Top critical review
Amusing, but falls in to lazy sci-fi traps
6 October 2011
It's 2017, and a distant planet populated by dogs has sent a superweapon to destroy earth - as the incredibly loud music emanating from our millions of televisions, radios and iPods is offending their sensitive canine ears and making life unbearable.
The resulting novel is a strange mixture of some excellent jokes about dogs and octopuses, plus some second-rate jokes about computers and science fiction. It's the bad sci-fi that really ruins it for me, there are too many points where I was left thinking 'if you knew what that word meant, the joke would seem stupid rather than amusing'. The computer jokes are often lazy and seem forced; naming an operating system with a keyboard-mash of 'X's and 'P's makes for a jarring distraction rather than a subtle reference.
However, the pacy plot and clever writing make the book very readable, and there is the usual glut of brilliant Holt one-liners. Worth a try.