- A Boy and his Dog at the End of the World.
- C. A. Fletcher.
- 384 pages.
- Post-apocalyptic / Dystopian / Fiction.
- My Rating: Hell Yeah Book Review.
My name’s Griz. I’ve never been to school, I’ve never had friends, 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, before all the people went away, but we were never lonely on our remote island. We had each other, and our dogs.
Then the thief came.
He told stories of the deserted towns and cities beyond our horizons. I liked him – until I woke to find he had stolen my dog. So I chased him out into the ruins of the world.
I just want to get my dog back, but I found more than I ever imagined was possible. More about how the world ended. More about what my family’s real story is. More about what really matters.
I received a free copy of this book courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Quotes are taken from an ARC copy of the book.
These words that I write don’t do justice to A Boy and his Dog at the End of the World but they are all that I have and they are the best that I can muster. Fletcher and Orbit have an absolute winner on their hands with this evocative and powerful book. After I finished reading it I was left tattered and torn, like a doll coming apart at the seams, it is a book that left me bereft, it is a book that broke me and it is brilliant.
I’m a dog lover, I make no qualms about that and any dog lover will tell you the same, that they would do anything for their own dog, anything.
My own dog passed away very nearly (February 19th, 2016) three years ago and I would do anything to bring her back. Give anything to have her sat next to me as I write these words that form this review but, I can’t. That’s what a dog is, they leave an indelible mark upon you, a mark that never fades and they, themselves are never forgotten.
Griz’s dog was stolen, Griz can and will do anything and everything in his power to find his dog and bring her home.
A Boy and his Dog at the End of the World starts on a small island of the coast of Scotland that is home to Griz and his family. Himself, his Mother, his Father, his Brother, Ferg, his sister, Bar and his two dogs, Jip and Jess. Then, a traveller comes, looking to trade, full of easy smiles and stories to tell. But, the traveller is also a thief and after gaining the families trust he steals Jess, one of Griz’s beloved dogs. This is the beginning, this is how the story starts, this is Griz’s journey to get his dog back, Griz’s journey that turns into something so much more. It is a simple premise but beneath that veneer of simplicity, hidden away and awaiting discovery by the reader the story is thought-provoking, layered, deep and will make you run a gamut of emotions.
Griz along with Jip travels far beyond the boundaries of what he knows, that isolated small island on the edge of the world. Venturing forth, to the mainland and the remnants of society, into the great unknown. The huge, sprawling and long neglected world that has long since gone to ruin. Walking a lonely road through places that he has never known, through the bones of the old world in search of his dog. The human population has dwindled, decimated by The Gelding which stopped most people from being able to have children. Humanity is fading away, a dying breed and the flora and fauna are reclaiming the world, giving it back to nature.
Generations have come and gone since The Gelding and most amenities and supplies have been lost to time. Now, you scavenge to survive. There are very few humans left either living alone, in small settlements or as individual families. Griz doesn’t meet many during his journey but those that he does meet show both the best of humanity and the worst. Darkness and evil that still haunt the world but there is also light and hope too.
The world has turned into a dangerous and desolate place and Fletcher brings the remains of his decaying world to life. Overgrown trees have taken back the railways and the roads. Rusted car chassis’s and husks of long abandoned buildings and houses litter the towns and cities, all crumbling to dust and all evoking vivid imagery.
Dogs are a faithful companion, loyal to the end, they are devoted to their owner and their owner is, in turn, devoted to them. A bond between an owner and their dog is a bond that cannot be broken. Griz personifies that sentiment as he journeys out into the world after his lost dog. A Boy and his Dog at the End of the World shows that bond in all its glory, the bond between companions, between family, between friends, that bond of something more.
Of all the animals that travelled the long road through the ages with us, dogs always walked closest.
A Boy and his Dog at the End of the World is well-written by Fletcher. There are many descriptive passages that bring Griz and his surroundings to life. Fletcher often incorporates many poetic and thought-provoking sentences, paragraphs and passages into his prose too. With every step, with every mile closer to his goal, through the various encounters, through the ups and the downs, the highs and the lows with Fletcher’s writing you feel like you are travelling with Griz.
Told in the first-person, Griz narrates A Boy and his Dog at the End of the World and it is his tale. With Griz narrating we get to glimpse and be privy first-hand to all of his feelings of which, amongst others are love, loss, hope, hurt and despair. Griz, himself, is also rather introspective, looking back, reflecting on and questioning his actions, their consequences and the events that occur during his journey.
I guess no one’s the monster in their own story. Monsters are just a matter of perspective.
At times, Fletcher also incorporates the second-person narrative style into the story too which allows the reader to become part of the story. Really making you think and ponder what Griz is musing on and saying.
As a character, Griz is courageous, determined, vulnerable and strong and the love that he has for his dogs is warming to the heart. He is a tremendous character to propel the story forward and you will root for him from the very beginning. The dogs themselves are fantastically portrayed too and are such an important part of the story.
Griz’s story is a story that will stay with you long after you have turned the final page. It is a story that is full of heart, that reaches out and grabs you, reaching you on a primal level. You are not just a person reading a story in a book, you are a person feeling that story, living the book.
Forgetting is a kind of betrayal, even if it’s what happens to all grief.
A Boy and his Dog at the End of the World broke me. Manly tears were shed! At times, I had to put the book down and step away, the emotion was real and it bled from of the pages. Fletcher broke me, put me back together and then broke me again during my time spent reading A Boy and his Dog and I wouldn’t change it. Emotion shows that you are alive and a book that makes you feel is very special.
A Boy and his Dog at the End of the World is totally compelling and an emotional roller-coaster of a book it is beautiful, gut-wrenching and unforgettable with a tenacity of spirit that runs through the pages.
Pre-order A Boy and his Dog at the End of the World (released April 25th, 2019).
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