrative is, by turns, hilariously funny, horrific, tragic, and thrilling. But above all, hopeful, I felt.
My poor fiancee had to endure gales of laughter, floods of tears, gasps and utterances, and my reading certain choice passages to her when she was stoically trying to read her own book. She assures me that 'The Last Dog on Earth' will be her next book, and then it will be my turn to suffer!
As an apocalyptic novel this ticks every box, as a portrayal of an all too possible dystopian future it is terrifying, but as a message of hope and redemption and resilience of spirit, it is a masterpiece.
I can't recommend this book highly enough, and from someone who rarely writes reviews that is praise indeed!
Walker has really found his voice. The writing is tighter and the progress of their journey though the wastelands of London is well paced and brilliantly told.
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