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A Boy and his Dog at the End of the World by…

A Boy and his Dog at the End of the World (edition 2019)

by C. A. Fletcher (Author)

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8814205,022 (4.15)None
Title:A Boy and his Dog at the End of the World
Authors:C. A. Fletcher (Author)
Info:Orbit (2019), 384 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Fiction, A-Z Fiction, Dystopian Fiction

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A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World by C. A. Fletcher



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Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
At a time when it looks like we may be here to experience a real post-apocalyptic world, this richly realized picture of earth about a century after the fall of humanity is a compelling setting for what is ultimately a hopeful and uplifting novel.

"The Gelding", in which just about every person on earth becomes sterile leads to the virtual elimination of humanity in a single generation. Teenager Griz lives on an island of the coast of what was Scotland with his family and two terriers, Jip and Jess. The population of the world is measured in thousands of people. So it's a big deal when a vagabond traveler and trader shows up at Griz's home. It's a bigger deal when he steals away the next morning with one of Griz's dogs.

The ensuing chase to rescue Jess takes Griz and Jip through the ruins of human civilization untouched by anybody or anything for over 100 years. I found the descriptions of the remnants of civilization in this world particularly interesting. Griz is very well read (books survive, Kindles not no much) and well versed in the sort of survival skills you would need in a world without electricity, plumbing, or antibiotics.

The boy versus the world thing happening here made me think of a dystopian, modern-day take on Huckleberry Finn. The rich descriptions of this world also evoked Huck's descriptions of the Mississippi river towns he experienced. I'm not saying the writer is the next Mark Twain, just that the story set up reminded me of that.

Ultimately, this is a story of the importance of family, hope, courage, survival, loyalty, and of course, the love of a good dog. Or in this case, two dogs. ( )
  chrisodva | Jun 16, 2019 |
There is so much I want to tell you about this book – but I can’t do it because I’ve been asked not to by someone important, the author, who took the time to lead things off with a special “note on spoilers” in which he says this:

“It’d be a kindness to other readers – not to say this author – if the discoveries made as you follow Griff’s journey into the ruins of our world remained a bit of a secret between us…”

So, I’m extra carefully walking a fine line on this review – but the things I wish I could tell you are right there on the tip of my tongue. That’s how excited I am about this book and how badly I want to see it get into the hands of thousands and thousands of readers.

Let’s start with the fact that a while back, almost the entire human race lost the ability to reproduce itself, meaning that the Earth’s population has dropped from its peak of 7.5 billion down to less than 9,000 people. Think about that. 9,000 people spread over the Earth’s surface means that surviving families (those over the generations who have mysteriously retained the ability to reproduce) can go an entire lifetime only ever running into a very few people not part of their own family or small group. And when those strangers show up, it is not always a good thing for the ones being visited.

This is precisely why Griz’s family lives on an island capable of providing everything it needs to sustain life. Griz describes it this way: “My childhood wasn’t like yours. I’ve never had friends, and in my whole life, I’ve not met enough people to play a game of football.” All Griz has are his family and his precious dogs. (Even most of the dogs still around are not able to reproduce themselves, so dogs are a very precious commodity in Griz’s world.)

Then one day Griz spots a boat with bright red sails moving toward the island, a boat carrying the stranger who will forever change Griz’s life and, for that matter, his whole world. After the man steals one of Griz’s two dogs, Griz will know him only as a thief of the worst order. And the chase is on, because according to Griz, “…there may be no law except what you make of it. But if you steal my dog, you can at least expect me to come after you. Because if we’re not loyal to the things we love, what’s the point?”

What Griz discovers about the world when he makes it to the mainland for the first time in his life will astound the reader just as much as it astounds Griz. A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World is really the story of a boy on a quest to get back what is his, but it is what happens to Griz along the way that makes this novel so memorable. And as for those spoilers, let’s just say that you will know them when they jump off the page at you, and that you will understand the author’ urgent request to keep them to yourself. I can’t think of a book more easily spoiled than this one, because…well, I just can’t tell you that.

Read this book, everyone. You can thank me later.

(C. A. Fletcher is a Scottish author, and this is my first exposure to his work. I’m hoping there’s a lot more from Fletcher out there because if A Boy and His Dog is any indication, the man has a wonderful imagination.) ( )
  SamSattler | Jun 6, 2019 |
‘Maybe if this were a proper story it would start out calm and lead up to a cataclysm, and then maybe a hero or a bunch of heroes would deal with it.’

This is an enjoyable, fast-paced addition to the dystopian novel genre, knowingly nodding along the way to its predecessors, and has at its centre the likeable character of our narrator, Griz. The book is in the form of a journal, and tells the story of a stranger coming by boat to the remote Scottish island on which Griz and his family live, in the aftermath of an apocalyptic event which takes its time to unfold, something having left the human race unable to reproduce. So, as it now stands the human population is estimated to be only 8,500. The stranger is welcomed into the home, but by morning he has gone, and has taken one of Griz’s two dogs (Jess) with him. Unthinking, Griz sets off in pursuit, accompanied by his other dog, his faithful companion for the book, Jip.

You pretty much have to suspend your disbelief as the chase develops, as Griz finds a map that he uses to track down the stranger, Brand. Along the way he meets a French woman, and there is some fun to be had in their linguistic confusion to understand each other (Griz thinks she is called John Dark, which is of course a play on Jeanne d’Arc), and he encounters dangerous situations and wild animals along the way.

I won’t go into the plot, and the twists along the way (including one that is a stonker!). There are some serious themes here, which makes the book seem to hover somewhere between a YA read and a more adult one, but it rattles along at a fair pace and will have you siding with Griz in his pursuit to recover his dog. From page one the theme of the book is obvious:
‘If we’re not loyal to the things we love, what’s the point? That’s like not having a memory. That’s when we stop being human.’

I did enjoy the book. OK, it’s not highbrow lit-fic, and maybe doesn’t add anything new to our current obsession with dystopian fiction, but it is clever enough in its own way, and you will find yourself hoping for as happy an ending you can get in an end-of-the-world kind of book! ( )
  Alan.M | May 21, 2019 |
The post-apocalyptic world is vividly rendered, the protagonist is hugely sympathetic and likable, and I was drawn into the story, despite the author's habit of deliberately telegraphing every bad thing that happens, and I mean EVERY bad thing that happens. There are only a few real main characters, but they are made very real, and I'm including the four-legged ones. There are a couple of shocking twists late in the story, one of which nearly beggars belief, but which I accepted because by then the whole story was so real to me, and because shocking twists happen in real life. I've been reading these kinds of books now for half a century and have been dismayed by the glut of half-baked ones currently on the market. Don't mistake this book for one of those--it's first rate storytelling and a superb addition tot he end of the world canon. ( )
  unclebob53703 | May 9, 2019 |
I ended up really enjoying this book. As soon as I saw the title and read the description for this book, I knew that I absolutely had to read it. I looked forward to reading this book for months. Unfortunately, I had a really hard time getting into this book. I really think that this had more to do with my life than the book but I did have some doubts. I did hang in there with the book and am so glad that I did but this was a book that I couldn't put down before it was all over.

I love a good end of the world story and I also love stories that involve dogs. This book had both of those elements so it had a whole lot going for it before I even got too involved in the story. I loved this take on the end of the world. It was a little different than other books that I have read and I thought that it was one of the most realistic explanations that I have seen. I really felt like this could happen which really added to the impact of the story.

Griz was a great character and I found him really easy to relate to from the start. I didn't always understand everything he was doing but I was behind him on his main quest. Without a doubt, I know that if someone took my dog, I would do whatever was in my power to get her back and Griz felt exactly the same way. It was really interesting to see Griz navigate parts of the world that he has never seen as he tracked down his beloved Jess. I loved his descriptions of what was left of the world and found that I was easily able to visualize what he was seeing.

This book is told by Griz as he writes in his journal. I think that I had a bit of difficulty with Griz's voice at the start of the book but eventually warmed up to it. There were a few times were words were spelled as Griz heard them instead of the proper spelling which I would have preferred but I think that this was really the best way to tell this story.

I do recommend that readers go into this book as blindly as possible. There were a few twists that I didn't see coming which made this book really enjoyable. I do highly recommend this book but strongly suggest that readers avoid any possibility of coming across a spoiler.

I received a digital review copy of this book from Orbit Books via NetGalley. ( )
  Carolesrandomlife | May 5, 2019 |
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"This unputdownable story has everything--a well-imagined post-apocalyptic world, great characters, incredible suspense, and, of course, the fierce love of some very good dogs."--Kirkus Reviews (starred) When a beloved family dog is stolen, her owner sets out on a life-changing journey through the ruins of our world to bring her back in this fiercely compelling tale of survival, courage, and hope. Perfect for readers of Station Eleven and The Girl With All the Gifts. My name's Griz. My childhood wasn't like yours. I've never had friends, and in my whole life I've not met enough people to play a game of football. My parents told me how crowded the world used to be, but we were never lonely on our remote island. We had each other, and our dogs. Then the thief came. There may be no law left except what you make of it. But if you steal my dog, you can at least expect me to come after you. Because if we aren't loyal to the things we love, what's the point?… (more)

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